Live From the NFL Draft: ESPN Takes Golic and Wingo on the Road With Azzurro Pop Up Studio
The truck-in-a-suitcase system allows ESPN to control all cameras from Bristol
ESPN has taken the new Golic and Wingo morning radio/TV simulcast show on the road once again, this week to the NFL Draft in Arlington, TX. Building on the show’s first road trip — to Minneapolis in February for Super Bowl LII — ESPN has again opted to use Azzurro Group’s Pop Up Studio product to create a scaled-down production that doesn’t skimp on quality.
“We’re building on what we did for Golic and Wingo at the Super Bowl, which was a big success and went very well,” says ESPN Coordinating Director Deb Deely. “We want to be able to send shows on the road [more often], and this allows us to televise them while staying efficient. By doing it this way, we are able to send less crew onsite, but fans watching on TV won’t see any difference because it’s still very high quality.”
Golic and Wingo — hosted by Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, with Mike Golic Jr. — is broadcasting live Thursday and Friday from the 1010 Collins Events Center, just down the street from AT&T Stadium. ESPN is looking to create a tailgate-like vibe, opening the broadcasts to the public and rolling out the Golic and Wingo bus, which will be on display during the shows.
“This is a very cool tailgate space for Cowboy fans that we were able to take over and use for this event,” says Deely. “You can see [AT&T] Stadium in the background. We will also have the Golic and Wingo traveling bus on display in the background. It’s a big integration with our radio marketing team, which helped set up a lot of the planning for this. So there’s some good synergy there.”
Azzurro’s Pop Up Studio essentially serves a “truck in a suitcase” solution that allows ESPN to produce the entire show without having to roll up a production truck. ESPN is discretely transmitting the three PTZ cameras onsite at the set to Bristol via public internet. The cameras are all controlled and shaded in Bristol, where the show is integrated.
“What’s new for this event is, we are controlling all the cameras from Bristol,” says Deely. “In Bristol, we have the laptop with video shading, paint control, and the joystick to operate those cameras, and the director will be in Bristol. This is our next step to being even more efficient: to have staff controlling and directing it in Bristol.”
The only crew members onsite are an operations producer, a radio engineer to mix the audio (for both radio and TV), two lighting coordinators, two utilities to set up the cameras, a remote traffic director coordinating the feeds, and an Azzurro technician.
“We’re even smaller [in terms of crew onsite] than we were at the Super Bowl, so that’s a step in the right direction,” says Deely. “The Azzurro system is really amazing: instead of a truck, we have a suitcase with the ability to transmit and three PTZ cameras. That’s basically it.”