After severe flooding wrecked ESPN’s plans to use their primary studio set last week alongside the River Seine in France, the network has today been able to move back into the River Seine studio.

The new set, which is the primary set ESPN will be using for the rest of the tournament, sits on the bank of the River Seine with the majestic Eiffel Tower directly in the background. In addition to a beautiful setting, the viewers are able to soak up the atmosphere of Paris, including sirens blaring behind the studio team as French protestors marched across a bridge to demand labor rights.

The atmosphere was so intense on the first day of broadcast from the new studio that the authorities closed down the area around the scene (see screengrab below of the nearby disturbances), including ESPN’s studio — which meant that the halftime and post-match broadcast between Austria and Hungary was televised from the SportsCenter set in Bristol, CT.

In a statement by ESPN, it reads “Due to the protests in Paris in the vicinity of ESPN’s Euro 2016 set location, the decision was made to host the Austria-Hungary halftime and post-match segments from Bristol (Connecticut) as a precaution.”

Going into the second game of the day, the pre-match coverage of Portugal-Ireland was televised from a studio in ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol with Derek Rae hosting.

When World Soccer Talk interviewed ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Amy Rosenfeld last week, she shared details about how bad the flooding was and where they were able to locate a temporary set, the one that they’ve been using from last week until today.

“The last time (the flooding) was this bad was 1982,” said Rosenfeld. “And then before that, it was 1888. No one saw this flooding coming at all. We’ve had concerns about various things. Flooding was not one of them.”


“We found an alternate location that’s over by the Arc de Triomphe; It’s virtually a miracle,” said Rosenfeld. “It’ll be a little bit of a stripped down version of what we hope we’ll get when we get into our regular set.”

In addition to the new setting for ESPN’s coverage, the location will allow ESPN to debut new technology.

“We’re very excited about the use of touch-screen (that worked very well at Brazil 2014),” she said. “Some of our panelists, most notably Roberto Martinez, are really effective and impactful using the touchscreen. We’ve taken that to the next step where a touchscreen is actually embedded into a golf cart. It’s mobile. It can be outdoors. The screen is impervious to the glare of sunlight. We were going to truck it up and down the (original River Seine) set, with beautiful backdrops. At some point, we’ll be able to use that for a richer backdrop.”