ESPN Front Row presents ScreenGrabbed: What You See On-Air And How It Gets There

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On Sunday’s SportsCenter, the highlight from the Sony Open Men’s Tennis Championship final featured a focus on a 32-second, second-set rally between Andy Murray and David Ferrer.

Using the “SC”OPE, ESPN Highlight Producer James Williams and Production Ops Content Editor Starlyn Schwartz were able to illustrate the number of places Ferrer had to race pursuing Murray’s shots. Ferrer won the point when Murray’s 12th shot fell wide of the mark.

In the still taken from the 1:22 highlight above, Murray’s shots are marked by “yellow pulsating numbers,” Williams said.

“SC”OPE is seen within several highlights nightly on SportsCenter. This specific use of “SC”OPE is regularly used in basketball games to show and count where a player is making and missing shots on the court

This particular tennis highlight took about 90 minutes to produce, and the “SC”OPE section required about 20 minutes. It premiered on the 6:00 ET edition of SportsCenter on Sunday, a few hours after Murray won the grueling match 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1) in Key Biscayne, Fla. –Compiled by Sheldon Spencer

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Before Tuesday’s well-executed court-storming after Robert Morris’s NIT upset win over Kentucky on ESPN, cameras caught the sign above during one of the returns from commercial break. Which got us thinking – is there a strategy that works best for ensuring YOUR sign will make it on air during a game. Producer Eric Mosley shares some insight:

“There really isn’t a standard formula or practice in regards to which signs we use on the air. Our director usually pans the crowd before the game and we see what signs are creative, funny and most importantly, appropriate to use when cutting around during the game. They will also identify any signs that are inappropriate and which ones we should avoid using if they are insulting or profane. Sometimes we will use [the shots] in edited packages if they seem to fit the mood or theme we are trying to portray.”


The Marist women’s basketball team won today’s MAAC Championship, 72-48 over Iona. During the post-game interview on-court with ESPNU’s Julianne Viani, Marist junior Casey Dulin discussed the school’s eighth straight title while her parents were watching and listening to the interview from the stands using the WatchESPN app.

Play-by-play commentator Doug Sherman, said after the interview was over: “Here’s how great the ESPN WatchESPN app is; it allows the Dulin family up in the stands to listen to their daughter being interviewed after they win another MAAC championship.”


A fan from Israel checked in with @ESPN_FanCentral to ask about something that aired during ESPN’s telecast of the Miami-Memphis game last Friday. “Tayshaun Prince blocked a lay-up by Mario Chalmers. Jeff Van Gundy noted that it was just like Prince’s block of Reggie Miller way back when’,” the fan wrote. “[Next thing you know] footage of that very block from 2004 was shown to viewers. How can you do that so fast?!. . .Amazing!!”

Coordinating Producer Tom McNeeley explains the rapid turnaround:
“Going into every game, we know there are certain storylines that might be relevant. Producers generally have ‘flashbacks’ ready on each of these potential storylines. We were lucky that Tayshaun Prince is known for one really iconic moment in his career – the crazy block during the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.

“We decided before the game to get a few clips together from that moment knowing we could use them at any relevant point during the game. The second Prince blocked that shot live, my director, my associate director and our tape guys all at once said: “The block! The block!” We all got excited. Of course, Jeff and Mike Breen are students of the game, so that’s the first thing that came to their minds too.

“As I called for the first replay, we were in position to go right to that flashback. As they talked about it, viewers could relive it. It was a nice moment for our production and for the crew in the truck. For us, it’s almost like pitching a no-hitter.” – Compiled by Kristen Hudak

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During Tuesday’s upset win by Minnesota over Indiana, ESPN analyst Dan Dakich did something not normally seen on telecasts – he took to the floor during a media timeout to explain “Help Side Defense.”

“I challenged Dan this season to come up with something unique and memorable that he could own as an analyst,” explained Senior Coordinating Producer, Jay Levy. “And this is what he has come up with.”

Said Dakich: “It was evident early in the game that help side defense was going to be huge in the IU-Minn game as both teams were throwing the ball inside to players that were capable of dominating the game.” -Compiled by Michael Humes