ESPN has added individual apparatus streams and a new scoring interface to its first live television production of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships airing April 15 and 16. ESPN networks have carried the competition since 2011, one of 24 NCAA Championships the network airs each year.
Both days of competition are set to air on ESPNU and stream on the ESPN app through smart phones, tablets and connected devices. ESPNU carries the Super-Six teams that advance at 9 p.m., with the trophy ceremony immediately following. (Full schedule below)
U.S. Olympic medalists Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will provide analysis throughout the competition. Interviews with coaches and athletes between apparatuses will be conducted by ESPN’s Laura Rutledge.
“We’ve learned a great deal televising regular-season gymnastics live, 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 is scoring and we believe the graphics interface we’ve developed makes that challenge obsolete.”
ESPN built its first gymnastics scoring interface in 2014 for regular-season dual meets. The team went back to the drawing board this year to produce a version for a quad-style (SEC Championships) meet and a modification for the NCAA Championships, which features six-teams at a time.
ESPN tested its newest gymnastics innovations at the 2016 SEC Championships, which were produced live by ESPN for the first time and provided the below visual example:
Alongside its live debut and new scoring package, ESPN is expanding coverage of the meet by providing 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 (image). All five streaming options, as well as the simulcast of the television coverage, are available through the ESPN app and WatchESPN on ESPN3.
“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.
ESPN’s television coverage will also utilize the “All-Around” quad-box view at various points.
|Sat., Apr. 16||9 p.m. Championship||Main Broadcast||ESPNU|
|"All Around" view||ESPN3|
|Individual Apparatus: Bars||ESPN3|
|Individual Apparatus: Vault||ESPN3|
|Individual Apparatus: Floor||ESPN3|
|Individual Apparatus: Beam||ESPN3|