Thursday, 8 January 2015

It's All In The Mix

The inspiration for this was a premier league match that was moved at very short notice costing the away fans a small fortune in already paid for accomodation and rail fares. The increasing irrelevance of fans taken to a not so illogical conclusion.


As he approached the players entrance the few old school supporters that still gathered there looked at him without recognition and carried on their conversation. Their attachment was more to the stadium than the players as you could now follow them on match day's in intimate detail. Heart rate, blood pressure, adrenalin, lactic acid, training history even psychological profiles. As many or as few readouts as you selected. They would be gone before kick off anyway, home if they were local or to one of the sports bars if they were willing to forgo total immersion for just a holo and a few beers.

He walked into the control suite through security programmed to his unique pheromone pattern and keyed in his randomised warm up. The monitors showed the digitised crowd filing in to their seats, faces and crowd indistinguishable from reality unless examined on a pixel by pixel level. As the tunnel entrance opened to allow the teams out for their warm up the recognition algorithm picked out individual players and patched in chants and calls from round the globe. All but the oldest players were completely used to the new system and most of them actually enjoyed the interaction and knowledge that they were now virtually as close to the millions as they used to be to just sixty thousand. Crowd and supporter cutaways were now prioritised on a number of criteria for the accepted main edit. Maybe paid for individually or by sponsors, supporters groups or influenced by media demanding a certain bias for their ever increasing financial input.

Donning the headset he experienced the familiar shiver as connections were made, settled back and bought up the inputs; geographical, emotional, sponsors, owners, media etc. Any one of which could either ruin the day, lose the club a fortune or him his contract if he got the mix wrong.
There was no provision for the visiting team they operated from their own home base which was either as well appointed as his for the more successful teams or picked from a pre-recorded bank for those who couldn't afford realtime suites. In more important matches they might hire them or sometimes they would be gifted by a sponsor or even a media organisation that was hoping for an exclusive or a possible upset.

The ongoing row over who ran the show now, League, Club or Broadcast media was not something he could pay any attention to. He was paid by the club so until he was told different that was where his loyalty lay. He was well up in the ratings with still a few games to go and determined that this season was not going to a be a 'not quite'. This season he'd be grinning from ear to ear with a best Match Mix award to his name. After that he'd see who came in for him if the club wouldn't up the ante. After all supporter he may be but, like the players it was now a job.