BT and Sky have unveiled new features for football fans ahead of the return of the Premier League to their channels next week.
With all remaining games this season to be played behind closed doors, both broadcasters have promised to offer the option to add fake audience sound.
Sky will offer a service called Sky Sports Crowd, which will allow subscribers to select a Sky channel to watch the action with “bespoke and team-specific crowd noise and chants”, delivered in association with EA SPORTS FIFA. BT will allow its subscribers to access “a pre-recorded dynamic crowd noise feature”, by pressing the red button. Incidentally, the option to watch Premier League matches with crowd sound and no commentary was one of the most well received features of Amazon’s Premier League debut in December.
Other Features offered by Sky
Sky will also be launching two additional features: Sky Sports Recap will offer the key highlights during live matches in a short burst. A live timeline will allow viewers to quickly catch up on the highlights at any point during the match – even if they have not watched it from the beginning. Sky Sports Fanzone on the website and app will allow fans to chat in a video room and influence the crowd noise they hear on screen.
Other Features offered by BT
BT meanwhile is focusing on making more of its games available with the newest broadcast technology, promising to offer the best pictures and sound available in 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos and in 360° on the BT Sport App. It will also allow fans to chat and watch games with a ‘watch together’ function on its app.
Sky and BT responses
Rob Webster, Managing Director at Sky Sports said:
With live sport on hold for over two months, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we broadcast in new ways to bring fans together, even if they can’t meet up to watch the match.
Sky has always been a leader in innovative sports broadcasting, and we’re excited by this opportunity to share something really special with the whole nation. We want Sky Sports viewers to still feel it all and have the best possible viewing experience – even if they can’t be in the stadiums or watch with their family and friends.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport said:
We are pleased that the Premier League resumption will give viewers a packed schedule of live football in June as the sport makes its return. With every fixture from the Bundesliga, twenty Premier League games and the return of the FA Cup, BT Sport viewers will be in for a football packed summer. We are looking forward to broadcasting live domestic football again and bringing some new innovations to our customers to give them the best viewing experience possible.