As announced in February, ESPN, Disney Channel and the NHL are teaming up to bring fans the “NHL Big City Greens Classic,” the first-ever live, animated NHL game telecast, featuring the Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers, on March 14 at 7 p.m. EDT.
The alternate presentation of the Capitals-Rangers game will feature live, real-time volumetric animation of players and teams modeled after characters on Disney Branded Television’s Emmy® Award-winning animated comedy “Big City Greens.” ESPN+, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney+ will present the live, animated telecast, while the traditional game telecast will be available on ESPN and ESPN+.
In addition to real-time animation of the live, game action, ESPN Creative Studio has also worked with Silver Spoon to create animated versions of the ESPN commentators calling the game, Kevin Weekes and Drew Carter. Weekes and Carter will wear motion-capture suits that allow the full body animations of them in the Big City to mimic their movements. Series talent Chris Houghton (co-creator/executive producer, “Big City Greens,” and voice of Cricket) and Marieve Herington (voice of Tilly) will also use facial recognition technology to imitate their reactions to the game. Additionally, a full graphics package has been created for the game in the Big City.
Visit ESPN Front Row for more information on ESPN Creative Studio’s
work supporting the NHL Big City Greens Classic.
The first-of-its-kind alternate presentation will leverage NHL Edge positioning data (Puck and Player tracking) to recreate the action on the ice as it is happening while featuring “Big City Greens” characters skating alongside animated versions of the NHL players. The real-time animation will be produced in association with ESPN Edge Innovation Center and NHL EDGE Innovation partners Verizon, Beyond Sports and Silver Spoon.
Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. ET
Washington Capitals at New York Rangers
|ESPN+, Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney XD
|“NHL Big City Greens Classic” Animated Presentation
|ESPN Talent: Kevin Weekes, Drew Carter
“Big City Greens” Talent: Chris Houghton, Shane Houghton (creators/executive producers), and Marieve Herington (voice of Tilly)
|Traditional Game Presentation
|Play-by-Play: Steve Levy
Analyst: Mark Messier
Reporter: Emily Kaplan
Studio: John Buccigross, Linda Cohn, Chris Chelios, Hilary Knight
About Disney Branded Television’s “Big City Greens”
Created and executive produced by brothers Chris and Shane Houghton, Disney Branded Television’s animated comedy “Big City Greens” follows mischievous and optimistic 10-year-old Cricket Green, who moves from the country to the big city with his wildly out-of-place family — older sister Tilly, father Bill and Gramma Alice. The series is influenced by the Houghton’s childhood in the small rural town of St. Johns, Michigan, with locations and characters inspired by their real-life family members and townsfolk and their experiences upon departing rural farmland for college in big cities. Press materials are available at www.dgepress.com. Follow Instagram and Twitter for up-to-date news on #BigCityGreens.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 32 Member Clubs. Each team roster reflects the League’s international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented, all vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Every year, the NHL entertains more than 670 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 191 million followers – league, team and player accounts combined – across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube; and more than 100 million fans online at NHL.com. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including ESPN, WBD Sports and NHL Network in the U.S.; Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada; Viaplay in the Nordics, Baltics, and Poland; YLE in Finland; Nova in Czech Republic and Slovakia; Sky Sports and ProSieben in Germany; MySports in Switzerland; and CCTV5+ in China; and reaches fans worldwide with games available to stream in every country. Fans are engaged across the League’s digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™; and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring unprecedented access to player and team statistics as well as every regular-season and playoff game box score dating back to the League’s inception, powered by SAP. NHL Original Productions and NHL Studios produce compelling original programming featuring unprecedented access to players, coaches and League and team personnel for distribution across the NHL’s social and digital platforms.
The NHL is committed to building healthy and vibrant communities using the sport of hockey to celebrate fans of every race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. The NHL’s Hockey Is For Everyone™ initiative reinforces that the official policy of the sport is one of inclusion on the ice, in locker rooms, boardrooms and stands. The NHL is expanding access and opportunity for people of all backgrounds and abilities to play hockey, fostering more inclusive environments and growing the game through a greater diversity of participants. To date, the NHL has invested more than $100 million in youth hockey and grassroots programs, with a commitment to invest an additional $5 million for diversity and inclusion programs over the next year.
NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. © NHL 2023. All Rights Reserved.
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Disney Branded Television
 Source: NMR, 2022 (12/27/21-12/25/22), L+7, #1 Disney series among Kids 6-11 ranked on hours watched; based on linear viewing