ESPNU and SEC Network are producing the SEC Gymnastics Championship live on television for the first time on Saturday, March 19. In conjunction with the unprecedented move, the ESPN networks are unveiling a new scoring interface adjusted for the quad-meet format, new graphics and a real-time stream of each individual apparatus.
“We’ve learned a great deal televising regular-season gymnastics live for the past two-years, and have seen some incredible opportunities for growth of the sport on television,” said Meg Aronowitz, ESPN Coordinating Producer. “The biggest hurdle in producing the sport live – and specifically the SEC Championship – is scoring, and we believe the graphics interface we’ve developed makes that challenge obsolete.”
ESPN has carried the SEC Gymnastics Championship since 2010. The 2016 afternoon session (2p.m., ESPNU) and the evening session (6 p.m. SEC Network) airings on March 19 mark the first time the tournament is live in its entirety on national television. Bart Connors, Kathy Johnson Clarke and Courtney Kupets will provide commentary.
The Championship is a quad-style meet, while the 31 events SEC Network produces during the regular-season are dual-meets.
“In order to produce a quad-style meet live we had to go back to the drawing board with the scoring interface we built for gymnastics in 2014,” said Aronowitz. “The basic concept is the same, only expanded to showcase four scores in real-time. We decided to roll out an entirely new graphics look along with the boxscore expansion, and the team developed new animations to illuminate scoring alerts.”
In addition, SEC Network + is expanding coverage of the SEC Gymnastics Championship with live streams of each individual apparatus, and a quad-box view called “All-Around”. The “All-Around” channel allows a viewer to stream every apparatus live, at the same time, on one screen. All five streaming options, as well as the simulcast of the television coverage, are available through the ESPN app and WatchESPN on the SEC Network+ channels.
ESPNU and SEC Network’s television coverage will use the “All-Around” quad-box view at various times throughout the meet as well.
“Our goal is to give the fan of a particular team a second screen experience, allowing them to customize their view. Fans can stream their preferred gymnasts’ routines live on another device while watching the coverage of the overall meet on their television,” said Aronowitz.
In addition to day-of coverage, SEC Network will air exclusive footage and new sounds in SEC Inside: SEC Gymnastics Championship on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Full content schedule below:
|Sat, March 19||2 p.m.||SEC Gymnastics Championship – Afternoon Session||ESPNU|
|6 p.m.||SEC Gymnastics Championship – Evening Session||SEC Network|
|Wed, March 23||7 p.m.||SEC Inside: SEC Gymnastics Championship||SEC Network|
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN launched the SEC Network on August 14, 2014. The network televises over 45 SEC football games, 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and other events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming includes in-depth analysis and storytelling in studio shows, daily news and information with SEC Now, original content such as SEC Storied and SEC Inside, and more. Hundreds of additional live events are offered exclusively on SEC Network’s digital companion, SEC Network+, via WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com. The network has 70 million subscribers in the US and is also available in more than 50 countries throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa via ESPN Player, ESPN’s sports streaming service in the region.
For interviews, and additional media questions: Gracie.Blackburn@espn.com