World Cup: Broadcaster to mute vuvuzelas


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Host Broadcast Services, the company that provides the broadcast feed for the World Cup, has doubled its audio filters to reduce the constant blaring buzz of the controversial vuvuzelas.

TV viewers around the globe have complained that the sound from the plastic horns is making the games difficult to watch.


‘Despite HBS’ core philosophy, which is to provide ‘realistic’ host broadcast coverage reflecting the ambiance in the stadiums, additional audio filtering has been implemented,’ the company said in the daily newsletter given to rights-holders Tuesday and quoted by the Associated Press.

The action comes after several broadcasters had already taken their own measures to reduce the drone. French broadcaster TF1 changed its microphones after the opening match between Mexico and host South Africa, replacing them with mics commentators hold close to their mouths that better filter sound.

The BBC, which had received 545 complaints from viewers as of Tuesday morning, said it is considering giving viewers the option of muting ambient noise while maintaining game commentary through its ‘red button’ digital service. Viewers would push a red button on their remote control to receive the quieter broadcast on a separate channel.

Several players said the din of the horns is having an impact on the field. Netherlands striker Robin van Persie avoided a second yellow card -- and a ban from the next game -- by blaming the vuvuzelas for failing to hear an offside whistle. But Van Persie said he doesn’t want to see vuvuzelas banned.

‘I think we have to respect it, because we are in South Africa, and we need to respect where we are,’ he said. ‘This is their tradition. This belongs to them.’

-- Kevin Baxter in Johannesburg, South Africa