NBC Sports Group Redesigns Charlotte Studio for NASCAR America’s 1,000th Episode
The design goal was flexibility and an intimate, casual look
NBC Sports officially debuted a redesigned look for its NASCAR America studio in Charlotte, NC, last week just in time for the 1,000th episode of NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, which will air Oct. 19. The revamped studio sports a nearly 360-degree design that provides the show plenty of flexibility to move around in its new digs.
“The previous set had been conceptually created to look like the inside of a Featherlite truck [like those] onsite at a NASCAR track, with two windows looking out,” says Tom Popple, VP, studio operations, NBC Sports Group. “We converted that previous 180-degree studio, cleared out all of the equipment, and made it a 340-degree studio.”
In addition, he explains, the redesigned set features a more intimate and casual look “because we felt that was a more organic environment that would spur natural conversation among the on-air team.”
At-Home Production Model Continues
NBC Sports Charlotte is located next to video-production provider Marty Snider & Associates’ production facility. Although NASCAR America originates from NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford, CT, it incorporates live contributions from NBC Sports’ Charlotte facility and Jeff Burton’s Garage, in Huntersville, NC, allowing the show to report directly from NASCAR’s heartland.
The newly redesigned studio will continue to deploy an at-home production model leveraging NBC’s PCR3 control room in Stamford — just as its previous incarnation did.
“Multiple times a week, we host some portion of NASCAR America from our NBC Sports Charlotte studio,” says Popple. “I’m very proud of [our at-home production model for studio shows]. We are doing more and more — even the Olympics — where the control rooms are here in Stamford but the studio location is elsewhere.”
Big Oak Desk at Center of Redesigned Studio
Designed by Jack Morton with fabrication by Black Walnut, the three-camera studio features a triangle-shaped oak desk for NASCAR America’s on-air talent.
“We had been doing what we called “Big Oak Table” shows from NBC Sports’ NASCAR office in Charlotte, which was actually a large wooden conference table,” says Popple. “That table was too big to put in the studio, so the new desk was derived from that same concept. The triangle shape was [suited] to the studio space. We put some LED lighting in the front to give it design and texture that the conference-room table didn’t have.”
The facility features all RGBA LED lighting, with temperature and color controlled. Sennheiser microphones and Lectrosonics wireless RFB are also used.
The project team comprised NBC Sports’ Popple; NASCAR America director Sean Page; Art Director Chad Hudson; and, for graphics creation, VP/Creative Director Tripp Dixon; as well as NASCAR Production VP Jeff Behnke and the Marty Snider & Associates team in Charlotte.