With the Los Angeles Lakers visiting the Brooklyn Nets this past Friday, I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a part of Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Blogger Night at the TWC Studios in El Segundo, CA. It was an outstanding experience in which myself and my Lakers Nation cohorts, Dan Duangdao and Ryan Ward, got to see everything that goes on behind the scenes as well as interact with the on-air talent including James Worthy and Antawn Jamison.
Peter Bothe (Director of Studio Operations) and Nadia Gonzalez (Public Relations Manager) did an excellent job outlining how things got started and everything that Time Warner Cable is responsible for as well as the teams they cover. There was also a mini-Lakers Nation reunion with former Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Buerge, who now works at TWC SportsNet.
One thing Bothe was very excited about was the LED screen in the studio. Anyone who has watched the Lakers pre- or post- game shows on the channel are familiar with the massive screen in which you see everything from graphics, pictures and game highlights. While we as fans may be used to it after seeing it so many times, Bothe noted that the screen itself is something that no other company has.
The screen itself is a 23′ x 7′ Leyard USA LED wall that has a three degree curve. It has a 1.6 mm pixel pitch, which is the best available resolution and it is actually capable of doing far more than what it has been used for, including touchscreen. Sorry for all of the tech talk, but hearing about it and seeing it in person made it much more exciting than trying to explain it here.
Even before being able to enjoy the screen, we were greeted by the on-air crew and James Worthy made sure to let us know it was a five dollar cover charge to watch them work. Chris McGee, Antawn Jamison, Dave Miller, and Jamie Maggio were all there as well and were disappointed to find out that we did not bring refreshments for the group.
We got to see the crew do their last couple of segments before the game began and even got to pose for a picture with everyone.
We also spent some time in the what can best be described as the central nervous system of the entire production. In this room, there is a ridiculous number of television screens showing every camera view in the studio as well as on the court with the sideline interviewers.
Communication is constant in this room as producers are always making sure that the right thing is being shown on TV. Switching between showing graphics, the on-air talent, video packages, interviews, and anything else all happens in this room and timing must be precise. It is truly a sight to behold watching all of them at work.
We also were able to see some of the smaller rooms where they specifically work with the graphics and making sure all of the videos are played at the right time. We were also shown the room where they make the ‘Access 360’ graphics.
Probably the best part of the day was getting to watch the first quarter of the game with the on-air staff. We got to chat with Worthy, Jamison, McGee and everyone else and ask them questions. Everyone was very laid back and open with us and Worthy was absolutely hilarious to be around as he was constantly making jokes.
In the end, it was an exceptional experience for all of us here at Lakers Nation, and everyone else who attended as well. The Lakers also got their first win of the season which led to everyone proclaiming that we need to come back more to the studios.
No one at Lakers Nation would be opposed to that.