ESPN Taps WorldStage for New Studio Integrations

SI helped design and install new studios in Bristol and Los Angeles
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NEW YORK—WorldStage recently teamed with ESPN to construct a visually innovative new studio in Bristol, Conn. for their flagship SportsCenter program. WorldStage, a New York-based provider of audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical and broadcast industries acted as the visual technology consultants and integrators on a team of industry experts who collaborated on the design and installation of the second SportsCenter studio build they have been involved with.

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WorldStage also worked on ESPN LA’s SportsCenter studio, which underwent a similar redesign and launched simultaneously. The SportsCenter set made its debut on the June 22, 11 pm edition.

“I'm extremely proud of the work the WorldStage team completed on this project. The scale was very large, the technical challenges were significant and the result is fantastic," says WorldStage President Josh Weisberg. "ESPN and their design partner, Jack Morton Worldwide, set the bar high for all the vendors but [assembled] a great team to work with that was very collaborative in nature."

“SportsCenter”’s Studio X is part of Digital Center 2 (DC-2), a new 194,000 square-foot production facility on the ESPN campus housing studios, control rooms, craft edit suites and audio control rooms. DC-2 is home to SportsCenter, all NFL studio shows and more, yet to be determined, programming.

“SportsCenter” airs live 18 hours a day. Studio X occupies almost 10,000 square feet and employs a variety of advanced visual technologies. More than 100 bezel-less monitors and multiple 2.5mm and 4mm LED videowalls create a vastly brighter studio outfitted with three set areas and an anchor desk.

The anchor desk features curving LED video tiles across the pedestal. Many of the elements feature automated movements allowing multiple configurations of the same displays; in one case, different size seamless monitors are put together at varying depths, introducing a 3D element to a traditional 2D videowall.

Talent can now broadcast while walking across the entire length of the studio thanks to the mobile component of the monitors that move with anchors and are constantly present on camera rather than just serving as a prop behind a desk. WorldStage provided a Nanolumens 4.4mm LED display inlaid across the Plexiglas floor in Studio X, adding yet another eye-catching detail.

In addition to the display technology, WorldStage also designed, programmed and installed a control infrastructure and system that provides a comprehensive control interface for the display technology operators working within the studio. Based on Medialon software, the control system provides critical control points for the technology and is programmed to allow the operators to use pre-set cue sequences to automate transitions or to build their own pre-sets.