Premier League May Resume with Closed-Door Matches and CGI Stadium Audience


Playing matches in front of empty stadiums to finish Premier League’s 2019-20 season brings major obstacles for the league. One such obstacle is having no live audiences in the stadium. Well, Inews believes that Premier League may fill these empty seats with CGI fans.

The Premier League is already trying to do whatever it can to end a season. As such, the League is preparing to restart the 2019-20 behind closed doors, with just the essential personnel on site. And ensuring closed-door matches is pushing networks to come up with ideas that are previously unimaginable.

One is the usage of CGI instead of banks of empty chairs in the quiet stadium. The usage of CGI-computer created graphics thus is being debated.

“And if a team doesn’t sell all of its Premier League seats, if you have one stand that’s particularly empty it results in even lower viewers ratings,” says a senior Sky source. “And though there’s noise, an empty stand also affects the appreciation of the show by the spectators. If the ground is completely empty and completely silent, then it really is a strange experience.”

They continue, “It is not really that hard to place moving graphics in CGI, except on the live action line. The task is to do it at the level that is required now. Can you get Old Trafford to look complete as you move the device through all the angles that cameras need to move between them?”

As for cameras recording the matches for home audiences, the source says, “If you have one fixed camera, CGI is simple to do because you’re doing it in one defined location. But think of 24 cameras that offer you basically a 360 degree view. This is a lot about infrastructure. The software exists but the task of operating it at the latency that is required has never been achieved before.

France’s top two divisions have already cancelled their seasons. In Belgium and The Netherlands has happened the same. The anonymous source concludes, “There’s still little clarification as to when the season would stop and with what sort of conditions matches will be able to take place.”


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