Recap: Off to the caucuses in Iowa

The 2016 election cycle has now truly started, after what feels like 4 years of build up from the networks.

Last night saw the first votes cast in Iowa as the Democrats and Republicans caucused before an impending snow storm, with a long night of coverage from the cable networks and many breaking news “key race alerts” from the broadcast networks.

Here’s a recap of how the channels covered the evening visually:

Al Jazeera America

ncs_election-iowa_02

ncs_election-iowa_01

Al Jazeera America used its main New York City studio for its election coverage, with a blocky graphical look.

ABC News

ncs_election-iowa_03

ncs_election-iowa_04

ncs_election-iowa_05

ABC News featured a live stream on its website, with multiple cut-ins throughout the night with George Stephanopoulos in New York City. ABC used its election graphics package that debuted last year alongside its updated “Your Voice, Your Vote” logo.

BBC News

ncs_election-iowa_13

The BBC used a 3D White House for its election graphics, with Katty Kay live from Iowa.

CBS News

ncs_election-iowa_06

ncs_election-iowa_08

ncs_election-iowa_07

CBSN provided live coverage with CBS News anchor Scott Pelley anchoring cut-ins as news broke. While some improvements were present, most of the CBS News election graphics debuted in 2012.

CNN

Leaving no event uncovered, CNN had wall-to-wall coverage of the Iowa caucuses.

ncs_election-iowa_17

ncs_election-iowa_19

ncs_election-iowa_18

ncs_election-iowa_20

As is usually the case with its “Election Night in America” coverage, CNN featured a dramatic introduction video with candidate clips and new 3D animated graphics. The graphics, which built on CNN’s previous block look, created a glossy warehouse of candidates.

For those who have always wondered (since CNN has used a similar style intro with the same music for many elections now), the music featured during the opening was “Operation Blackout” from Epic Action & Adventure Vol. 1 and “We Have Prevailed” from Epic Action & Adventure Vol. 10.

ncs_election-iowa_16

CNN used its Washington, D.C. studio as its Election Center, adding a new desk. The set was also decked out in stars and stripes, with some extra monitors added… and, of course, John King’s Magic Wall.

Along with the opening, some insert graphics were also updated.

ncs_election-iowa_24

When showing results, CNN used an augmented reality strip, powered by Vizrt and StypeGRIP, that would float over the talents head from the caucus cam.

Fox News

ncs_election-iowa_21

Broadcasting from Iowa’s state capitol in Des Moines, Fox News had the most regal backdrop of the networks.

ncs_election-iowa_23

ncs_election-iowa_22

ncs_election-iowa_12

Graphically, Fox News rolled out new election graphics that featured laser lines with slanted edges. The look included a very over-the-top graphics to announce Ted Cruz as the Iowa Republican winner.

Fox News also recolored its ticker blue for the evening.

MSNBC / NBC News

ncs_election-iowa_25

ncs_election-iowa_27

MSNBC anchored its coverage from New York City with Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow on the election desk that debuted in 2014 from Clickspring Design. Chris Matthews was live from Des Moines at Java Joe’s, which has also been the site of “Morning Joe.”

Steve Kornacki provided data analysis from MSNBC’s touchscreen and the NBC Decision Desk made a few appearances.

ncs_election-iowa_10

NBC News’ Lester Holt anchored cut-ins live from the kitschy West End Salvage in Des Moines, which also hosted “Today” and “Meet the Press.”

ncs_election-iowa_09

ncs_election-iowa_11

Both networks continued to use their previous election graphics packages, which debuted in 2014.

Univision

ncs_election-iowa_14

ncs_election-iowa_15

Broadcasting from its Miami hub, Univision took advantage of its studios large video wall for updates.

Related Stories