SPAIN’S La Liga has turned to the world of video games to liven up its matches when the season restarts behind closed doors on June 11.
Worried that TV audiences will find the games lack atmosphere and seem flat as stands remain empty.
So they have hatched a plan to replace real people with ‘virtual fans’ and have cut a deal to use sound effects provided by the makers of the FIFA video game franchise.
Norwegian company Vizrt will provide visuals of ‘fans’ wearing team colours to populate the stands.
In true football manner, pauses in the action will allow broadcasters to replace the images with a canvas for messaging – providing an opportunity for extra advertising.
TV viewers will be able to choose whether or not they see the fake fans and hear the audio.
La Liga President, Javier Tebas, said: “We have made these broadcasting changes so fans can enjoy La Liga.
“We work with global partners to offer a great viewer experience. We are in an exceptional situation, but for us it has been important to be able to adapt and offer a compelling, cutting-edge broadcast to our fans.”
The La Liga restart kicks off with the derby between Sevilla and Real Betis.