No Fans? Not On FOX
Thousands of virtual fans are attending FOX’s MLB games today. They’re cheering. Booing. Wearing their team colors. Yes, they’re even doing the wave.
The virtual fans, based on advanced motion capture, feature over 500 looping actions and are completely customizable, from the excitement level of the crowd to the balance between fans of the two teams.
In a preview of the technology to the New York Post, FOX Sports executive vice president Brad Zager said, "The original concept sounds like something that would never happen — pie in the sky. Pretty quick after this pandemic hit we thought we could be in a position to produce games without crowds.
"We were dead set on trying to make the broadcast with no crowd feel as authentic and organic as possible. We want to give people an escape."
"When people see it, I think there is a comfort to seeing sports the way you are used to seeing them in a time like right now," Zager added. "What sports are is an escape to all the things that are going on in the world. We want to make this escape right now as close as it was before and have as much fun as possible."
FOX Sports presented its first ever MLB quadruple header on Saturday to celebrate 25 years of FOX as the home of baseball. Brewers at Cubs led off in the first game at 1 p.m. ET, followed by Giants at Dodgers, then Yankees at Nationals, with Diamondbacks at Padres closing out the night.