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Behind the scenes of the first virtual NFL draft

Thursday’s NFL draft will essentially be a giant videoconference call as players, team managers, and draft hosts will join in virtually from their homes. We spoke with ESPN employees to see how they are preparing to cover this unique situation. 

During a typical ESPN event, there are usually 40 to 50 feeds that need to be coordinated, but this virtual draft will have to organize more than 100 different feeds simultaneously.

Several NFL prospects have been sent kits to set up mini broadcast booths inside their homes, including a microphone, a lighting kit, and one or two cameras. 

Of course, the technical issues are on everyone’s mind, but ESPN is prepared. 

“The biggest challenge we probably will see is any type of less-mild problems with connectivity to individuals homes, and that’s really something that we can’t control,” Dave Johnson, the vice president of engineering and media distribution at Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, told Digital Trends. “We do have a lot of redundancy and resiliency built into the network to avoid any types of problems.”

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