ESPN is debuting a new Baseball Tonight studio Monday night at 10 ET.
It’s the first ESPN studio space devoted exclusively to baseball throughout the Major League Baseball season. The new state-of-the-art Baseball Tonight studio is the largest ESPN sport-specific studio, with approximately 5,000 square feet including an expansive demonstration area.
Noubar Stone, ESPN’s senior creative director, oversaw the project for creative services.
A 23-year ESPN veteran (32 years, overall, with The Walt Disney Company), Stone has worked extensively on set designs and production including the launch of ESPN2, the X Games, the opening of ESPN’s digital center, the L.A. Production Center, the Open Championship and the FIFA World Cup (men’s and women’s).
The new Baseball Tonight set will be housed in Studio A, which opened in 1995 as a multi-set studio, a project Stone also supervised.
Stone said the wheels began turning in December, when discussions focused on where the new Baseball Tonight set would be located.
Studio A was selected because it offered enough space and it would be possible to close the studio for several months during the construction phase.
“Jed Drake [ESPN Senior Vice President and Executive Producer] and Mike McQuade [Vice President, Production] came to us with a very clear vision for the new set,” said Stone.
“We’re launching the studio during the season because we didn’t want to rush anything and make any compromises on quality. We also wanted to make the transition as seamless as possible on our production team as they went about their day-to-day jobs.”
According to Stone, the new Baseball Tonight studio houses 19 40-inch LCD monitors and seven 70-inch LCD, all of which can feed separate video streams.
The anchor desk contains three seamless monitors which can include graphics, headshots and logos.
There are two LED displays (8 feet, 6 inches by 12 feet, 6 inches) which can showcase standings, results and editorially-driven graphics.
Baseball Tonight’s Barry Larkin and his fellow analysts are also sure to enjoy the enhanced demo field which includes a figurative baseball diamond and a dimensional pitcher’s mound.
“The new set is cutting edge, functional and a unique blend of contemporary and traditional design, much like the game,” said Drake.
“We’re excited by the opportunities it offers to enhance the viewer experience.”
Stone is quick to point out that the Monday night debut is just the first wave, with many additional improvements to be integrated in the months ahead.
For now, however, the team can’t wait to play ball.
For more information on Baseball Tonight and the new set, click here.