Shows on NBC Sports Philadelphia will are now sporting a dramatic new look.
The network debuted its new 3,600 square foot studio on Thursday during Phillies Pregame Live, ahead of the team’s opening day debut against the Atlanta Braves.
The bright new studio, designed by Jack Morton Worldwide, features dynamic LED video monitors, a video floor that can change for each sport, and multiple standup positions. Expect to see some MLB Network-like demonstrations from former athletes at the network, such as ex-Phillies pitcher Ricky Bottalico. In fact, former Phillies star Jimmy Rollins stopped by Phillies Pregame Live Thursday afternoon to test out the new set.
Brian Monihan, the president of NBC Sports Philadelphia, said the new studios were an important front-facing symbol of larger changes at the network — both physical and cultural. Those changes include an emphasis on digital content, but have also resulted in an exit of some talent and the cancellation of shows like Philly Sports Talk.
“A couple of people have asked me, ‘Well, you’re putting in these great studios but cutting back on some of the shows.’ Basically, my answer is, ‘Not really,’ “ Monihan said. “We’re doing even more. We’re doing a lot more digital, and we’re doing a lot more on multi-platform and podcasting. So we needed these studios to help us complete that transition.”
All the network’s shows — including Quick Slants, Sixers Outsiders, and pre- and post-game shows for the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers — will broadcast out of the network’s new studio.
Here’s a peek inside the new studio, as well as a look at a secondary studio that will debut at NBC Sports Philadelphia later this year.
Over the course of his 15-year career, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has played in many stadiums. But on Wednesday, he admitted the toughest place he’s been forced to play on the road is against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, thanks in no small part to loyal fans not afraid to taunt the two-time Super Bowl champion.
During an NYIT Center for Sports Medicine/Head Injury Association panel discussion, Manning said one fan in particular stood out in his mind.
“You go there, and that 9-year-old kid is giving you the double finger,” Manning said, according to Newsday. “Not a thumbs-up. Not, ‘We’re No. 1.’ And he said something about my mom; I had to Google what it was. It’s just different. It’s a different culture.”
Manning said he’s been playing football so long, that 9-year-old is now an adult with a family of his own.
“Now I see him and he’s got his 9-year-old kid with him,” Manning joked. “Same deal. It runs in the families down there.”
Former Phillies great Pete Rose joined Yahoo’s Mike Oz to open several packs of unopened baseball cards to commemorate the 100th episode of the popular web show Old Baseball Cards.
Rose flipped through old cards with Oz for nearly 20 minutes, opening a total of five packs — 1983 Topps, 1986 Topps, 1981 Fleer, 1982 Fleer, and 1985 Donruss. Among the players the two discussed was former Phillies outfielder Keith Moreland, who Rose said nearly duped an umpire into calling a foul ball a home run due to the reaction of a ball girl.
Oz said he owes the show to his grandmother, who would buy boxes of unopened cards at Costco and stash them in her apartment. When she died about 15 years ago, Oz said, he and his family kept finding more boxes, and couldn’t figure out what to do with them.
“I had told my wife that I was going to clean up the garage before I went to spring training,” Oz told Awful Announcing. ”I was trying to figure out where to put the cards and that’s when I was like ‘Oh, I should open baseball cards with baseball players.’ So it was kind of the genesis of everything.”