One of the biggest reasons why the NFL is the most popular professional league in the U.S. is because of their willingness to tweak its game. Especially when it comes to fan experience. And with the game being so good on television, the league is always looking for ways to upgrade the current fan experience so fans won’t opt to take in games from their couch.
The latest attempt at enticing fans to watch games in the stadium instead of their couch is giving fans unprecedented access to conversations on the field. According to the Wall Street Journal, the NFL is set to place microphones on certain players to allow fans to hear what exactly is happening on the sideline and in the game. But that’s not all. There’s also talk over giving fans access to the conversations between referees when they gather to discuss a call.
Owners have granted permission for the league to place microphones on certain players so that fans can hear on-field commentary via an in-the-work app that would distribute raw feeds. That is a privilege previously awarded only to networks holding broadcast rights.
Under consideration is a plan to make fans in the seats privy to the conversations between referees during reviews of disputed calls. It is a “long way off,” said Mr. Grubman, but it represents a desire to welcome in-stadium fans into long-secret huddles on the sideline and in the locker room in the name of helping attendance. “You have to be able to make the game open, you have to give explanations, you have to give information,” Mr. Grubman said.
All this sounds great, but as with everything, there are downsides. Giving fans access, particularly to the conversations of referees, just leads to even more second guessing than we already have. And in our conspiracy theory laced world, this may just add fuel to the fire.