ESPN has aired the NCAA Wrestling Championships every year since the network began, beginning with the 1980 event. Since then, coverage has increased and evolved over the last four decades.
The championships return to ESPN networks this week from St. Louis following a one-year hiatus with the 2020 cancellation due to the pandemic.
“The wrestling community is a tight-knit community, and as involved a fan base we have,” said Nick Rud, ESPN senior managing producer. “There’s a great responsibility to provide the same or even better coverage than we have in years past even with a largely reduced staff for safety because most fans can’t be in attendance. Our hope is to be creative in how we cover this great event, and celebrate the athletes that have waited so long to get back here.”
With less crew on the floor, the production team will rely on robotic cameras to help capture the action. Twenty-seven cameras will be positioned around the arena, utilizing both an on-site and remote workforce. Interviews will be conducted following social-distancing protocols.
Additionally, every mat will be available to watch on ESPN3 via the ESPN App, ensuring fans get to see every match on every mat from start to finish.
Action begins today with the first round on ESPNU and continues with early sessions on ESPNU, three primetime sessions on ESPN and ESPN2, and the championship on ESPN. A complete schedule is available via ESPN PressRoom.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Read the vintage ESPN Communications 1980 press release regarding its NCAA Championship coverage. For more on ESPN Front Row’s NCAA Wrestling Championships coverage, click here.