Behind The Scenes At TCO Studios – Home Of The Minnesota Vikings Entertainment Network
On Saturday (August 12), I got the opportunity to be the on-site technical producer for the Northland Sports Page, a weekly show on our sister station, The FAN 106.5 FM, as they did their show from TCO Studios in Eagan.
TCO Studios, located in the same complex where the team practices, is home to the video and audio content produced by the Vikings Entertainment Network. From TV shows like The Audible to audio content like Vikings podcasts and radio broadcasts on the team's radio home, these on-site facilities are state-of-the-art.
As a broadcaster and fan of the Vikings, it was a real treat getting to work in the facility where so much of the team's content gets produced on a daily basis. Adding to it, Vikings radio play-by-play announcer Paul Allen and Vikings Entertainment Network reporter Tatum Everett joined us during our broadcast.
Hearing about their experiences with using the facilities and about how they are among the best in the NFL added to the "pinch me" feeling I was having while doing my work for the day.
Here's a look at our experience.
A warm welcome
Nothing says "cool" like having the Vikings Entertainment Network radio studios booked for you! The team was super hospitable in welcoming us and making sure we had everything we needed to get on the air and do our show.
Let's take a look inside the studio space we got to work from on Saturday morning.
Inside the TCO Studios Radio & Podcasts Studio
I love the studio spaces Townsquare Media has in Duluth. They are comfortable and equipped with the latest gear. Not surprisingly, the Vikings Entertainment Network (VEN) radio space was similarly equipped with all of the latest audio gear, dressed very attractively with some nice Vikings branding on the wall.
Something I thought was really cool as a radio nerd was that the space was built to easily accommodate guest radio shows that don't normally work out of the facility. A quick change of a couple of settings, and you could easily connect the VEN studio to your home studio space, whether you're the Vikings radio home flagship station, SiriusXM radio, or a team from Townsquare Media in Duluth!
But wait, there's more! Heading into the TCO Studios TV Studio
From interview segments to full Minnesota Vikings TV shows, the video space is absolutely stunning. After a suggestion from Paul Allen, one of the VEN team members was kind enough to show us around the TV space. Anyone can appreciate how beautifully crafted the set is, but as someone that has some behind-the-scenes TV experience under my belt, I was wowed by everything the space had to offer.
The set has a total of three spaces. One of them (seen directly above) is a desk set. In the photo above that, you can see an interview set with some lounge-style seats. Not pictured (to the left of the interview set) is a stand-up set where things like film breakdown can be done on a touchscreen TV.
Another cool feature is a retractable wall that provides a space for a studio audience to join in on shows as well!
You can get an even better idea of the space from a video the Vikings put together after the facility's debut. Take a peek here.
We also got to take a peek at the control room space, which was mighty impressive. The space is designed to be able to take video live directly from (and send live video directly to) their TV partner FOX 9, as well as US Bank Stadium.
So, the next time you consume video or audio content from the Vikings Entertainment Network, you'll have a little better idea of where the magic happens!