After three years and an estimated $125 million, ESPN is launching what may be the world’s most advanced TV studio. SportsCenter’s new home, which is scheduled to go live on June 22, has every imaginable screen: taller than a standard basketball hoop; embedded in the floor; seamless; touchscreen. An entire wall consists of LED displays sticking out at different depths, like an art installation. One telling stat: 130. That’s how many more screens the new studio has compared to the old.
“Our creative services team has done an amazing job of reimagining how to engage and inform people, and it sits in the sweet spot of a ‘wow,’” says Rob King, senior vice president of SportsCenter and news (and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2014).
For the show’s 600 staffers at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, the challenge is learning and incorporating the new technology, which includes virtual 3D graphics, without detracting from effective storytelling. “You want to be mindful that for our fans, the most important thing is what’s in the screen,” says King. “It’s not the screens themselves.”
Play the video above for an exclusive tour of the studio.