Tumbling into St. Louis, the 2018 SEC Gymnastics Championship is set to air on Saturday, March 24 on SEC Network at 3 p.m. ET (afternoon session) and ESPN2 at 7 p.m. (evening session). In the championship's third year of TV production, the championship telecast is raising the bar by boasting new scoring graphics with enhanced scoring breakdowns, as well as individual apparatus streams - bar, beam, vault and floor - available on SEC Network + via the ESPN App.
"It's important to us to look for ways to entertain both avid gymnastics fans and new viewers who want to better understand the sport," ESPN senior managing producer Nick Rud said. "In St. Louis, we'll debut a new scoring graphic with a sleek new look and enhanced scoring breakdowns. We can now cycle overall team totals, individual averages and team differentials to inform our viewers and provide better insight into the team race and technical aspects of each routine."
As in previous years, both ESPN2 and SEC Network telecasts will utilize quad-boxes and replay machines to show as many routines as possible. In addition, the network has developed "Tech Tools" to bring the impressive technique and skill of the gymnasts into perspective for the viewer.
"The SEC has some of the best gymnasts in the country," said Meg Aronowitz, ESPN coordinating producer. "By launching these 'Tech Tools,' we not only make gymnastics technique and skill more impressive to the casual viewer, but also provide inspiration for the next generation of gymnastics stars."
The "Tech Tools" featured in ESPN2 and SEC Network's coverage from St. Louis include height and distance markers on vault, protractors for body angle on bars, the split-o-meter on beam and a new tool debuting in St. Louis for the network's floor routine coverage.
SEC Network's afternoon session action features Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and Missouri at 3 p.m. ET before coverage flips to ESPN2 for the top-four seeds, LSU, Florida, Alabama and Kentucky, at 7 p.m. ET
"We're thrilled with the opportunity to showcase SEC gymnastics in primetime on ESPN2," Aronowitz commented. "With so many ways to watch this year's championship, coupled with our enhanced graphics and analysis, fans will feel like they're in St. Louis sitting right next to the teams, coaches and commentators."
Olympic medalists and ESPN gymnastics analysts Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke are calling the Championship, with Laura Rutledge handling reporting duties. All viewing options are available through SEC Network + on the ESPN App, and immediately following the meet, SEC Network + will stream the trophy ceremony in full.
SEC Network concludes its regular-season gymnastics coverage Wednesday, March 28 at 9 p.m., with a special SEC Inside: SEC Women's Gymnastics Championship, featuring new vantage points and exclusive sound from St. Louis.