During a six-week sprint of a season restart, in partnership with CBS / ESPN, the NBA and Turner, it has tried to turn what has long been billed as the “Happiest Place” on Earth. is.
In creating the NBA bubble at Disney World in Orlando, leagues and networks expect coronoviruses to shield players and personnel.
But he has done more than that – he has tried to turn the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex into some state of the art, hopefully epidemic-proof TV studio.
As ESPN approached for its first broadcast on Friday night, it has tried to feel a big time without fans.
To do this, the network has more than 30 infrastructures in a month and a half, inside and outside the three arenas in the court house.
ESPN would not reveal how much it spent on the facility, but did report that the NBA’s outlay for the entire bubble was $ 150 million.
Mike Schiffman, ESPN’s vice president of production, told The Post on FaceTime, as he took a one-hour tour for Arena and ESPN’s broadcasting setup.
ESPN, TNT and NBA have tried to think of everything to make it out since Schiffman, as he did a site survey six weeks ago, with league and Turner officials.
The aesthetics include a virtual fan and a home-court experience for each team. National broadcasts for non-bubble, pre-pandemic sports will include 20-plus cameras as opposed to 12.
In all three jurisdictions, ESPN will use more than 60 robotic cameras. The program has about 200 ESPN employees working, of which about 20 are on-air.
Hopefully it will feel like a big event.
“That’s a big part of it,” Schiffman said.
ESPN and Turner – which closed with Thursday’s first regular-season restart game – are responsible not only for their telecast, but also for the 22 regional sports networks, so on all the basketball you’ll see in the coming months They will have their mark. Both networks are providing a “world feed” to RSN for broadcasting sports to their teams.
Safety is at a premium, and the NBA has imposed a two-tiered bubble system.
The Green Zone is where the players live. There are some reporters in the Green Zone, such as Malika Andrews of ESPN.
Upon arrival, these media members were to test negatives and quarantine for seven days before going around the designated areas.
The people of the Yellow Zone, where Schiffman and ABC / ESPN’s top broadcast team Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gaddies and Mark Jackson live, are tested upon Waldorf’s arrival and one day before exiting their rooms for a day Must quarantine for COVID-19 test, which has a quick turnaround. He has no personal interactions with the players.
They are tested twice per week and are required to wear masks. There is no pushback against the rules.
Inside its main production truck, the personnel amount has been cut in half by the criterion of 10-12. Everyone is separated by a plexiglass divider.
“You feel safe,” Schiffman said.
In the arena, Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson will be in a perch equal to 12 rows. They will also see through the dividers between each of them.
For the games, the network will try to show some unique shots, using a rail cam on the side of the court. There are also free-throw line extended cameras, which are not in general.
Since there are no fans in the arena, the rail shot can be used during live action as opposed to during replay. ESPN will also have rear-facing cameras, which will help viewers prepare the players.
About six weeks ago, when Disney was named as the site for the NBA restart, Schiffman, along with NBA and Turner officials, traveled to Orlando to see how they could change the court and everything. Can be successful in thinking.
On Thursday night, Turner woke up for the first time. ESPN will be on center stage from Friday. Then it will have 10 games in four days.
Empty gyms and turning a lot of places into safe spots have been a sprint, but ESPN hopes to still provide NBA entertainment at the highest level.