ESPN will debut a new Baseball Tonight studio – the network’s first studio space devoted exclusively to baseball throughout the entire Major League Baseball season – tonight, Monday, Aug. 15, at 10 p.m. ET. The new state-of-the-art Baseball Tonight studio is the largest ESPN sport-specific studio, with approximately 5,000 square feet including an expansive demonstration area.
“The new set is cutting edge, functional and a unique blend of contemporary and traditional design, much like the game,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer. “We’re excited by the opportunities it offers to enhance the viewer experience.”
- approximately 5,000 square feet, the largest ESPN sport-specific studio;
- 19 40-inch LCD monitors and seven 70-inch LCD monitors will be used, all of which can feed separate video streams;
- the anchor desk will contain three seamless monitors which can include graphics, headshots and logos;
- two LED displays (8’6” x 12’6”) which can showcase standings, results and editorially-driven graphics;
- an enhanced demo field including a figurative baseball diamond and a dimensional pitcher’s mound;
- the new Baseball Tonight set is located in Studio A, first opened in 1995 as the home of a wide variety of ESPN studio shows including Baseball Tonight.
The Baseball Tonight studio is one of several new elements incorporated into ESPN’s MLB coverage this year. At the start of the 2011 season, ESPN introduced new commentator teams for each MLB telecast – Sunday Night Baseball (Dan Shulman, analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine and reporter Buster Olney), Monday Night Baseball (Sean McDonough, analysts Aaron Boone and Rick Sutcliffe and reporter Tim Kurkjian) and Wednesday Night Baseball (Dave O’Brien, analyst Nomar Garciaparra and reporter Pedro Gomez).
Additionally, on Sundays throughout the season, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight – with host Karl Ravech and analysts John Kruk, Barry Larkin, Hershiser and Valentine – has originated from the site of Sunday Night Baseball at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
ESPN’s MLB content has also merged studio and game productions more dynamically this season, with Baseball Tonight updates weaved into the game telecasts; a greater frequency of game analysts appearing on Baseball Tonight; and expanded use of social media including tweeting during game telecasts and the launch of a new Facebook page.