ESPN Studio Integrates Video Displays and Online Features

“SportsCenter,” ESPN’s flagship news and highlights show, will start broadcasting from a new 10,000 square-foot studio in Bristol, Connecticut called Digital Center 2 next month. Digital Center 2 features a whopping 114 video displays, which anchors can manipulate on-air using tablets. Viewers can also interact with the new studio by submitting tweets that will appear in real time and using online features seen in the show, such as the “hot and cold zone” baseball player display.

“SportsCenter,” which airs about 20 hours a day on several channels, has been running for 35 years. The show is currently hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Hannah Storm. With the new open floor plan, Van Pelt and Storm will be able to move around more freely and give viewers a more intimate experience with the show.

The sports network is also working on some sort of holographic imaging technology for the hosts, but the details of “Project Jarvis” — as the venture is called — are still unknown.

ESPN is also hoping to expand its digital presence. “The network has found that viewers that access ESPN on multiple devices spend three times as many hours with its content than those who watch TV alone,” reports Bloomberg.

“SportsCenter” now has 10 people working on social media. Last year, there was only one social media employee.

The network is particularly concerned about its eroding young viewer base. ESPN primetime viewers fell 2 percent this past year in the 18-to-49-year-old age group. However, Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media, believes that sports fans will embrace ESPN’s innovation online and in its new studio. After all, sports fans were quick to adopt HDTV and mobile apps. In the future, they’ll probably be watching broadcasts of “SportsCenter” from mobile devices.

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