Using fake crowd noise from NBA 2K video game on live broadcasts would cheapen the experience

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,297   +120
Staff member

The NBA Board of Governors this week approved plans to restart league play on July 31, 2020, a date that was also agreed upon by the National Basketball Players Association. Hoops fans were no doubt overjoyed to receive the news but as officials continue to hammer out the details of the unprecedented move, one area that is of particular interest is the crowd.

Attendance by the public is almost certainly out of the question for the remainder of the season and perhaps into early next season. Without fans in the stands, you don’t get any crowd noise and for most involved, that could take the most getting used to.

One possible workaround that is being discussed, per Shams Charania with The Atlantic, is to pipe in audio from the NBA 2K video game series to simulate crowd noise. But is that really the best idea, to try and fake the experience? Allow me to elaborate.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship was the first major sport to emerge out of Covid-19 and it did so with a live event on May 9. Typically contested in front of thousands of fans, the fights were held in an empty arena that was eerily silent. But that silence meant that every punch, kick and takedown was magnified. Best yet, you could clearly hear the fighters quipping at each other and even make out the instructions the coaches were feeding their athletes. It was different from the norm, sure, but also quite enjoyable.

Had the UFC pumped in fake crowd noise, it would have killed that organic vibe and cheapened the overall experience.

Masthead credit: Brocreative

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,076   +5,435
For all my years I have thought that these "piped in" laugh tracks, applause, and the whole mess cheapened the various broadcasts that use them. After all, arn't they used to insure the desitred effect rather than let the audience choose? There have been more than a few TV sitcom's that were questionable at best and probably would have been exposed by the reality. I am most surprised this technology hasn't infiltrated politics .... or maybe it has and we missed it?
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,869   +2,193
With no live audience dont expect most to tune in. Watching a sport on TV isnt anywhere near the same as watching in person, and audience numbers are gonna TANK.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 896   +383
I have to disagree. People at home are use to the noise from crowds not players. Even video games its the crowd not players hyping things. But if youve ever watched a live event on tv its also so different from a non live event. Non live events are what most watch and are use to. Live events arent all that great, only some are.

Sports were meant to have crowds. Without the crowds there is no sport. Say what you want but watching sports with no crowds is a no go. I dont see many watching it, some will but will the ratings be enough. I guess we will see.
 
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Privery

Posts: 67   +34
It would be better if they just not put fake noise because if they didn't the players probably won't feel like they are under more pressure and they will play better.
 

Jerry in WA

Posts: 62   +51
Fake noise, would cheapen the experience? They are playing at Disney World. The "experience" went out the window long before fake video game noise.
 

mrvco

Posts: 77   +66
What a horrible idea in every way. Might as well just use the laughtrack from a sitcom.
 

ruddevil

Posts: 17   +41
Only if NBA can govern a way to mute players from trash talking. That is probably the only reason why they consider the fake noise after all: that kids can't hear the expletives loud and clear.
 
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ZackL04

Posts: 649   +404
As a timberwolves fan ive been trying to watch games without crowd noise for years.....

It tough, just crickets, our home games feel like exhibition games

Bring on the fake crowd noise, it will help a lot
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,417   +1,684
Never paid any attention to the NBA. No fans means NO MONEY. How long will they last without selling tickets, souvenirs, over priced concessions?
 

pit1209

Posts: 111   +158
Never paid any attention to the NBA. No fans means NO MONEY. How long will they last without selling tickets, souvenirs, over priced concessions?
You certainly have no clue how this works hmm?... Well you already said you have never paid attention to the NBA.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,869   +2,193
You certainly have no clue how this works hmm?... Well you already said you have never paid attention to the NBA.
Legit though, without ticket sales and concession sales they've lost a significant portion of revenue. Even if they still make money it will be significantly lower which cold pose a debt problem when trying to go full reopening.
 

pit1209

Posts: 111   +158
Legit though, without ticket sales and concession sales they've lost a significant portion of revenue. Even if they still make money it will be significantly lower which cold pose a debt problem when trying to go full reopening.
That's just partially true, yeah the owners are going to lose the revenue from tickets and concession sales but that's not the only way they earn money and we have to understand that because of COVID-19 they were going to lose that revenue anyways.

The NBA makes the majority of their money through TV contracts and merchandising sales, Adam Silver the NBA commissioner said that ticket and concession sales comprise 40% of the total revenue. Reopening the league is probably going to mitigate the complete revenue loss from an incomplete season and many players are eager to continue to compete for a championship and also justify their salaries so it won't be affected or at least less affected by this situation.