ESPN's most-watched show is getting a serious makeover.
Beginning in early June, SportsCenter will look entirely different to the millions of viewers of ESPN's flagship program. The show will be broadcast from the network's new $125 million facility called Digital Center 2.
Chuck Salter of Fast Company got a sneak peek, and he described the new studio as a "Disney amusement park ride of a studio." It includes 145 display screens, nearly 10 times as many as the current studio, some of which are 15 feet tall.
These tall monitors are meant to attract the attention of the casual viewer, someone who is walking by a TV at an airport or flipping channels at home.
"The challenge is getting someone 30 feet away to stop and see this is a big deal," Rob King, ESPN's senior vice president of SportsCenter and news, told Salter.
Even larger than those screens is what Salter calls the "North Wall," which is made up of 56 LED screens. The facade will allow ESPN to display graphics in entirely new ways.
"Instead of a single chart or photo, the conventional approach now, SportsCenter will be able to feature multiple elements on the super-size screens. A huge single action shot of Peyton Manning -- think of a magazine spread--can start on one billboard-size screen and sweep dramatically through the studio onto the North Wall, where the layered monitors break it up in artful ways. "We're helping people imagine what they haven't imagined before," says King. "We're encouraging them to think of this in a big way."
For a tour of the new studio, check out the video below:
ESPN, the crown jewel of Disney's properties, is valued at $50.8 billion, making it the world's most valuable media company.
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