Grass Valley solutions for new ESPN HD broadcast facility

ESPN has selected Grass Valley production technologies to equip its new HD Digital Center 2 broadcast facility in Bristol, CT, which is expected to be complete in spring 2014. The deal builds upon the longstanding relationship between ESPN and Grass Valley that spans three decades.

Grass Valley is supplying ESPN with three Ignite Automated Production Systems and three Kayenne Video Production Centers with K2 Summit 3G servers for Digital Center 2. Additionally, 40 LDX WorldCam camera systems will replace the current LDK models in ESPN’s existing Digital Center 1 facility. A fourth Ignite system was also purchased for ESPN’s new SEC (Southeastern Conference) Network, a 24/7 sports network that will launch in August 2014 in Charlotte, NC.

“ESPN’s new Digital Center 2 will be at the forefront of broadcasting and will utilize the most innovative technologies,” says Kevin Stolworthy, senior vice president, ESPN Technology. “Having worked with Grass Valley for many years, we know that it provides us with the workflow and future-proof solutions required to deliver the high-quality content our millions of fans expect.”

The new Grass Valley solutions will give ESPN the ability to produce high-quality live sports broadcasts as well as air a variety of sports highlight, talk and documentary-styled shows. The new 193,000-square-foot ESPN Digital Center 2 will supply programming for ESPN’s HD channel, which is available to direct broadcast satellite and cable TV systems throughout the United States. Digital Center 2 will include six control rooms and four studios — one of which will serve as the new home for SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship and popular daily sports news television show.

“As a proven leader in the sports market, we are committed to providing the highest quality technologies so that broadcasters like ESPN can continue to push the boundaries with live HD sports productions,” says Tim Thorsteinson, president and CEO, Grass Valley. “The deployment of Ignite, Kayenne, and K2 Summit will allow ESPN to embrace a fully automated workflow and deliver enhanced programming without the need for additional resources.”

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