The MLB season finally got underway yesterday, July 23rd after its long coronavirus delay, and Fox announced that during the MLB games it broadcasts, it will be adding virtual fans in the stands, which will in real life be empty because of the pandemic. Fox’s first broadcasts that will have the computer-generated fans will be this Saturday, with three games.
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
Fox Sports Vice President Brad Zager said, “Sports is supposed to be an escape and when people have that escape we want it to feel as normal as possible when there’s very little normalcy, like a crowd at a baseball game on a Saturday.” He added, “We’re not looking to fool everyone. We know it is a virtual crowd. But we also know how jarring watching a game in an empty stadium is on TV.” The virtual fans can do up to 500 actions, what they’re wearing can be adjusted for the weather, and the percentage of them in the stands can be adjusted, such as for later in games.