View Full Version : ESPN2 Features Enhancements For Indian Wells, Miami

Mar 6th, 2006, 11:38 PM
ESPN2 Features Enhancements For Indian Wells, Miami
Photo By Bob Strauss By Richard Pagliaro

Players will be wired in Miami this month — and you can enjoy the experience. ShotSpot will come complete with sound at the Nasdaq-100 Open courtesy of ESPN2.

The network, whose Emmy-award winning ShotSpot technology (which is actually the British-based Hawk-Eye branded ShotSpot by the network) has long been a valued tool in its tennis telecasts, will turn up the volume on player challenges at this month's Nasdaq-100 Open. The USTA, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and the ATP have announced a new system of player challenges using the computer-generated, instant-replay technology Hawk-Eye, which will be used for the first time in a North American tournament at the Nasdaq-100 Open set for March 22nd-April 2nd.

ESPN2 is introducing a variety of enhancements to complement the line-calling technology starting at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells and continuing at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami — Hawk-Eye will not be used as an electronic line-calling tool for officials at the Pacific Life Open. Indian Wells was scheduled to become the first North American tournament to use Hawk-Eye, according to sources close to the discussions, however at a meeting of tennis officials and tournament directors conducted during the Australian Open, Pacific Life officials had not yet completed the deal that will keep their event in Indian Wells.

While the Pacific Life Open will not use line-calling technology to aid officials, ESPN2's coverage of Indian Wells will feature the technology for viewers. Additional ESPN2 enhancements are designed to take the viewer so close to the action on court you can almost hear the sweat pouring from players' pores.

With the permission of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and the ATP, ESPN2 plans to:

Place wireless microphones on players and coaches during matches with their permission for audio to be used during replays
Present video from practice sessions that utilizes similar microphones
Use enhanced access for hand-held, on-court cameras
Pursue interviews with players and officials to better address storylines using greater access to the players’ lounge and locker room areas.
"ESPN has a long tradition of excellence through innovation, and we’re excited to bring these breakthroughs to this great sport on the home of tennis, ESPN2," said Len DeLuca, ESPN senior vice president, programming and acquisitions."We applaud the ATP, USTA and WTA for their vision, allowing 21st Century technology to better serve fans and the sport."

Long-time replay advocate and ESPN2's voice of tennis, Cliff Drysdale is pleased the game's governing bodies are introducing line-calling technology at the Nasdaq-100 Open.

"I’m thrilled about it because tennis needs it for a variety of reasons, one of which, the main one being the viewing public, the second to that the live audience, and thirdly just because we don’t need more repetitions of what we’ve seen over the past year with people getting hooked out of matches," Drysdale told Tennis Week.

The former U.S. Open finalist, who has part of the ESPN tennis team since the network’s first telecast in September 1979, will host ESPN2’s coverage of the Pacific Life Open, working with analysts Mary Joe Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe, who will likely skip the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami as wife Melissa Errico is nearing the due date for the couple's first child.

ESPN2 will provide 39 hours of coverage March 12–19th (37 hours of live coverage). Drysdale and Fernandez will be joined by Mary Carillo and Brad Gilbert in Miami March 25th–31st. In addition, ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language sports network, will carry 27 hours from Indian Wells (including live coverage of the men’s finals) and 22 hours through the semifinals from Miami.

Mar 7th, 2006, 03:46 AM
i can't believe no one has replied to this yet! i'm pumped for this! to have them miked up...and the coaches! then we'll really know if yuri screams things or if other coaches coach from the sidelines! also interviews with officials and from the locker rooms will be GREAT

i'm so excited...bravo to ESPN2 and the tours for agreeing to make the sport more exciting!

Mar 7th, 2006, 03:51 AM

Where is PAM!????

TF Chipmunk
Mar 7th, 2006, 03:54 AM
The players and coaches mic'd up during matches? Enhanced cameras? Please, this is just the sport of tennis :o Making it too high-tech will drain the fun out of it :sad: Why can't we just have a match with just the players, the linesmen, and a scoreboard :rolleyes: