ESPN to Present NHL Games and Studio Coverage with Innovative Production Approaches and New Technologies

NHL

ESPN to Present NHL Games and Studio Coverage with Innovative Production Approaches and New Technologies

  • State-of-the-art aerial cameras, on-ice cameras, player and goal mics allow fans to watch hockey in exciting ways
  • Access to NHL Situation Room brings fans behind the scenes as official goal decisions are made, with former NHL referee Dave Jackson providing Rules insight

When the National Hockey League returns to The Walt Disney Company and ESPN October 12, fans will both see and hear the game like never before through new, innovative production approaches and technologies. These innovations are designed to provide unprecedented access and insight that improves the viewing experience for all hockey fans.

“Hockey lends itself to experimenting with some truly creative production elements given the pace and detail of the game,” said Mark Gross, SVP Production and Remote Events. “We want to showcase the unique combination of speed, strength, skill and dexterity of the NHL’s athletes, while getting existing fans closer to the action and strategy and enticing new fans to experience the game. We’ve worked closely with the League to add some fresh approaches and will smartly deploy great technology that will do just that.”

Access & Fan Experience

ESPN will have unique access points in NHL games that will provide a new perspective for fans, including:

  • On-ice Cameras: Operators will be allowed onto the ice for shootouts, coming out of the breaks and more.
  • Pregame Interviews: Players will be mic’d up for their warmups.
  • Locker Room Cameras: Access to locker rooms to capture pre-game speeches from coaches.
  • SMT – NHL EDGE (Puck & Player Tracking): Player pointing will be used live throughout games to highlight movement of players and the puck, while adding a visual element to analysis.

Cameras and Mics

ESPN’s production of the 103 exclusive regular season NHL games appearing on ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC will utilize various unique camera and microphone types at each game, providing numerous viewing angles and capturing the speed, skill and sound of the game.

State-of-the-art technology includes:

  • Cameras: Four-Point SupraCam aerial system – A cable-suspended aerial camera system that provides smooth, sweeping overhead shots.
  • Audio: Multiple innovative mic placements to capture in-person sound from players and coaches, including player and goal mics throughout games.
  • Super Slow Mo Replay: Productions will utilize multiple super-slow-motion options to break down goals, offensive and defense strategies, and more.
  • Libero Telestration (Virtual enhancement): Select games will be operated REMCO (remote controlled) with the operator and producer at their home.

ESPN has recently built two new production control rooms to support the growing REMI workload at ESPN, including NHL. The Technical Director in the control room responsible for wrap-around coverage of each game will use an innovative switching workflow to send multiple versions of simultaneous events to the Bristol Transmission Center for delivery to ESPN, ESPN+, ABC or Hulu. What would have previously taken multiple master control rooms can now be done in a single production control room utilizing innovative switcher resources.

NHL Wrap-Around Coverage, The Point, and In The Crease

  • Studio coverage will originate from Studio F in Bristol, Conn., which has distinct design elements with unique flexibility including:
    • Two fully robotic cameras in addition to manually operated cameras and a virtual capable MoSys eCrane. The MoSys eCrane is a robust crane camera that allows for content utilizing augmented reality (virtual objects are placed within the real world on camera).
    • A flexible color palette using light tones, brushed aluminum, white marble and light wood laminates will take on different appearances by adjusting lighting cues.
    • Tracking Plexiglas panels provide the ability for a broad array of graphical looks that can change easily throughout the programming.
    • Swappable scenic pieces take the interview area from a desk to casual seating to demo area to virtual or augmented reality backdrop with ease.
    • The main desk can accommodate up to five hosts and analysts and contains removable wings with LED displays, allowing the size to be adjusted on the fly and based on the needs of the show or segment.
  • In addition to The Point and In The Crease from Studio F, The Drop is a 30-minute digital live streaming production originating from the Studio E Lounge set in Bristol, Conn.

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CONTACTS:

ESPN
Katina Arnold | [email protected] | 860-912-6643
Danny Chi | [email protected] | 213-405-4400
Grace Coryell | [email protected] | 213-405-4402

ESPN+
Paul Melvin | [email protected] | 860-877-8369
Kevin Ota | [email protected] | 860-839-7834
Olivia Wilson | [email protected] | 904-303-3538

Olivia Wilson

Based out of Austin, Texas, Olivia Wilson is a communications manager focusing on ESPN+, The Walt Disney Company's leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. Prior to joining the DMED Communications team, Wilson worked in ESPN Communications on X Games, Marketing and Corporate Citizenship for five years. Wilson is a proud graduate of Florida State University.
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