Wednesday, July 30, 2003

This is SportsCenter Live

Last night, ESPN broadcast their news show Sports Center on two channels. On ESPN2, they ran the show as viewers normally watch it. On ESPN, they had cameras covering the behind-the-scenes activity as on-air talent Dan Patrick and Kevin Frazier ran through sports news.

It was great television.

Dan Patrick says doing the show is one big adrenaline rush. While on the air the announcers display a calm wit and an off-the-cuff bravado, just outside the television frame, and in their ears, and in a very rushed control room, is a swarm of activity, from people editing tapes, to the technical director counting backwards from commercial break, to the producers changing and adding to the coverage to make the show as newsworthy as possible. The show, This is SportsCenter Live, captured the in-the-ear chatter, the prep work for a highlight (situation, action, result), and revealed that the anchors wear sneakers to set. And yes, production assistants run with video tape of sports highlights to be shown during the show.

It all looks so easy watching television news. This program was a great peek at all the hard work needed to pull it off. Kudos, ESPN!

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