This article is inspired by a mismatch between, on the one hand, the prevalence and purported significance of spectator sounds in televised soccer, and, on the other hand, the limited understanding of its actual structure and functions. Based on a prototypical example of current televised top tier soccer – as well as on observations made of the same match at the venue – the article aims to help remedy this situation. First, the article presents a typology of sounds of soccer on television, then it discusses the significance of spectator sounds for the experience of the match on television. In this regard, spectator sounds appear to carry out three functions as they produce an indication of atmosphere, establish an impression of continuity and liveness and offer information on how the game is going. In specifying these functions, the article re-evaluates the existing, rather fragmented views on the significance and distinctiveness of sounds in televised soccer. The article also contributes to the understanding of why television remains a powerful mediator of live soccer, and how spectator sounds contribute significantly to this compared with sounds in other types of live programming.