We’re less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2020 NFL regular season.
Week 1 is set to kick off on Thursday night, when the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans. Opening week will continue on Sunday with a full slate of games, highlighted by Tom Brady and the Bucs facing the Saints in New Orleans. We’ll then have two games on Monday night.
While some NFL teams will have limited fan attendance in 2020, many will play in front of completely empty stadiums.
FOX is experimenting with virtual fans for their broadcasts. The network will use virtual fans for one game this weekend – Chicago vs. Detroit.
They are the only network using virtual fans this season. NBC, CBS and ESPN have all opted against using virtual fans, per Sports Business Journal.
“This is not a shot at FOX because I think what they’ve done is tremendous, but it’s just not realistic,” NBC Sunday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli told Ourand. “It just didn’t feel right to me.”
Fox Sports has been working with NFL to roll out virtual fan technology for NFL games that are likely to be played in empty stadiums this fall. Video of what this will look like is embedded in this story. https://t.co/0ICDEc82z1 https://t.co/W6idiudeDe
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 23, 2020
It will certainly be interesting to see what an NFL broadcast looks like with virtual fans in the stands.
We’ll get our first look on Sunday afternoon, when the Bears and the Lions kick off at 1 p.m. E.T.
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