BRISTOL - ESPN â€śSportsCenterâ€ť host Scott Van Pelt may have some competition coming from Congress.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy dropped by ESPNâ€™s Bristol headquarters Friday to meet with company President Jimmy Pitaro and tour the facility.
The tour took Murphy through several studios, including the 6,000-square-foot Studio X.
â€śOf course, I have to take a picture at the desk,â€ť Murphy joked before sitting down at the famous â€śSportsCenterâ€ť desk.
Operations Coordinator Alexandra Carlson and Mike Soltys, vice president of corporate communications, led the tour several buildings. They told Murphy about the operations at ESPN and how the company has changed over the past few years.
The tour moved past one of ESPNâ€™s control rooms, where dozens of employees were editing highlight packages featuring sporting events from around the world.
â€śWe have a whole stats and information group. Thereâ€™s 20 buildings on our campus but we have about 1,000 employees down the road in Bristol in a similar setup, compiling scores and stats,â€ť Soltys said.
One thing Murphy noticed on his trip was the multitude of jobs and positions working together to put out the final product.
â€śItâ€™s still a labor-intensive business,â€ť Murphy said.
Carlson brought Murphy to Studio F, which has many sets that allow anchors to move around during programs.
â€śThat big push for our company, to have people standing and talking with the camera shooting from different angles,â€ť Carlson said. â€śIt feels more personable.â€ť
Murphy had visited the campus before, but not since ESPN finished building Digital Center 2 in 2014. The senator said it was impressive to see how much the company has grown in the state, even with programming originating in Las Angeles and New York as well as Bristol.
â€śYou get a real sense of what a big commitment they made to Connecticut when you walk the campus,â€ť Murphy said.
The senator referred to Gov.-elect Ned Lamont following Fridayâ€™s tour. Before his political ambitions, Murphyâ€™s fellow Democrat had founded his own cable television company, Campus Televideo.
â€śWe have a former cable executive whoâ€™s about to become governor of the state of Connecticut. I think thatâ€™s great news for ESPN,â€ť Murphy said. â€śNed Lamont can talk to the business of cable sports and cable news better than anybody, so he should be a really good asset for ESPN.â€ť
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at email@example.com.