Special report: Behind the Scenes on Monday Night Football - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Special report: Behind the Scenes on Monday Night Football


One of the longest running programs in television history, Monday Night Football, is in its 44th season.

It puts teams in front of millions of viewers and is like producing a Super Bowl every week.

It takes the largest, integrated mobile facility in the country. And it was parked at Lambeau Field on Monday for the Packers-Bears game.

"We have the bells, the whistles, the toys," said Steven Carter, ESPN's senior manager of remote operations.

Carter supervises the technical side of Monday Night Football. This is Carter's 14th NFL season.

"These trucks are brand new. There's nothing like this in the country right now. These are literally one of a kind," Carter said. "This truck is where the show is actually put together. Producer, director, technical director work out of this truck."

While things on the field are hectic, the opposite is true inside the truck.

"It's not overly hectic in here. It's very calm. It's very controlled I guess. The volume is very low. These guys are professionals and they've been doing it for many, many years. And they are pretty much ready for anything that can possibly happen. So you'd be surprised by how quiet it is during the game," said Carter.

Most live sports broadcasts use one or two trucks but this is the first year that ESPN is using four of them on Monday Night Football.

Inside is an army of staff members, working on everything from video and audio to graphics and replays.

"We credential typically around 450 people total between game and studio. To give us some perspective between the four mobile units, there's almost 3400 square feet of working space and there's 92 working positions," said Carter.

ESPN uses 35 cameras for the game. Not all of them are operated by humans.

At least not on the field.

"We've got 34 other cameras we can go to...They're so reliable that they don't fail," Carter said.

With so many screens, cameras and equipment, ESPN uses a lot of electricity.

ESPN uses three generators that run in parallel, each one generating 1,500 amps – enough electricity to power several hundred homes and to stay on the air, even during a power outage, Carter said.

After four days of set-up and hours of coverage, ESPN packs up, hits the road, just to do it all over again.

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