As the return of the Bundesliga has shown, broadcasters – and a number of the viewing public – aren't especially comfortable with the spectacle of empty grounds soundtracked to the grunting and thudding of 22 men on the pitch.
A number of solutions have been suggested and trialed, with some German clubs putting 'cardboard' fans in their stands, adorned with shirts and pictures of some season ticket holders, while some leagues are preparing screens upon which fans can have live images of themselves shown.
La Liga are planning to fill stadiums with artificial noise, while the Premier League are intending to give fans watching at home a choice of whether they want to hear the thuds of 'just football' or have the extras piped into the broadcast.
New app Roar, created by Football Survivor, have thrown their hat into the ring to provide live fan sentiments to broadcasters, directly from fans watching the game from home.
Rather than simply being a soundboard from which prerecorded fan reactions can be played, Roar generates a picture of the 'sentiment' from fans watching the game, cross-referencing that with live in-play data to choose the most authentic reactions from a library of previous fan recordings.
The 'fan sentiment' is generated in three ways. Users can tap and hold 'emotions' on the app to show a higher intensity of the selected emotion; with more frequent taps recorded.
If a user allows their microphone to be used, Roar reads their decibel and pitch levels to...well, feed back how loudly they might be shouting at the ground – and using the phone’s built in accelerometer, Roar can score the user’s 'Roar' against how much they are moving their phone.
The app aims to be live in time to be available to broadcasters for the 2020/21 Premier League season (the date of which is as yet uncertain, although La Liga's 12 September restart could give an early indication) and will expand into the United States for NBA and NFL coverage before the end of the year.
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