According to The Times, Sky Sports is reportedly contemplating lowering crowd noise during the upcoming Everton and Manchester United Premier League clash on Sunday, 26 November.
This decision comes in response to planned protests by Everton fans following a ten-point deduction for violating Premier League financial rules.
Everton fans are planning demonstrations at the fixture as they believe the ten-point deduction penalty was excessive. Before the penalty was imposed, Everton held the 14th position but has since slipped into the relegation zone.
Fans of the Merseyside club argue that this single charge of breaking financial rules is harsh compared to the 115 charges currently under investigation involving Manchester City.
OFCOM's regulations stipulate that broadcasters should avoid airing content that could offend viewers. Given that chants planned by protesting fans may contain offensive language, Sky Sports is considering measures to ensure such content is not broadcast.
Sky Sports' possible plans to avoid offence
In an internal meeting regarding this matter, Sky Sports emphasized its commitment to act responsibly and protect its viewers from any offensive language on air.
The broadcaster may adopt several strategies to mitigate any potential offence caused by fan chants during the game. One of the most straightforward solutions being considered is reducing crowd noise volume during broadcasts.
As a more drastic measure, Sky Sports could replace live crowd noise with pre-recorded sounds—similar to what was done when supporters were unable to attend matches during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Sky Sports' consideration of these measures underscores its commitment to providing a respectful viewing experience for all audiences. It also highlights how sports broadcasters must continually adapt and respond to evolving circumstances around games, from fan protests to regulatory requirements.
As the Everton vs. Manchester United match approaches, all eyes will be on how Sky Sports navigates this unique challenge.