Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Scripps Spelling Bee Is Its Own Kind Of Sport - and Has Its Own Kind of Broadcast on Ion Television

29/05/2024

Scripps Spelling Bee Is Its Own Kind Of Sport - and Has Its Own Kind of Broadcast on Ion Television The 99-year-old competition is now on its own network By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 11:47 am

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

The Scripps Spelling Bee is the Super Bowl for smart kids. Contestants from all over the world compete to be the last kid standing - their ages top out at 15, and they cannot be past the eighth grade by Aug. 31 of the year before the competition - with the correct spelling of some of the English language's most abstruse and recondite words.

This week's broadcast of the four-day event on Scripps-owned Ion Television - its third year there since leaving a nearly 30-year broadcast partnership with ESPN - demonstrates how the event is moving on a path similar to sports on live television and streaming. It even shares many of sports' vendors and technology platforms: Dome Productions mobile unit, Fletcher robo cams, PSSI Global Services remote satellite uplink, LED screens from Fuze Technical Group, lighting by 4Wall Entertainment, live sound by MHA Audio, and comms by East Shore Sound and Blanchard Communications.

The event takes place at its longtime venue at the Washington, DC-adjacent Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.

Scripps' David Hudson: [The Bee] has the feeling and the sense of sports. an Olympics sort of an event.

Asked whether the Spelling Bee is a kind of sports event, Scripps National Networks Head of Original Programming David Hudson, who has served as executive producer of the Bee since Ion took it over, offers a qualified yes, likening it to an Olympics, in which contestants have already established their status and now compete at an elite level.

It's a competition, he points out. I think, as it relates to live television, it has the feeling and the sense of sports. But I think what's important to understand, too, is that the kids are competing against the dictionary and not necessarily against each other. They've already succeeded. They're all winners already. It truly feels like it's an Olympics sort of an event. I can't think, from a competition standpoint, of anything else that's televised that evokes the same emotions as watching sports.

Hudson is joined in what is a nearly year-long planning undertaking for Bee Week by Story Producer Nancy Saslow; Broadcast Analyst Paul Loeffler; Supervising Producer David Bryant; Director Michael Dempsey; and EIC, Production, Bill Urban.

Audio and Video Audio is as crucial to the Spelling Bee as it would be to any live, competitive event - perhaps more so because each word is parsed literally letter by letter. Contestants are heard through a variable-height podium microphone (like the one used at the Academy Awards broadcasts, necessary because of the children's' varied heights), while the judges wear wireless lavs. In one new wrinkle for this year's Bee, Co-Host Julie Grant, accompanied by a separate boom microphone, wades into the roughly 1,000-seat audience, largely comprising parents and other family members, to do live interviews during the show.

One of the most high-stress positions on the show is that of Graphics Manager James Stevenson. Operating a Ross Xpressions system, he's responsible for all the graphics presented, including the words as they're being spelled, their definitions, and everything viewers see in written form on the television screen. He's collaborating with Dev Jaiswal, a 2015 Bee finalist who thus understands the criticality of how words look on screen. He'll color-code the letters of each word as it is spelled - green for correct letters, red for well, you know.

Competitive Numbers The Spelling Bee achieves numbers many sports events would appreciate, in part because Scripps has assembled a big broadcast/streaming stage for it. In 2023, the semifinals and finals drew 9.2 million viewers, an increase of 22% over its 2022 debut on Ion. The 2024 edition of the competition airs on Ion and Bounce TV and is streamed on ION Plus, Bounce XL, Grit Xtra, Laff More, and spellingbee.com from Tuesday, May 28 through the finals, which will air live on ION at 8-10 p.m. Thursday, May 30.

Dev Shah correctly spelled psammophile to win the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Scripps itself has moved forcefully into sports media very recently. Scripps Sports was established in 2022 - the year it took over broadcasting its Spelling Bee from ESPN - with a regular-season package of Friday-night WNBA games on its Ion Television broadcast network, which it acquired in 2020. It has since added a contract with the NWSL and regional games for the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Utah's NHL expansion team. It's looking to diverge from the faltering RSN model, which Scripps President/CEO Adam Symson has declared an old model not set up to move forward.

Hudson, who has supervised live broadcasts for 30 years, including at Turner Networks, acknowledges that there is an alignment between Scripps' sports-media ambitions and the Spelling Bee, in the sense that all are live events and are competitions of one kind or another. However, he adds, the correlation between league sports and the Bee came about separately and organically.

Even so, the links between them are robust. One such link is 15-year-old Louisiana native Zaila Avant-garde, winner of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee (winning word: Murraya, a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees) and holder of three basketball-related Guinness World Records.

(The Bee hasn't escaped the heightened gambling environment around sports today. Wagers have been placed on its outcomes, with micro betting on things like whether the winning word will be singular or plural.)

Saslow oversees development
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/05/29/scripps-spelling-bee-finds-its-...
See more stories from svg

North America Stories

25/06/2024

Bulls Return to Durham for Yellowstone Night, Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond, Two Fireworks Shows and One Dollar Hot Dogs

Tacos & Tallboys Tuesday with Tune Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Kids Run The Base...

25/06/2024

Survey: Consumers Want Better Bundles to Simplify Streaming

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. As streamers wrestle with high churn rates, a new study from Hub Entertainment Research provides some insights into how companies can use bette...

25/06/2024

Allen Media Group To Air Special Pre-, Post-Presidential Debate Coverage

LOS ANGELES, Calif. The Allen Media Group's (AMG's) theGrio TV and digital media platform will provide comprehensive coverage of the CNN Presidential De...

25/06/2024

CommScope Updates E6000 Converged Edge Router

CLAREMONT, N.C. CommScope has launched Software Release 13 for the E6000 Converged Edge Router (CER). Software Release 13 allows operators a flexible path forwa...

25/06/2024

Paramount Global, DCMP Ink Agreement to Provide Captions for Nickelodeon Shows

NEW YORK Paramount Global and The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) have announced a partnership that ensures hundreds of hours of Nickelodeons hit a...

25/06/2024

Hiltron Reports Growing Demand for Ground Antenna Refurbishment

BACKNANG, Germany Hiltron Communications is reporting that it is seeing increasing demand for its refurbishment capabilities across the entire satellite communi...

25/06/2024

ABP Network Expands Global Presence With Amagis Cloud-Bas...

Amagi, a global leader in cloud-based SaaS technology for broadcast and connected TV (CTV), today announced its collaboration with ABP Network, one of India s l...

25/06/2024

Miller Tripods Provides LA-based Rental House With Variet...

DeHaven Camera is a boutique rental house in Los Angeles that offers a broad range of equipment to upcoming filmmakers. Eric DeHaven, co-owner of DeHaven Camera...

25/06/2024

BCNEXXT Unveils the Playout Playbook

BCNEXXT has developed a new playbook highlighting their benchmark model for content playout and distribution. To maximize operational efficiency and return on i...

25/06/2024

New Tiffen Magnetic Control System MCS

The Tiffen Company's newest filter design is here. The Magnetic Control System (MCS) is an elegantly simple new way to harness magnetic power to swiftly and...

25/06/2024

Sonnet Announces High-Performance USB-C 20Gbps PCIe Card...

Allegro Max USB-C 20Gbps 1-Port PCIe Card Adds USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Support to Mac , Windows , and Linux Computers With an Available x4 PCIe Card Slot What s Ne...

25/06/2024

MediorNet Artist and Bolero Aboard New UHD5 OB Van Power...

Riedel Communications today announced that View Master Events, a premier production company based in Athens, Greece, has used Riedel s state-of-the-art technolo...

25/06/2024

Pliant Technologies Steps Into The Spotlight for Sound As...

With over 75 years of experience renting production gear to On and Off Broadway shows, houses of worship, concerts and outdoor events, Sound Associates, Inc. ha...

25/06/2024

Wooden Camera Introduces Cine Mag Ties

Wooden Camera, a leading innovator in professional camera accessories, announces the launch of Cine Mag Ties, an essential new addition to their universal acces...

25/06/2024

Hiltron Experiences Growing Demand for Ground Antenna Ref...

Hiltron Communications reports increasing demand for its refurbishment capabilities across the entire satellite communications sector, from high accuracy telepo...

25/06/2024

Podcaster and On-air Personality Humberto El Gato Rodrigu...

Podcaster Humberto El Gato Rodriguez's El Poder de la M sica podcast focuses on all the intricacies of music, from the science behind production to new ...

25/06/2024

ZTransform Hires Senior Program Manager with Big Brand Cr...

Jim Butler latest talent to join systems and solutions provider in key project management role serving fast-growing client base ZTransform, a leading technolog...

25/06/2024

Videosys Broadcast Expands and Rebrands Its Antenna Divis...

Two and a half years after its acquisition of Masthead Antennas, Videosys Broadcast has increased its office and manufacturing capacity in West Sussex. The comp...

25/06/2024

Adapt Selects OOONA to Enable Cutting-Edge Media Solution...

OOONA, a leading provider of professional management and production tools for the media localization industry, announced today that its flagship platform, OOONA...

25/06/2024

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Camera for Android!

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Camera for Android! Brie Clayton June 24, 2024 0 Comments Now a new generation of creators can add digital film...

25/06/2024

Story Television Grabs Forged in Fire'

Story Television Network has acquired 214 episodes of Forged in Fire, a competition series featuring bladesmiths creating complex weaponry. The show starts on S...

25/06/2024

EvolutionaryScale Debuts With ESM3 Generative AI Model for Protein Design

Generative AI has revolutionized software development with prompt-based code generation - protein design is next. EvolutionaryScale today announced the release...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Show Collaboration Tech at Enterprise Connect 2023

X2O Media to showcase immersive collaboration technology at Enterprise Connect 2023 New OneRoom features offer enhanced human connection and presence for hybrid...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Releases X2O Platform 6.7

The Release is the First as Part of the STRATACACHE Family of Companies MONTREAL, June 13, 2018 - X2O Media announced the release of version 6.7 of its X2O Pla...

24/06/2024

STRATACACHE to Debut Shopper Marketing Tech at NRF 2019

DAYTON, OH, US-January 9, 2019-STRATACACHE will feature new marketing technology that drives retail transformation in booth #3921 at NRF 2019: Retail's Big ...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Adds Media Player to Communications Solutions

X2O Media's Business Intelligence Solutions Will Be on Display at ISE 2019. Montreal, 4 February 2019-X2O Media today unveiled the addition of X2O Media-br...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Show Virtual Classroom Solutions at Enterprise Connect

Montreal, QC - March 14, 2019 - X2O Media will demonstrate solutions for a next generation team collaboration room and virtual classroom, as well as fully integ...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Show Data Visualization at UC Expo 2019

Montreal, QC -May 10, 2019 -X2O Media will demonstrate fully integrated enterprise visual communications and real-time performance data visualization solutions,...

24/06/2024

STRATACACHE to Show Audience Engagement Tech at InfoComm 2019

DAYTON, OH, US - June 11, 2019 - STRATACACHE will showcase our full scope of end-to-end advanced audience engagement technology solutions at InfoComm 2019. In b...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Adds New Media Player Hardware

MONTREAL, QC., July 10, 2019 - X2O Media today unveiled the addition of Windows-based X2O Media Player-S hardware to their growing product offering. The additio...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Launches Interactive Virtual Classroom

Montreal, QC - January 17, 2020 - X2O Media today announced the enterprise-grade Virtual Classroom experience, an innovative solution that has changed how remot...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Unveil Room Scheduling Solution at ISE 2020

MONTREAL - 7 February 2020 - X2O Media, part of the STRATACACHE family of marketing technology companies, announced today that they will unveil a robust meeting...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Partners with FutureDJs for Remote Learning

Montr al-April 7, 2020 - X2O Media today announced a global partnership with pioneering music education company FutureDJs to deliver an immersive remote learnin...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Gains SOC 2 Type II Certification

Montreal- July 8, 2020 X2O Media, part of the STRATACACHE family of marketing technology companies, announced today that it has successfully completed Service...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Introduces Two New Media Players

MONTREAL-August 5, 2020 - X2O Media today launched two new media players, X2O Media Player-R and X2O Media Player-DX, engineered to work seamlessly with the X2O...

24/06/2024

X2O Media and HEC Launch Immersive Virtual Classroom

MONTR AL- October 8, 2020 X2O Media, global provider of virtual collaboration technology for education and enterprise, today announced the launch of its first...

24/06/2024

STRATACACHE Launches LINQ Intelligent Tablets

DAYTON, OH, US-October 27, 2020 STRATACACHE today announced the launch of commercial grade LINQ all-in-one intelligent tablets, designed and built by STRATACACH...

24/06/2024

STRATACACHE Hires Sales Expert Scott Oranen

DAYTON, OH, US-January 14, 2021 -STRATACACHE announced Scott Oranen has joined the technology company as Director of Business Development, LINQ Platform. Oranen...

24/06/2024

STRATACACHE Opens New Facility in Chicago

100,000 square foot facility to focus on digital menu, mobile device and application development DAYTON, OH, US-February 22, 2021-STRATACACHE today announced t...

24/06/2024

X2O Media and TransMedics Deploy X2O Collaboration Room

The Immersive Environment Supports Remote Clinical Training and Development of the TransMedics Organ Care System MONTR AL March 10, 2021 X2O Media, a global...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Launches New Website

MONTR AL - March 31, 2021 X2O Media today proudly announced the launch of its newly redesigned website and key elements of the corporate brand, highlighting t...

24/06/2024

X2O Media and William & Mary Install Virtual Classrooms

X2O Media and William & Mary Announce Installation of Three Immersive Virtual Classrooms MONTR AL April 27, 2021 X2O Media, a global provider of virtual col...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Installs OneRoom Classrooms at Goizueta School

Goizueta Business School Launches Immersive OneRoom Technology to Elevate Student Experience and Expand Their Global Reach MONTR AL-July 20, 2021 X2O Media...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Updates Immersive Solution X2O OneRoom

The New Software Release Allows for Greater Integration with Leading Learning Management Systems, Improved UI and Virtual Rooms MONTR AL-September 22, 2021 ...

24/06/2024

How Employers Lure Employees Back to Office

Reprint of an article published by the Montr al Gazette on Apr. 11, 2022 Office Space Renovations Imagine you were building an office tower when the pandemic h...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Show Collaboration Tech at ISE 2022

Huddle Room and Virtual Room adds new features to X2O OneRoom technology MONTR AL - May 3, 2022 X2O Media, global provider of leading hybrid workplace soluti...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Exhibit OneRoom Solution at InfoComm 2022

MONTR AL-May 25, 2022-X2O Media, global provider of leading hybrid workplace solutions including X2O OneRoom hybrid technology, today announced that it will unv...

24/06/2024

X2O OneRoom Gains Learning Technologies Accreditation

MONTR AL - July 20, 2022 - X2O Media, an international provider of hybrid collaboration technology, today announces it has been awarded the status of Accredited...

24/06/2024

X2O Media to Show Collaboration Tech at ISE 2023

X2O Media to showcase immersive collaboration technology at ISE 2023 Experience the latest features of X2O OneRoom technology that support an engaged hybrid wor...

24/06/2024

X2O Media Updates Hybrid Solution X2O OneRoom

MONTR AL-November 30, 2023-X2O Media, a global provider of hybrid learning and collaboration solutions including X2O OneRoom, today announced it will unveil the...