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Behind the Scenes at BYU Sports Nation

It all starts when a former Cougar makes a tackle in the NFL, or a current Cougar gets recognition in a conference. It starts when Alexa Gray gets career high kills against Pepperdine or when Men’s Basketball reveals their new uniforms for the upcoming season. It all starts way before 7:30 a.m. when BYU Sports Nation Hosts Jarom Jordan and Spencer Linton meet with Producer Ben Bagley and his production team at the BYU Broadcasting Building in Provo, Utah to discuss everything that has transpired in “The Nation” within the last 23 hours.

The sun slowly rises over Lavell Edwards Stadium and casts a pink glow onto the Marriott Center as the team sits down to list all of the latest BYU news from Twitter, the media, press releases, interviews and personal conversations with Cougar coaches and players to make up all of the day’s potential content for Sports Nation. If you are a BYU sports geek, then this is your “Comic-con.” Jarom, Spencer, Ben and the team go nuts about anything Cougar blue for two whole hours. The room, bordering irreverent with all of the laughing and debating, doesn’t empty until Jarom, Spencer and Ben have a good idea about the day’s stories, trending topics and potential content that they will share over the air.

Ben’s team runs around like mad for about two hours; cutting audio clips, building fonts and story headlines for the broadcast, pre-tweeting interview reminders and creating video clips for the show. But, emerging from what seems like organized chaos comes all of the little things that make the show into what it is—from the touchdowns that made you cry like you did when you first saw the new Star Wars trailer, to the clever little tweet that says something like ‘Sit back, Relax, and Watch BYUSN’ with an attached GIF of Michael Jackson happily eating popcorn in a movie theater.

Now that content has been discovered, developed, polished and made presentable, we are ready to shoot the show. Spencer and Jarom are on the set of Studio B; Ben and his team are in the Production Control Room. Inside the control room there are 1.2 million (roughly) T.V. and computer screens all being used by someone to do something—whether that’s fonting the little texts that frequently pop up during the show or managing which shot we are going to use and when. There are headsets, buttons, knobs, cables, cameras...yeah, it’s like what Robocop is made of.

During the show, Ben and the team update Jarom and Spencer, who are in the studio, on content, upcoming tweets and show segments, as well as the occasional breaking news update. A whole team of 10-15 people work behind the Hosts to give them the exposure and information they need in order to get the stories and content that they’ve discussed in the morning meeting out to you, the audience in a succinct and timely manner. Because after all (cue music) everything we do is for you, the BYU Sports Nation.

After the show, everyone gathers together on the set to discuss how the show went and more importantly, how they could each improve the show in their own respects. The show is a living thing, made up of constantly updating conversation and events over the internet and on BYU campus. The people who make it come to life are constantly trying to innovate and create a better show to broadcast. Ben Bagley says it best: “Our aim, every day, is to inform and entertain all of BYU Sports Nation with news and interviews from the biggest names in BYU Sports.” How do Jarom, Spencer, Ben and the guys do that? By improving BYUSN one show at a time.

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