Techwood’s a big place. And sometimes we’re nose-buried and hard at work in our own NCAA.com bubble, but with the MLB Playoffs on TBS, we’ve been swept up in the playoff fever just like the rest of the country.
The Turner Studios are beneath our campus, where Inside the NBA is broadcast from the legendary Studio J and countless other shows are filmed. Turner had the rights this year to all of the Division Series as well as the National League Championship Series, so we had the opportunity to take part in the excitement.
With all the hecticness, Turner Sports opened a social media room that the PR department is currently using to tweet from @MLB_TBS and @TurnerSportsPR and manage our social media accounts. With a light night at NCAA.com, Andrew and I, the editorial interns and Danielle, the products intern, were brought downstairs to see all the behind-the-scenes action and observe the MLB social media team at work.
We ended up catching the second half of the Pirates-Cardinals game and asking tons of questions about the process and all the components of live-tweeting a broadcast. One of the coolest parts was seeing all the impressions our tweets made in the twittersphere and how many people were tweeting about the broadcast at any given time. After we had the chance to observe the NLDS games from the social media room, we were eager to witness another facet of the production.
On a Wednesday afternoon, all ten of the NCAA.com interns were offered the opportunity to come down to the studios to watch the live broadcast of the pregame show for Game 5 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and the Cardinals. It was exciting to see Keith Olbermann, Gary Sheffield, Tom Verducci, and Pedro Martinez at work, preparing for the broadcast, making notes, and then delivering their opinions on air. Keith Olbermann even made an Arrested Development reference, referring to Craig Sager’s yellow suit, and Pedro Martinez quoted Allen Iverson’s infamous practice speech, my favorite press conference of all-time. Needless to say, I was a pretty happy camper.
For weeks, we’d all watched the pregame and postgame shows, knowing they were broadcast live from our basement, but we had the chance to see the show in person and it was fascinating to see everything that goes into producing the show that you don’t see on television.
I loved hearing their perspective on the games, their personal stories, their preparation, and their conversation before the broadcast and during commercial breaks. Standing on the studio floor during the live broadcast was fascinating because we were able to see all the moving parts: the cameras, the researchers, the producers, the anchors, the engineers.
After seeing the Game 5 pregame show, we had to watch the Game 6 pregame show two nights later, and had a very different perspective. We definitely had the most unique experience of postseason baseball this year!