EAGAN, Minn. – An addition to Vikings Entertainment Network programming this season is giving fans a unique, behind-the-scenes experience.
VEN launched a new show, Vikings LIVE, presented by Miller Lite and Mall of America, with a special one-hour episode that aired on FOX 9 before the Vikings-Rams game on Thursday Night Football.
From that point through the rest of the season, Vikings LIVE will feature 30-minute shows that air at 6 p.m. Thursday nights.
The program is an offshoot of Vikings GameDay Live with FOX 9's Hobie Artigue and Ron Johnson. On Vikings LIVE, Artigue and Johnson will be joined by former Vikings center Matt Birk; the trio will break down the week's upcoming game and discuss questions and current topics surrounding the team. Dawn Mitchell will also provide a live report covering the top Viking stories of the week.
Vikings LIVE is the first VEN show to be filmed in front of a live studio audience. It airs at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday nights. You can find Vikings LIVE on FOX 9-KMS and streamed live on Vikings.com and the Vikings mobile app.
Vikings LIVE is the first VEN show to be filmed in front of a live studio audience, which is made possible by the state-of-the-art TCO Studios at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Vikings Director of Broadcasting Skip Krueger explained that VEN collaborates with the Vikings TV partner, FOX 9-KMSP, to co-produce the show.
"Each side provides valuable resources necessary to pull off the production," Krueger said. "The live studio audience aspect is unique for us, and fortunately FOX 9 has plenty of experience with that.
"From our side, we are able to provide a lot of the football portion of the show including a current Vikings player interviewed live each week by 'Voice of the Vikings' Paul Allen, whom we feel is one of the best in the business," Krueger added. "Plus, TCO Studios also serves as a perfect setting for a show like this to allow the studio audience access to watch the production as it happens."
Vikings Rewards members can redeem their points for tickets to a Vikings LIVE show at TCO Studios.
Throughout the 30-minute time period, breaks between segments allow audience members to interact with Allen and emcee Brian Lansing, as well as the opportunity win Vikings-related prizes and memorabilia.
"One of the benefits of opening a new home like TCO Performance Center is building TCO Studios, which enables us to host a live show in front of our fans in a prime time slot like it is on Thursday nights. Those are doors that have never been open before," said Vikings Vice President of Content & Production Bryan Harper. "So it's a great opportunity to engage with our fans, engage with our Vikings Rewards members and potentially bring in some youth football teams to see how the bread is made behind the scenes. To have an audience in your home facility is a really unique thing that's not common in the NFL."