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SBD/Issue 238/Sports Media
Beam Me Up: ESPN Will Use Holograms Of Personalities On Set
Published August 28, 2009
|Ley (c) Demonstrates New Technology Where
Hosts Can Appear On Screen As Holograms
INTO THE THIRD DIMENSION: The USC-Ohio State football game on September 12 is being broadcast in 3D, and Pagano said the game is ESPN’s latest “research effort” into developing the technology. Noting the net has been working with 3D technology for the last three years, Pagano said the game is “just a test scenario to see what we need to learn more.” “We’re very focused on innovation,” he added. “We’ve got to get ready for the complexity and the dynamics that are changing the viewing habits and the behavior of the viewer.” Television companies are working on creating 3D sets for widespread use, and Pagano said, “We’re just getting ourselves into position for if and when the floodgates open to be ready for it.” Should the technology become readily available, consumers should be in for a treat based on early reviews. Ley called 3D broadcasts “amazing,” while Pagano said, “It just blew me away when I saw the first sports production done in 3D.”
ESPN Exec Says "SportsCenter" Block Is An
Example Of Net's Focus On Live Programming
NOT MADE FOR TV: In Hartford, Eric Gershon reports in a “shift of strategy,” ESPN has “decided against further broadcast on its network of made-for-TV movies or miniseries.” ESPN execs Thursday said that the company instead “will pursue what it calls ‘scripted content’ in movie theaters only.” ESPN Senior VP/Content Development Ron Semiao: “Viewers come to our networks for games and news and information.” Skipper said that cost was “also a consideration.” But ESPN President George Bodenheimer Thursday said that the shift “away from television movies is unrelated to the company’s performance during the recession.” Gershon notes ESPN “will continue to broadcast documentaries on its own networks” (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/28).
NOTES: CABLEFAX DAILY reports ESPN Senior VP & Exec Producer Jed Drake "will forego his day-to-day duties overseeing 'smaller' matches like 'Monday Night Football' and the NBA playoffs to handle" the '10 World Cup solely. Drake said that the net will have 125 staffers in South Africa "working on the coverage, which begins in June." Meanwhile, Bratches indicated that the network has "opened a media and advertising laboratory" in Texas to "investigate new forms of advertising," and ESPN Exec VP/Administration Ed Durso noted that the net "hopes to have a second digital production facility 'up and running' within 3-5 years" (CABLEFAXDAILY, 8/28).