Joe Buck: FOX to add crowd noise, virtual fans to NFL telecasts

If the NFL moves forward with its 2020 season, FOX broadcaster Joe Buck is prepared for changes that are likely coming for those watching at home.

During a radio interview with Andy Cohen Live on SiriusXM on Wednesday, Buck acknowledged that crowd noise will have to be added to NFL telecasts to normalize the experience for viewers.

“It’s pretty much a done deal,” he said. “I think whoever is going to be at that control is going to have to be really good at their job and be realistic with how a crowd would react depending on what just happened on the field. So it’s really important.

“And then on top of that, they’re looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands. So when you see a wide shot, it looks like the stadium is jam-packed and in fact it’ll be empty.”

Buck’s comments came on the same day that the NFL extended its virtual off-season through the end of May. Under normal circumstances, teams would be holding Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this month in preparation for June mini-camps. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teams to operate remotely.

On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer commented on Detroit’s Channel 95.5 radio station that “we’re not going to be filling stadiums in the fall,” a statement that directly affects the Detroit Lions.