ESPN Makes Digital Splash with $178 Million Sports Center Upgrade
The new ESPN Digital Center, a 194,000-sq. foot five-studio media facility, located on the networks Bristol, CT campus, hosts the iconic Sports Center program and NFL programming. The new studio, unlike any television environment in the world, supports 24/7 programming which allows for the expansion of Sports Center from 4 live hours to 18 live hours a day. The new facility is an unparalleled upgrade to the 2004 studio giving fans a fresh and modern experience. With top of the line technology fans will experience a clear and vivid image.
Broadcast environments are24/7, 356-day operations. The ultimate sin for the broadcast and cable television networks is “dead air” viewers expect a seamless flow of programming at all hours of the day. In the broadcast realm, video walls are installed in the control rooms and on set to produce programming, monitor and control television broadcasts and incorporated live and real-time content and explanatory images and footage.
For the new ESPN studio, reliability for 24/7 coverage was imperative. The studio jumped from having 15 screens total to 115 in the new Digital Center 2. To ensure dependability, the design and integration team, along with the ESPN executives, selected an array of Primeview LED and plasma displays.
The main attraction, located in the Main Studio is known as “The North Wall”, it is a multi-dimensional video wall made up of 56 Primeview displays (LED and Plasma). The large wall gives the on-air talent room for more creativity allowing for the information to be presented in a dynamic fashion.
Adding to the unique and eye-catching design of the main studio, “The West Wall”, also known as the “Debate Area”, consists of eight floating 60-inch Primeview seamless plasmas and floating plasma is embedded into the debate desk.
An enormous glass wall separates the Main Studio from the Sports Center Studio Annex. The Annex brings a new and unconventional concept to television, it is a Social Media Studio, and this is where analysts and guest are invited to do live streaming and blogging sessions. Above the standing desk in the west wing is a 2x2 display of Primeview 60 inch seamless plasmas, with three flush 21.6 inch Primeview LED LCD tiles surrounding the desk. Tying it all together, in the rear, is a giant “Library Wall” made up of Primeview 60 inch Seamless Plasmas in portrait mode.
In the center of the Annex Studio, assisting in controlling the graphics are two arrays of 1x2 60 inch Seamless Plasma displays, located in a giant glass cube called the “Lume Room”. The Lume Room acts as a newsroom, where the show staff operates and manages the live show and works on pre-production for the upcoming show.
The new Sports Center Studios enables the ESPN Network to provide innovative 24/7 programming.