ESPN Boosts Onsite Studio Presence for NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC

Daily The Jump, digital Hoop Streams shows are produced via REMI

In an effort to cast a brighter spotlight on its NBA-focused studio shows, ESPN has rolled out its largest onsite presence ever for this season’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC package since its launch in mid January. In addition to a robust production for the game itself, ESPN’s daily NBA studio show, The Jump, and digital pregame show Hoop Streams (on the ESPN App, Twitter, and YouTube) are being produced onsite using a REMI workflow.

The Jump Is Bigger Than Ever
Hosted by Rachel Nichols and featuring a rotating group of analysts and guests, The Jump has expanded to a big-event, onsite format this season.

Rachel Nichols (second from left) hosts The Jump with a rotating cast of analysts — including Paul Pierce (second from right) and Tracy McGrady (right) — and guests like Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge.

Terri Dippolito, senior manager, ESPN remote production operations, and CJ Chalverus, onsite operations producer for The Jump remote shows, work in tandem with the ESPN game-operations team to bring onsite broadcasts of The Jump to NBA Saturday Primetime games.

The Jump has a desk at midcourt for pregame coverage and on the baseline for halftime and postgame recap. That’s a significant expansion from its studio coverage last year, which originated from in-house facilities.

The Jump studio, which deploys five cameras (plus shared cameras from the game production), is used as the main set for ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime pregame show at midcourt. The desk is 42 in. long x 4 ft. high with three on-air talent positions and room for additional guests. It is also used on other remotes when necessary.

Hoop Streams Hits the Road
Support is also provided at most NBA Saturday Primetime games to produce the NBA Hoop Streams pregame show on ESPN’s digital platforms.

ESPN’s Hoop Streams features (with mics, from left) Cassidy Hubbarth, Kendrick Perkins, and Gary Striewski.

The show usually positions its setups in a space overlooking the arena floor for its main host position, in addition to a floor location, usually on the baseline to pick up interviews, player shootarounds, and other pregame action.

And ESPN’s efforts with the lively streaming show — which features Cassidy Hubbarth, Kendrick Perkins, and Gary Striewski — appear to have paid off: Hoop Streams is hitting its stride creatively and averaging 1.6 million streams per show, hitting a high of 2.4 million on Feb. 3.

Inside the REMI Workflow
ESPN is deploying a hybrid REMI workflow to produce the onsite studio shows, leveraging the B unit of its main game truck — Game Creek Video’s 79 — and the LAPC-PCR3 control room at ESPN’s Los Angeles facility, where the show is integrated (with no local graphics or replay sources).

Inside the B unit is a Grass Valley Kayenne switcher (installed as Suite 2 of the game switcher) and a Calrec BRIO 32 audio console on the Hydra network. The truck is connected to Bristol and the LAPC via a Unity intercom system.

Besides the significant studio presence, ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC broadcasts also feature additional production elements, including multiple Shot Charts, Skycam, player mics, and special animations for compelling replays.

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