ESPN’s unique NFL Draft broadcast – ‘I’ve never been a part of anything like this’

Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Think back to the 2019 NFL Draft. Hundreds of thousands of fans filled up the streets of downtown Nashville as multiple networks broadcasted the event.

This year’s draft will be nothing like that.

No fans in attendance and ESPN will run the show for itself and the NFL Network. Oh, and it’s virtual.

“I’ve been at ESPN almost 27 years now, and I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” said ESPN’s VP of Production. “The coordination and logistics that are involved, it just doesn’t match anything we’ve ever experienced before. We have over 150 camera feeds coming in to our Bristol (Connecticut) studios to try and coordinate.”

They’ve been prepping and testing out all the equipment and will even have a dress rehearsal before the main event.

“I think our team is ready for challenge, I think they are. But there are just some nerves to make sure that it’s all going to come together,” he said.

Speaking of coming together, this year, ESPN and NFL Network will come together for a simulcast featuring talent and draft analysts from both networks.

“In years past, we’ve competed with NFL Network, quite frankly. Not a rivalry, we are friends with them, but there’s a feeling of we need to do this for the greater good right now and squabbling over little things just doesn’t seem appropriate with what everybody else is dealing with out there.”

To assist with COVID-19 relief efforts, the networks will also be hosting a “Draft-a-thon” to raise funds during the broadcast.

It’s a season of change for football. From the NFL to high school, News 2 digs deeper into the impact COVID-19 is having on the game.
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