SBD/June 23, 2014/Media

ESPN Unveils SportsCenter's New Digital Studio, Touts 360-Degree Experience

DC-2 features 114 video and graphic display monitors
ESPN debuted its new DC-2 studio with last night's 11:00pm ET edition of "SportsCenter," with anchor Steve Levy saying, "What a time to debut our brand spanking-new set, the U.S. inches away from advancing in the World Cup." Anchor Stuart Scott added, "We will not replay any bad words any 'SportsCenter' anchor may have uttered." Levy replied, "May have uttered?" Scott added, "But we do have every angle covered. Digging our new digs, same quality highlights at 'SportsCenter' like you've never seen it before." As the broadcast began, Levy told viewers about the new studio, "Take a good look, nobody's spilled a cup of coffee on it yet. … Somebody decided it was a good idea to give us the keys to this new luxury sports car and we haven't read the owner's manual. So buckle up, 90-minute joyride. We're going to see just how fast she can go" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/22). Levy wrote on his Twitter feed, “Top 5 night of my more than 20 years anchoring @SportsCenter. Set might be new but quality of people I work with is same old awesome #ESPN.” ESPN Senior VP/SportsCenter & News Rob King wrote, "So many @sportscenter folks to laud tonight. But @espnSteveLevy and @StuartScott deserve serious props. That is how you break in a new set!" ESPN's Darren Rovell: "Lots of hard work from my colleagues went into the new @SportsCenter. Was amazed at the amount of rehearsals that took place every day" (TWITTER.com, 6/22).

PLENTY OF OPTIONS: ESPN execs said that there "are 114 video and graphic display monitors" in the net's new SportsCenter studio ... compared to 15 "for the old setup." SI.com's Richard Deitsch reported in addition, viewers will "see anchors standing in front of a giant screen that has text on it, and they'll be able to point to, circle, and highlight text." ESPN will also "have a social media newsroom as part of the facility and there is now a seat for a social media producer during SportsCenter shows." ESPN VP & Dir of News Craig Bengtson said, "One of the goals when we built the set was to be able to put a camera in the middle of it, and if you turn that camera 360 degrees, you'd be happy with whatever we were showing the audience. We're going to allow people to come into our home a little bit and see how we do what we do, and occasionally that may lead to some interesting moments" (SI.com, 6/22). ENGADGET's Edgar Alvarez noted Digital Center 2, in addition to housing SportsCenter, will "be host to the main studio for NFL shows, though that particular space is still a work in progress and won't be complete until the fall." King said, "We see this studio as giving us more opportunities to do different things. The look and feel of each show will be different" (ENGADGET.com, 6/22).

AND THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE...: USA TODAY's Chris Chase writes the new set "may have been overshadowed on Sunday night by the debut of ESPN's revamped Bottom Line." The new look is "sharp and clean, with obvious inspiration from Apple products." There is a bigger font being used called Swiss, "brighter colors for team logos and a smoother scroll." The font and style also are being used "for graphics packages." The old Bottom Line and graphics "were perfectly acceptable, but this is a clear upgrade" (USATODAY.com, 6/23).
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