The future through ESPN

No matter how you feel about ESPN — and there is a love/hate relationship that some sports fans carry with the network — you have to admit, they’re willing to throw themselves into experiments. the studio where ESPN is betting billions on the future of sports:

The new SportsCenter set is the crown jewel of the building: 9,700 square feet of space that will be used to broadcast the show on ESPN’s mass of channels. The revamped set was designed to make SportsCenter more personal, to show anchors moving around and interacting, but also to help the show move at the speed of the internet. ESPN has long been criticized for allowing news to break overnight while it ran repeats of the previous day’s shows; now the premier show in sports can update and broadcast in real time.

TV still matters at ESPN, and in every way DC-2 is wired for the future of TV. It’s capable of broadcasting in 4K and 8K, and if by some miracle 3D actually takes off, ESPN will be ready for that, too. TV is still where the network makes most of its money, and it will be for the foreseeable future. But when – not if, but when — that changes, ESPN says it will be ready. It has moved staff, built buildings, and overhauled how the company operates to make sure of that.

The strategy to keep ESPN on top breaks down along two broad lines. The first is an adjustment in how ESPN sees itself: the company has reorganized to promote more sharing across platforms, even launching the buzzword-friendly Content Sharing Initiative. ESPN the TV network, ESPN the radio provider, ESPN the magazine, ESPN the Instagram account, and ESPN the app maker are all becoming one.

Which way will the winds blow? Watch the weathervanes in Bristol.


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