ESPN senior coordinating producer Mike Moore sent an email to the crew responsible for producing up to 112 college baseball games across multiple platforms over four days just a few hours before the first pitch of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Regional round.
The opening two lines delivered a much-deserved thank you and the anticipation of getting on with the games: “Thanks to everybody for their preparation and hustle with three days’ notice on your assignments. We feel good about the production teams we’ve assembled and look forward to a great weekend of baseball.”
The “production teams” they’ve assembled consist of approximately 750 people and the “hustle” refers to the cross-departmental, behind-the-scenes team responsible for every aspect of a production: from getting crew and equipment to 16 locations, to building hundreds of graphic packages, to compiling notes and facts about each team, player and matchup to list a few.
And this has to be done in three days – there is no extension because of weather, flight delays or lack of sleep.
“Moving 16 crews to the Regional sites in three days is one of our biggest challenges,” said Moore, who oversees the network’s Regionals and Super Regionals coverage. “We have our own internal ‘committee’ that does a pretty good job of predicting 10-12 of the sites, which allows us to conduct operations surveys in advance, but we can’t make any personnel assignments until we see the bracket on Memorial Day (Monday) and figure out where our key sites will be. Even though we can assign the crews, Memorial Day is a national holiday so we have to wait until Tuesday to book travel.”
The third year of showing every Regional matchup also includes the return of ESPN’s four-day “Bases Loaded” platform that provides nearly 40 hours of unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from numerous games. Fortunately for Moore, his role overseeing the “Bases Loaded” content gives him a seat to track every site from a studio on ESPN’s Charlotte, N.C., campus.
“It’s a whirlwind,” he said. “But it gets done through a lot of planning and good attitudes.”
Editor’s Note: ESPN’s college baseball analysts offer their predictions on the Road To Omaha.