Premier League Back With a Bang, And Other Sound Effects

As a marker for the return of sport the revival of the English Premier League season on Sky Sports last night was as big as it gets.

The games between Sheffield United and Aston Villa and Manchester City and Arsenal were back dominating the radio sports news bulletins and if we still had water coolers, they would be the hot topic around them this morning.

There was controversy with a goal that clearly was, but in the end wasn’t due to a tech malfunction. Can you imagine if Hawk Eye had to make an apology based on occluded camera angles if that had been Wexford in an All ireland Final?!

That was a first time fail for the system. Sadly for Arsenal fans the defining characteristic of their return at the Etihad Stadium had a more familiar feel with the first two goals down to defensive errors by David Luiz.

Man City ended up as comfortable winners, extending the ‘excitement’ of the title race through to at least next week.

Of greatest interest though, if you had the opportunity to do so, was the ability to flick between the ‘atmos-sound’ option on the Main Event Channel and the actual sound, or lack thereof, on the Sky Sports Premier League Channel.

Anyone who questions whether the atmosphere is a real factor, or who is sceptical about the idea of canned sound would have had an enlightening experience.

As we learned in Tuesday’s Daily Sport for Interview with Steve Smith of Sky Sports, “what initially we thought might be quite strange, became the option that most people preferred.”

The experiment kicked off in Germany within recent weeks and it takes in a mix of previously recorded live action which is managed and dialled up or down by a sound mixer in the studio gallery to reflect the action on the pitch.

The moves forward, the goal chances, the oohs and aahs, the boos after a hefty challenge on a home favourite, they were all there. Even down to the applause of the crowd after Man City’s Eric Garcia was stretchered off, it was an impressive experience.

The action continues tonight and peaks in the first weekend with Liverpool away to Everton on Sunday.

You never realise how much something is part of your daily routine and background until it is taken away. How many times have we said that over the past three months.

It’s all beginning to find its way back…

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