Behind The ScenesSportsCenter

The art of the SportsCenter highlight: Enhancements lead to better insight

Monday night was a typically busy one on the sports calendar. NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB regular season and even Ultimate Frisbee highlights were all included in the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter.

But SportsCenter viewers are accustomed to more than just highlights. Day in and day out, those video re-caps do more than just replay key moments or pivotal plays. The compilations often bring greater context and insight into why one team lost or how an athlete accomplished his or her feat.

By using a video graphics platform called ORAD, content editors incorporate “bells and whistles” that afford analysts and commentators the ability to demonstrate what is happening on the field or court.

On Monday, that included the creation of 23 clips (some screenshots of which are included in the gallery above) that allowed for further breakdown of baseball, hockey, basketball and yes, Ultimate Frisbee. Identified by names like the “SportsCenter Scope” and “Behind the Box Score,” these enhancements help to set ESPN’s highlight packages apart from those of other sports networks and shows.

“Our fans are so sophisticated and so knowledgable, that a lot of times traditional highlights packages just aren’t enough to satiate them,” said Senior Coordinating Producer Michael Shiffman. “We are fortunate to have both the tools and the talented behind-the-scenes people to bring our highlights to that ‘next level’.”

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