Fox’s virtual fans are a bit strange and disturbing.
Last week, we learned that Fox will not only include fake fan noise into NFL broadcasts, but now virtual fans will be added as well. Immediately after hearing the news, I was a bit skeptical. The idea of adding virtual fans seems cool, but is it really the best thing to do? After seeing Fox’s “sneak peek” on Twitter, I am a firm believer that it is not a good idea. The virtual fans are even a bit strange, and don’t forget misleading.
Here is the sneak peek that Fox released earlier this morning.
No fans? Not on FOX Sports.
Thousands of virtual fans will attend FOX’s MLB games this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/z9oQU0rYuC
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 23, 2020
The fake computer fans that Fox Sports (now owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group) has filled the seats with are honestly just really creepy.
They look very realistic, almost too realistic from afar, which makes them very disturbing to watch. I understand that watching a sports broadcast without fans is a little weird, but this is just too weird and can set a bad precedent for sports in the future.
Virtual fans in the future
Fox having such success creating virtual fans could have a bad impact on sports in the future. Many different broadcast networks could create the illusion of a full stadium (when fans are allowed back into the stadium). For those that believe a company wouldn’t do that, isn’t that exactly what Fox is doing right now?
Fox is taking away from the reality that seats are actually empty across the majority of sports right now. It seems very misleading and misleading is something you never want to see from a television network.
Like I’ve said many times, I would much rather see the time and money go into doing other things to make the broadcast more fun to watch. Something that doesn’t include creating an illusion that there are people in the stands that aren’t actually there.