Joe Buck clarifies remarks about FOX’s plans for NFL games
Joe Buck generated a lot of buzz this week with comments concerning how FOX may approach broadcasting NFL games in stadiums without fans in attendance.
On Thursday morning, the longtime FOX announcer attempted to clarify his remarks, indicating everything remains a work-in-progress on that front at this point and nothing has been made official.
Appearing on SiriusXM’s “Andy Cohen Live,” Buck said it’s “pretty much a done deal” that FOX intends to pump in artificial noise and fill stadium seats with virtual, digitized fans to lend some normalcy to NFL broadcasts should real fans be barred from attending games, which is expected at least initially.
Joe Buck to SiriusXM’s "Andy Cohen Live": Fox Sports will pump in crowd noise and put virtual fans in the stands for NFL games in empty stadiums. SBJ Media is live: https://t.co/11fxKTc6bv pic.twitter.com/baK9S1LAsq— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 13, 2020
Buck took to Twitter Thursday morning amid the firestorm ignited by his remarks and walked back his comments, particularly his statement that FOX’s plans were a “done deal.” Buck also criticized some media outlets for taking his quote and running with it.
Amazing the headline doesn’t match what I said. Didn’t think that happened at places like SI. I’ve been saying for over a month, including on HBO in April, that some ambient crowd noise under a broadcast is a simple, necessary tool to normalize the viewing experience at home…. https://t.co/6JY11ZcGZU— Joe Buck (@Buck) May 14, 2020
Buck followed up his original tweet with a series of dispatches in which he pushed back against the notion that he made declarative remarks about FOX’s plans.
There is no “traditional” take on this topic. It’s new territory. Hoping stadiums are full and all is normal. If not, then it’s a blank canvas. All networks will try to make it look and sound as normal as possible. It could lead to unprecedented, thrilling access. Who knows?— Joe Buck (@Buck) May 14, 2020
But Crowd reactions are an enormous piece of the TV puzzle. All reactions by a crowd are valuable and to be used – as far as I know. I use it as much as I can and still keep my job. Big moments like the Minn. Miracle are MADE on tv because of the crowd noise.— Joe Buck (@Buck) May 14, 2020
It doesn’t have to be over the top. But something has to be there. Contrary to the misleading headline at SI and other places – I said FOX is WORKING on virtual fans. They are working everyday on ANYTHING to make our shows the best on TV. That’s exciting to me, and I am thankful— Joe Buck (@Buck) May 14, 2020
Some ideas will work and some won’t. That’s the nature of WORKING on something. It’s uncharted water. It could be a very exciting time in network TV coverage. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Praying for a SAFE return to a stadium near you for all involved.— Joe Buck (@Buck) May 14, 2020
It’s hardly surprising that Buck’s comments inspired significant interest and widespread reaction given he arguably speaks from a position of authority in some regard given his status with FOX.
What’s more, it should not come as a shock that the notion of FOX using virtual means to enhance NFL broadcasts is all but assured resulted in Buck feeling compelled to clarify his remarks.
In other words, Buck’s declarative statement had to be walked back, even if the stated plan ultimately comes to fruition.