ESPN will utilize a unique mobile studio throughout the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany (June 26 – July 17) that will travel to six different cities and historic locations throughout the country. The set will be used for pre-match, halftime and post-match shows live, as well as World Cup-branded segments on SportsCenter, First Take and ESPNEWS.
The mobile studio unit, a more dynamic and updated version of the acclaimed pit studio used for ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown, was built specifically for Women’s World Cup. It has two levels with the studio set – including host and three analyst positions – on the top floor, and a fully-functional control room on the lower level with its own audio mixer and video switcher. The mobile unit expands to 25 feet high and up to 16 feet sideways. In transit, it travels as a compact 18-wheel truck. A hydraulic lift and an electric motor expand and contract the dimensions of the unit, making it possible to navigate the narrow streets of historic German city centers.
The studio unit is outfitted with special lighting, adaptable to filming on dense or bright, sunny days, three cameras, and a Jib camera. The studio background offers an open-air setting or an encased 360 degrees with a glass window which can be used in inclement weather; both will allow viewers to see the pageantry and scenic backdrops from the historic German cities. The truck’s exterior is also wrapped with a sweeping image of a diving goalkeeper.
The mobile unit, named “Big Blue,” was assembled in Holland over the past six months.
The planned route during Germany 2011 (subject to change):
June 25-26: Berlin “Olympiastadion” – Site of the Germany 2011 opening match between host and defending champion Germany and Canada. The historic stadium hosted the 1936 Olympics, and the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cup matches, including the Italy-France final in 2006.
June 28-29: Dresden, overlooking “Church of Our Lady” – The Lutheran church built from 1726-1743 was heavily damaged in World War II. The church’s restoration, which started in 1994 and was completed in 2005, is now a symbol of reconciliation in Germany.
July 1-3: Heidelberg “Marktplatz” (Market Place) – One of the main squares and a popular destination at the Heidelberg city center, adjacent to the historic Town Hall and Neptune Fountain. The U.S. Army has had a military base in Heidelberg since 1951.
July 5-6: Wolfsburg’s “Phaeno Science Center” – A unique architectural achievement, the interactive science center in downtown Wolfsburg illuminates at night. The city is also known as the home and headquarters of Volkswagen.
July 9-10: Dresden, outside the Opera House – For the quarterfinals, the mobile unit will return to Dresden, originating from outside the opera house of the Saxon State Opera, built in 1841, beside the River Elbe.
July 13-17: Frankfurt, outside “Women’s World Cup Stadium” – The site of the final match and the International Broadcast Center for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
ESPN & the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 (June 26 – July 17) will be ESPN’s fifth straight, having televised the quadrennial event since 1995. ESPN and ESPN2 will air all 32 matches live and in high definition. ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network in 70 million homes, will offer simulcasts of all matches, and ESPN’s mobile platforms will also provide coverage of 26 matches. All programming on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available online through
ESPNnetworks.com, which is accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
For the first time, ESPN will present all FIFA Women’s World Cup studio programming from host nation Germany. The comprehensive news, highlights and information coverage of the quadrennial tournament featuring the top-16 women’s national teams in the world will include, for the first time, pre-match, halftime and post-match shows, as well
as World Cup-branded segments on SportsCenter, First Take and ESPNEWS.
Additionally, ESPN’s first dedicated content and digital hub designed to serve, inform and inspire female athletes and fans, www.espnW.com, will offer one of the most comprehensive online coverage of FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. With four writers in Germany, four active Women’s World Cup players blogging, and a collection of former players serving as analysts, www.espnW.com will also be the home for all Women’s World Cup edited content and features created for television.