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Control room at ESPN HQ in Bristol, Conn. Courtesy: ESPN

After broadcasting games inside the NBA bubble, ESPN's production team jumped almost immediately into preparing for the 2020-21 season.

The state of play: While some games feature on-site announcers and production trucks, others require ESPN to produce the broadcast from hundreds of miles away. They call this the "Enhanced World Feed" (EWF) model.

How it works: The production team works out of ESPN's Bristol or Charlotte studios and takes the "clean feed" from the host team's Regional Sports Network and adds layers on top of it, like commentary and graphics.

What they're saying: "Normally, we're creating everything. But with this model, it's almost like we're working off someone else's draft and making adjustments," Mike Shiffman, ESPN's VP of production, tells me.

  • "Each RSN has a different setup and goals for its broadcast, so we meet ahead of time to discuss our needs and what they're able to do provide."
Mike Breen's setup in his Long Island home. Courtesy: ESPN

Announcers like Mike Breen have been calling games from home, where they're able to customize their setup to their liking.

  • "Do they want the game on a big monitor, or are they okay with that in a multi-box where they're also seeing their announcing partner, stats, and other stuff? It's up to them," says Shiffman.
Control room at ESPN HQ in Bristol, Connecticut. Courtesy: ESPN

Producers and directors are generally in one control room, while graphics and replay teams are in a separate room for social distancing reasons.

  • As for the stats person? "They're on Zoom," says Shiffman. Very relatable.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 28, 2021 - Sports

The NBA battle for the "second screen" is almost as important as the game itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tonight's NBA doubleheader will be broadcast on TNT, which means the network will almost certainly draw more viewers than its competitors throughout the evening.

Yes, but: While the battle for the "first screen" (broadcast) has already been won, the battle for the "second screen" (social media) will happen in real-time.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
8 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.