Is doing games for ESPN3 a path to doing games for ESPN?

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ssteve
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Is doing games for ESPN3 a path to doing games for ESPN?

#1 Post by ssteve » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:55 am

I will be doing softball this spring and MAY have an opportunity to do football this fall for an FCS school at their home games on ESPN3. Part of my desire is hoping it will get me work with ESPN regularly doing TV games. Is this a realistic expectation? Would it give me a better chance of "getting in" with them?

Jon Chelesnik
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Re: Is doing games for ESPN3 a path to doing games for ESPN?

#2 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:22 am

That is a terrific question.

Your chances for moving up to ESPN partly depend on who hired you to do ESPN3 games. Being hired by ESPN to do the games on E3 gives you a better chance than being hired by a conference or a school. Not to say someone in the latter scenario can't move up. In the former scenario, though, you already have the attention of the folks at the top.

I'm eager to hear what others have to say.

RadioPat1982
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Re: Is doing games for ESPN3 a path to doing games for ESPN?

#3 Post by RadioPat1982 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:49 am

Jon, I was going to reply with something very similar. If have been working behind the scenes now on ESPN3 productions for a few years. If anyone is looking for any insight on how everything works just PM me.

Like Jon mentioned, not every ESPN3 event is the same. There are really different 5 Scenarios. Here there are with a quick explanation.

Campus Produced Events
These are handled locally & normally with the school providing all the staffing including the talent. In many cases this is a mixture of staff, students and freelancers. The broadcast are normally a slimmer version than what you would see on TV.

Conference Produced Events

This events are more of the traditional TV style and often have a full TV truck on site. Not always a game of the week but more of a rotation of highlighted games with conferences. The talent is typically hired by the conference or by ESPN directly. "Regional" broadcaster are used a lot.

"Network" Plus Games
The bigger conferences like SEC have the schools bounce around between running games on traditional TV and for example SEC Network +. These games are often full productions with the same exact production value as when they air on traditional TV. This can vary on how talent is handled and some schools do it differently. These are normally produced by the local production rooms built on campus. The goal is for them to look and feel just like the traditional TV broadcast.

3rd Party Broadcast
These are easy to spot because they air on ESPN3 but dont use ESPN graphics. ESPN has made arrangements with regional networks to carry the games normally with a blackout restriction in the local markets. ASN, Time Warner, and others produce a lot of programming like this.

Alternate Programming Packages
These are the games we normally refer to as "The Ocho" lol. Alternate sports and leagues. Things like an ABA basketball package, Ultimate Frisbee, Video Game Tournaments, Little League, American Legion and Independent baseball. These broadcast vary in the way broadcasters are hired. I have worked on a few of these crews and some times it is a radio guy trying to break in to TV and get some tape.

I hope this helps. I did want to mention that ESPN3 in not the only carrier around doing this. Fox has started doing a live to web production on the Fox Sports Go app and also Campus Insiders have picked up several conferences recently.

One last thing. As a director, we are given a guide as to what ESPN wants and how to produce the broadcast. They monitor the broadcast from time to time and send basically a review of the games. I can confirm that the broadcasters are part of this review. Things like them being not neutral enough to technical issues like the mics not being an equal level. So be assured no matter how small of the event, someone is likely watching.

Jon Chelesnik
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Re: Is doing games for ESPN3 a path to doing games for ESPN?

#4 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:01 am

RadioPat1982 -- FABULOUS info. Your post is incredibly helpful. I learned a ton from it and I know it will help a lot of people. Thank you so much.

I might like to use it as an upcoming STAA blog post. If I do, can I use your name, or would you prefer I keep you anonymous. Please email me, jon@staatalent.com.

Thank you again!

Jon

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