Special Award for Technological Achievement


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On cable and satellite

Most of the 2010 Media Vanguard Awards are for companies that are pushing cross-media boundaries -- moving into new media territory beyond their traditional strengths. But the MVA judges were so dazzled by a series of technological showcases submitted by ESPN that we decided to recognize the sports network for pushing into entirely new dimensions within its existing wheelhouse: broadcast.

In a post-"Avatar" age, ESPN is wisely supercharging its broadcasts with all kinds of virtual technologies that are not only very cool-looking, but dramatically enhance viewer understanding of the on-screen action (e.g., at the Open Championship at St. Andrews, ESPN added the ball-track tee, a real-time, hit-tracking system that traces the flight of the ball from the tee to green). And on June 11, the first 3-D network in the U.S., ESPN 3D, was born when Mexico faced South Africa in the 2010 FIFA World Cup game. As always, ESPN is ahead of the game.

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