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NFL wants to enhance in-stadium experience with microphones

Microphone Getty Images

For the past few years, we’ve periodically suggested that the NFL could enhance the in-stadium experience by allowing fans to purchase NASCAR-style radios that would allow them to listen to the communications between coach and quarterback.

Finally, the NFL could be moving in that direction.

According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the league wants to put microphones on players and coaches as part of the push to make fans choose going to games over staying home and watching them on TV.  While there’s no specific timetable, Kaplan characterizes the situation as more about “when” than “if.”

“NASCAR’s never hesitated to let fans hear the conversation between the spotters and the drivers,” Jaguars president Mark Lamping said.  “I would love for fans to get to know our players better, a lot better.  They know them a little bit, but they don’t get to see a lot of them when they are actually competing because they have pads and helmets on.”

While Cowboys COO Stephen Jones says the use of microphones needs to happen sooner rather than later, the NFL doesn’t seem compelled to move quickly.

“Not exactly a pressing matter or anything that will need to be discussed for awhile,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Kaplan via email.

The extra audio could be used only in stadiums, or it could be shared with broadcasters.  If the goal is to make people want to be at games, it needs to be used in stadiums only.

The broader challenge will be to get the players and teams to agree to it.  Players don’t particularly like it, and the potential for strategic disadvantage will be considerable.

But the owners tend to get what they want, and if they decide they want to harvest audio and use it in real time in order to fill stadiums, it’ll happen.

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16 Responses to “NFL wants to enhance in-stadium experience with microphones”
  1. marcuswelby70 says: Aug 28, 2013 1:27 PM

    Why would a coach agree to anything that might give the other team an advantage? Bad idea.

  2. antalicus says: Aug 28, 2013 1:31 PM

    The new bag rules alone have eliminated plenty of women from wanting to go to a game and I know a few.

  3. jss86 says: Aug 28, 2013 1:40 PM

    Whats to stop the opposing team from listening?

  4. godofwine330 says: Aug 28, 2013 1:41 PM

    So that would then ALLOW spygate to happen? How much you wanna bet that as soon as they do this the Patriots will win a Super Bowl again.

    Coincidence?

    I think not.

    But seriously, the NFL outpriced the fan. That’s why we aren’t coming. $300 for not even great seats, another $60+ in food, $30 to park. No, Mr. Goodell, I will stick with my Samsung UN55D8000 3DTV and surround sound. My mortgage is more important than a football game and what you are offering doesn’t offset the cost.

  5. somethingsmellsrotten says: Aug 28, 2013 1:59 PM

    Just another dumb idea in a long string of dumb ideas coming from the league office.

  6. rdrdrs58 says: Aug 28, 2013 2:00 PM

    very bad idea… the things said on a field or sideline, should be left unheard. I do not want to hear people crying about the unPC things that will be said, be offended by the offcolor words used on the sideline, on the field, or in the huddle.

    IF this happens… then there needs to be a lengthy disclaimer stating that players/coaches or any other person associated to the team that is microphoned, will not be punished or singled out for anything that they say. This is their world, so don’t come out shocked and awed from the things you hear…. For fans that wish to listen, they need to understand that what they hear will be unedited and that there is no recourse for anything that may offend them… if they don’t like it, don’t listen.

  7. toybkshr says: Aug 28, 2013 2:00 PM

    “But seriously, the NFL outpriced the fan. That’s why we aren’t coming. $300 for not even great seats, another $60+ in food, $30 to park. No, Mr. Goodell, ” From above, is succinct, add in the no bag deal, and any other inconvenience you want to list, and that’s why folks are staying home or goin to sports bars.

  8. wtfchiefs says: Aug 28, 2013 2:15 PM

    Sweet!
    Microphones!!

    That’s totally worth putting a second mortgage on your house to buy tickets, concessions, and parking.

  9. dickjagger says: Aug 28, 2013 2:20 PM

    The NFL – slowly (but surely) destroying this game, one day at a time..

  10. godofwine330 says: Aug 28, 2013 3:10 PM

    I mean seriously, folks can’t even bring in their stadium seat cushions with that new tiny bag thing. Seat cushions?! For those hard seats.

    I agree with dickjagger, “The NFL – slowly (but surely) destroying this game, one day at a time..”

    That’s doggone right. Goodell is going to go down as the commissioner who oversaw the killing of the game

  11. squared80 says: Aug 28, 2013 3:21 PM

    Hope the little kids are wearing ear plugs. Yikes.

  12. Hawk Rising says: Aug 28, 2013 5:10 PM

    Two turntables and a microphone

  13. gdeli says: Aug 28, 2013 9:01 PM

    They make the rules.

  14. Getoffmylawn! says: Aug 28, 2013 11:51 PM

    I think the NFL and theater owners should offer 3D broadcast in movie theaters. $10 bucks and your favorite team on the big screen in 3D.
    There NFL, another revenue stream for you.

  15. chlstn says: Aug 29, 2013 8:28 AM

    Microphones?? Pfft! Come to Gillette Stadium we’ll show you video tape!

  16. finallythevoiceofreason says: Aug 29, 2013 12:48 PM

    This will never work. They would have to put the microphones on a delay with someone to live-censor. God-forbid someone’s child hears a swear on televivion.

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