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Wed, Feb 10, 2021 3:52 PM

With Venues Largely Fanless, Sports Audio Evolves

As the worldwide COVID-19 shutdown moves towards the one-year mark, Scott Pray recalled what was happening in March 2020 in the sports world, and in particular, sports audio.

“Last April, the lead audio representatives of all of the networks were really against doing anything artificial,” said Pray, audio director for ESPN. “We’ve since changed our views. Our goal has always been to bring a good viewing and listening experience to the viewers; that now means they want the broadcast they saw pre-pandemic.

“So our approach,” he added, “has been to try to replicate that experience as best we can.”

Of late, that’s usually meant accentuating the broadcast with crowd noise and reactions that became complex enough that NFL Films created an audio setup that ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox Sports used during 2020 NFL broadcasts....

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