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To generate crowd noise, NFL relaxes video board rules

April 11, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Video screens, like this one at Cowboys Stadium, will become a bigger part of the fan experience next season in the NFL.
Video screens, like this one at Cowboys Stadium, will become a bigger part… (Cody Duty / Associated Press )

With TV cameras bringing fans ever closer to the game, plus the rising cost of attending live events, NFL teams are competing with the couch. They have to find new and creative ways to attract fans to games.

To that end, the league has decided to relax its rules about when the video board can be used to encourage crowd noise and therefore “create a more exciting, vibrant stadium experience at each home game.”

The league’s eight-member Fan Experience Club Working Group, composed of team owners and executives, proposed these changes that have been approved by the business ventures and competition committees:

-- At each game, the home team will be permitted to use stadium audio to prompt the crowd until 20 seconds remain on the play clock. The previous policy required the use of stadium audio to be discontinued with 30 seconds left on the play clock.

-- At each game, the home team will be permitted to use stadium video boards to prompt the crowd, regardless of the time left on the play clock. The previous policy required that the use of video to prompt the crowd be discontinued with 30 seconds left on the play clock. 

Last week, teams were notified that they must place cameras in their locker rooms to provide “look-ins” on the coach and team for the video board and team apps. The cameras can also capture the team as it heads out of the tunnel onto the field. The team is not required to provide audio, and the clubs control what is shown and when. Both the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens routinely showed this footage in previous seasons.

Among the other changes, home teams are now required to show replays on the video boards after all scoring plays, turnovers, challenged plays, first downs, and receptions where the receiver winds up out of bounds. Also, visiting teams must be introduced as a unit 10 minutes before kickoff.

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