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Forward/Rewind: NBA/MLB

ESPN_RW_FF LOGOEDITOR’S NOTE: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2016/2015 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2016 and some of what transpired in 2015. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.

NBA


Tim Corrigan
Tim Corrigan
Tim Corrigan, senior coordinating producer, NBA
What is the best example of your division’s teamwork in 2015?
The great thing about our team is that we start as one big group at the beginning of the season, with multiple game teams on the road each week, a studio team in L.A. and Bristol, and we’re all working together throughout the season, leading into the NBA Finals. I think the NBA Finals, and the journey to get to the NBA Finals, is the best example of the teamwork, because everything that everyone has worked on all season long, culminates with our production efforts at that event.
(L-R) ESPN analysts Mark Jackson (seated) and Jeff Van Gundy, senior coordinating producer Tim Corrigan and play-by-play commentator Mike Breen help bring fans the best NBA coverage.  (Photo by Peter DaSilva / ESPN Images)
(L-R) ESPN analysts Mark Jackson (seated) and Jeff Van Gundy, senior coordinating producer Tim Corrigan and play-by-play commentator Mike Breen help bring fans the best NBA coverage.
(Peter DaSilva/ESPN Images)

What was the most social moment of the year?
What sticks out the most to me was the way our social operation came together in the past year and is continuing to come together now. It wasn’t just one moment. We now have a social team within our production unit, which we meet with regularly. This has allowed us to better collaborate and to better prepare and react to content which plays well on social.

What excites you most about 2016?
Obviously we have the launch of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, which will become the game of the week in the NBA. In terms of producing the sport from an on-court standpoint, we have so many great stories to follow. The Golden State Warriors are having this historic season, but guess what, the San Antonio Spurs are right behind them having an incredible season. The Eastern Conference is wide open in those Nos. 2-8 spots in the playoffs and in the Western Conference, it’s pretty much wide open Nos. 3-8. We’re excited about producing what will be a tremendous finish to this season.

MLB

Phil Orlins
Phil Orlins
Phil Orlins, senior coordinating producer, MLB

What was the best example of your division’s teamwork in 2015?
The Home Run Derby and All-Star Game coverage was a signature accomplishment for us. First, there was a massive overhaul of the Home Run Derby rules and flow that took exceptional planning to implement. The rules we reworked within two hours of the competition and our team was able to seamlessly implement the changes. Second, terrible weather throughout forced our team to adjust to many changes on the fly. In addition, our Emerging Technology group was heroic in tracking home run distances at an extraordinary pace. The entire team adjusted to many logistical challenges caused by weather throughout the event and put us in a great position to succeed. The event was completely revitalized and a ratings winner.

What was the most social moment of the year?
For me the biggest social buzz usually revolves around unusual circumstances that often take place off the playing field. The Chicago fan catching a foul pop up while simultaneously holding his baby sticks out to me as an unforgettable moment that thrived through social sharing.

What excites you most about 2016?
I think we are positioned to take advantage of some great new events throughout the season. An opening Sunday quadruple-header on ESPN and ESPN2 is a great step towards making baseball’s opening day into a national celebration. The 2015 World Series rematch between the Mets and Royals is the best Sunday Night Baseball season opener we have ever had the opportunity to televise. Several additional special events will be announced in the coming days that we enthusiastically look forward to bringing to our viewers.

Michael Skarka contributed to this post.

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