SBJ/August 15-21, 2011/Media

ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ getting a new home

ESPN will debut a new studio set for “Baseball Tonight” tonight, marking the first time the network has built a permanent set on its campus solely devoted to one sport.

JOE FARAONI / ESPN
The new studio set is the first
of its kind at ESPN.
“We’ve never had a studio that’s baseball-only,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer. “Baseball is an important sport to us. It needs a place to call home that speaks to our level of commitment to it.”

For the last six months, ESPN has been building a 5,000-square-foot studio on its Bristol, Conn., campus that will be much more spacious than the show’s current studio. Housed in Studio A, which opened in 1995, ESPN executives compared it in size to ESPN’s “SportsCenter” studio.

The set will have a Camden Yards feel — “brick, stone and mortar,” said Noubar Stone, senior creative director for ESPN’s creative services department. It will have 19 40-inch LCD monitors and seven 70-inch vertical ones. Each of these screens can be fed separate video streams.

One feature sure to get a lot of play will be a raised pitcher’s mound. Stone suggested that the added space and life-sized mound will allow ESPN’s baseball analysts to be more comfortable giving on-camera demonstrations. The set can hold as many as four people who are on the air.
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