Ryan Teeples: A behind-the-scenes look at BYUtv, ESPN on BYU football game day
Bringing the broadcasts together
It didn’t used to be that way. Before the current deal was in place, ESPN had a hands-off relationship with BYU broadcasting and figuratively kept the door to the truck shut. But in this new day of BYUtv — which now boasts first-class facilities, equipment and talent — the channels of communication are always open.
Mikel Minor, who comes to BYU from ESPN, spent years producing Sportscenter’s evening show and has assisted the relationship of mutual respect and collaboration. With that experience and the relationships he developed there over the years, he is able to bring credibility for BYUtv and rapport with the ESPN crews.
Not only that, he has assets to offer. For instance, ESPN makes use of extra camera angles BYUtv offers in their own broadcast, as it gives the on-site producer and director more content to work with.
After Saturday’s broadcast of BYU’s 38-20 victory over Georgia Tech, the producer for the ESPNU broadcast stopped by Big Blue to thank Minor and chat about the night. He joked that it would be great if BYUtv could send their jib cam — the north end-zone camera on a boom device that allows for nice high and low shots as well as wide pans and angles — to Waco for next week’s Baylor broadcast. ESPNU doesn’t have its own device and uses BYUtv’s when in Provo.
That story reflects the kind of relationship the two organizations have come to enjoy.
But what makes the broadcast relationship between ESPN and BYUtv valuable is not just working together toward a common goal, but the willingness to help each other in other ways as well.
Minor points out that BYUtv wants its viewers to watch the BYUtv pregame show, switch to ESPN for the game broadcast, then switch back to BYUtv for the post-game show. ESPN has assisted in this effort.
The “advancers” that ESPN produces for BYUtv each home game are a good example. These game-teaser clips are aired at the end of BYUtv’s pregame show and create a nice transition for viewers between channels.
That kind of collaboration is unique and was unpredictable when the whole deal was put together.
Keeping the lights on late
At the end of a game night, ESPN’s broadcast is complete and they pack up their truck and head home. BYUtv still has a post-game show to produce in studio and must put the finishing touches on their own broadcast, which typically airs at 9:30 p.m. MDT, after ESPN’s Saturday night ABC game is over.
Two separate professional, high-quality football game broadcasts are completed at Lavell Edwards Stadium every game day, each with its own unique purpose. But each is aided by the other.
And that's something you'll only find in Provo.
Ryan Teeples, twitter.com/SportsGuyUtah, is a marketing and technology expert, full-time sports fan, owner of Ryan Teeples Consulting Inc. (RyanTeeples.com) and regular contributor to LoyalCougars.com.
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