Behind The ScenesSportsCenter

Former SportsCenter studio redesigned for “wraps”

Studio F in Digital Center 1 on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus used to be the home of SportsCenter prior to its move into the new Studio X in Digital Center 2.

Beginning tonight at halftime of the 7 ET Wisconsin at Minnesota college basketball game on ESPN, a re-designed Studio F will begin its life as a “wraps” studio for that college hoops, college football, WNBA, soccer and many other sports. “Wraps” is a term used for the studio content aired before, during and after events in which highlights and analysis are provided to fans.

“The new Studio F was designed to adapt to the challenges of incorporating multiple sports productions, each with a different look and animation package, into one studio,” said Phil Skender, supervising director who was heavily involved in the redesign. “To enhance the presentation and serve content, the studio offers functionality from a variety of areas including: the main desk, a touchscreen position and a side location that doubles as either a debate desk or an interview lounge.”

The technology used in Studio F is fairly similar to that found in other ESPN studios and is highlighted by the touchscreen, a 144-inch LED monitor and a new style ticker for scores and information. These additions will give the studio more production options.

“This set will work perfectly for wraps because we have created five unique areas to do segments to provide different looks and feels along with specific areas for research and for talent to view multiple live events,” said Bill Graff, senior coordinating producer in charge of the wraps department. “It is the first studio we have done at ESPN designed specifically for the varied presentations of the wraps department.”

The design for the studio itself was voted on by specific groups at ESPN and according to Daniel Cunningham, art director, it “combines modern design with the latest in display technology to create a clean broad stroke design that is capable of visually reinventing itself through lighting and video displays to offer each individual ‘wraps’ production a variety of possibilities.”

“The set was built in a neutral color pallet that allows multiple lighting looks through LED lighting and allows the operators to change looks with a simple cue on the lighting board,” said John Gluszak, principal systems analyst. “It has great functionality.”

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