Amazon to introduce Dolby Atmos and focus on the return of fans during December Premier League matches
Live Premier League football coverage on Amazon Prime Video during December will benefit from Dolby Atmos for the first time and focus on the return of supporters to stadiums, the OTT streaming service has revealed.
Prime Video in the UK will offer Dolby Atmos audio via Fire TV UHD devices and smart TVs starting with Liverpool’s home game against Wolves on Sunday (6 December), which was also made available in Ultra HD.
Six further matches during the month will also feature the immersive sound experience and higher resolution pictures.
In total, Amazon is showing 23 matches live during December.
At the same time, Prime Video’s output will make a point of accentuating the return of supporters to some grounds in England to watch games live.
“It has obviously been a strange and difficult year for many people, and as broadcasters we’ve had to be agile, both in how we originally adapted to COVID-19 and how we are now re-introducing actual stadium atmosphere into our production.”
Dedicated cameras will capture supporters entering through the turnstiles, while the broadcast will show the live reactions of fans from multiple angles during and after key match moments and the final whistle.
Additional directional microphones will also be used to capture and amplify the atmosphere of returning fans. This will be added to the overall sound mix.
Amazon Prime Video viewers will have augmented stadium atmosphere enabled by default to supplement the natural crowd audio, but can disable the added audio if desired. Liverpool vs Wolves was the first game to feature this option
Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport, Europe, discussing the return of fans to live football and its impact on Prime Video’s production of football broadcasting, said: “It has obviously been a strange and difficult year for many people, and as broadcasters we’ve had to be agile, both in how we originally adapted to COVID-19 and how we are now re-introducing actual stadium atmosphere into our production. We are absolutely delighted to see some fans returning to Premier League matches, as I’m sure the whole country are.
“There will be something magical about seeing fans back where they belong, starting for us with 2000 fans at Anfield for Liverpool v Wolves.
“With 1500 of those fans on the Kop, we will be able to bring the passion of You’ll Never Walk Alone and the outburst of emotion from the stands to the TV screen.
“Until we have more fans in the stadium we still believe viewers at home will want additional stadium atmosphere audio by default, but as we always do we will provide the option for Prime members to turn it off and watch the match with the screams, shouts and cheers you expect from a live football crowd.”
Prime Video will have full pitchside, pre-match build-up with presenters and guests in an open studio by the stand, with the on-screen talent maintaining social distancing throughout.
Prime Video’s 2020-21 campaign coverage will be presented by Gabby Logan, Jim Rosenthal, Simon Thomas and Angus Scott, while pundits and co-commentators will include ex-England players and coaches in the form of Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Lucy Ward as well as regulars Alan Shearer, Peter Crouch, Roberto Martinez, Lee Dixon, Harry Redknapp, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott and Peter Schmeichel.
Clive Tyldesley, Jon Champion, Connor McNamara, Guy Mowbray and Ian Darke will take on commentary duties alongside co-commentators Andy Townsend, Ally McCoist, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Kilbane.
Steve Bower will host Every Game, Every Goal, a dedicated stream on 16 and 29 December showing every goal from every Premier League match as it goes in.
Amazon’s Premier League coverage is produced by Sunset+Vine.
On the web, mobile and Fire TV, Amazon Prime Video viewers will be able to use the X-Ray feature during a match to access advanced live match stats from Opta and catch-up on key highlights.
Dolby Atmos will be available on FireTV Cube, FireTV with 4K Ultra HD, Fire TV Stick 4K, TCL Roku Ultra Smart TV, Sony Android TV and LG 2019-2020.
Amazon Prime Video will broadcast two full fixture rounds of Premier League matches in December: from 15 to 17 December, including six matches broadcast across a single evening on Wednesday 16 December, and from 28 to 30 December.