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ESPN’s ‘The Jump’ to Broadcast Live From Home

Rachel Nichols and her co-hosts have been on the sidelines for more than two weeks. California’s shelter-in-place order has made it impossible to do episodes of The Jump out of ESPN’s Los Angeles studio. The show returns to the network’s lineup on Monday thanks to a little technical wizardry.

“The fact that we are going to be able to go back on the air on linear television is amazing,” Nichols told Business Insider.

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ESPN’s “Live From Home Team” has made it possible for all of the hosts to be on air from their homes. The “Live From Home Team” is made up of members of ESPN’s Remote Ops, Production, Production Ops, Creative Services, Transmission, Network Engineering, and Media Engineering teams. It took special software, iPad cameras, adjusted WiFi speeds, and volume control for them to get The Jump back on air.

This won’t be the Live From Home Team’s first rodeo. Plenty of ESPN hosts are broadcasting out of their homes right now. But it took trial and error to get this just right according to Nichols. The biggest hurdle to overcome was eliminating any lag in the video feeds and making sure everyone on screen was moving at the same speed.

She says the key to The Jump being successful will be Ty Frison, the show’s coordinating director. He will be a one-man control room with a special touchscreen set up in his home. From that, Frison can control the show’s video, audio, B-roll footage, and graphics.

“I am in such debt to the people who worked so incredibly hard on the technical side to make what I believe is still magic — there might be some elves involved, it is Disney after all,” Nichols says. “I can’t believe that they were able to figure out a way to produce an entire television show with everybody at home, not a single person in our television facility.”

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