Wimbledon 2016: Behind the scenes with ESPN, 84 cameras and 120 members of staff
If you’re a tennis fan, there is a very good chance you’ve been glued to your phone, TV or tablet the last few days trying not to miss any of the highlights from the wonderfully British sporting event that is Wimbledon.
For those lucky enough to have got tickets in the ballot, or those crazy enough to camp in The Queue, you might have witnessed first hand defending champion Djokovic get knocked out, or Federer come back from two sets down in the quarter finals.
But for the rest of us, watching it on TV is as close as we will get to the action and so those broadcasters responsible for bringing that action to our screens really need to get it right. What you might not realise is how much it takes to ensure that’s the case.
We went behind the scenes at Wimbledon to the Broadcast Centre, which houses studios for networks from all over the world, but in particular ESPN and the BBC. While the BBC is responsible for making sure all the action is covered in the UK, ESPN is responsible for the other side of the pond.
When it comes to ESPN’s coverage though, it isn’t just about making sure every shot is covered, it’s about the drama too. From montages before the games begin to stats during and after a match, ESPN adds plenty of meat to an already juicy bone. What’s staggering is how much manpower and equipment it requires to produce that meat.
The company uses a total of 84 cameras, 56 of which are shared with the BBC. There are 120 ESPN staff members involved in getting the 150 hours of TV programming perfect and it takes around three weeks to set all the equipment up. Crazy when you think we just press a button and watch.
We were certainly blown away by the amount of tech kit installed to bring the action to you, on screen and app. It’s an eye-opening experience just visiting behind-the-scenes, as you will see in our pictures of just one day at the Championships.
So if you want to see what’s behind Wimbledon’s blazers and Pimms, head to the gallery for a sneak preview behind the ESPN screens.
You can follow all drama as the final couple of days of Wimbledon unfold on ESPN.co.uk.