ESPN releases preview of new ‘SportsCenter’ set

ESPN has posted an animated video rendering of the new “SportsCenter” set to be built in “Digital Center II,” the new facility the network is constructing on its Bristol, Conn. campus.

The video appears on ESPN’s “FrontRow” YouTube channel, which is part of its behind the scenes blog by the same name. The new video animation was shown as part of the network’s upfront presentation in New York City.

The new facility will add 200,000 square feet of space and become the new home of the network’s flagship “SportsCenter.”

The animations illustrate a wraparound set that includes multiple venues and is stocked with video display panels.

The square layout uses each of the four walls as a distinct venue, and also makes use of the corners with angled walls boasting graphical elements and video displays. At the point where these walls meet the floor, markings on the floor cross the studio floor to intersect in an “X” in the middle of the set floor.

Included in the design is a main anchor desk situated in front of a large open area that appears like it could be used as a newsroom. A floating platform in front of vertical flat panels fills out one wall and topped with a prominent show logo, while an interview set is in the area opposite of home base. The final wall is a standup area with towering video panels mounted on columns.

Behind the main anchor desk, in the center of the large open area, is a enclosed box fronted with the “SC” icon. Behind this a horizontal banner allows for additional branding options. This banner is mounted on the front of a balcony that has stairs leading up to it on either side of the set.

Off to one side of the enclosed area is an additional anchor desk.

Assuming this animation is at least somewhat representative of the finishes on the set, it appears ESPN is moving away from the brightly colored designs used on the most recent iterations of the “SportsCenter” set, in favor of a more neutral color palette, relying instead on video walls and splashes of red to give the set visual interest.

One tieback to the existing set is the use of horizontal bands, though they have been toned done significantly from the bold pink and blues used today.

As we reported previously, Connecticut has become a popular place for television production facilities, lured there by tax credits being offered by the state government. NBC Sports is in the middle of moving to Stamford, Conn.

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