Normally, vivid visuals and innovative angles are reserved for special hockey events. It was before the pandemic.
Sportsnet is clearing the ground for the NHL’s relaunch this week, with an all-new TV product on the menu.
The audio aspect has been enhanced. Portions of empty benches have undergone a metamorphosis. And the JitaCam, which rotates 360 degrees, will provide different shots from heights of Rogers Place and Scotiabank Arena.
“The way it is broadcast and presented in the arena is totally new,” said Rob Corte, vice president of Sportsnet and NHL Production. The potential is very great. Some things might not be so successful, but that's okay. "
“The situation is unique, and we will all try to make the most of it. There will be experiences, always with the aim of adding something new and positive. "
After a break of more than four months, activities will resume with a playoff at 24 clubs, starting Saturday. Exhibition games begin on Tuesday in the hub cities, Edmonton and Toronto.
EA Sports gives it a boost with crowd sounds.
“They did a great job with the samples,” said Corte. We're happy with where we are, but we sure have to use them in a real game. All the indicators are pointing in the right direction. "
The NHL oversees all 32 cameras showing a game. Sportsnet is in charge in Edmonton and NBC is in Toronto.
Devoid of supporters, arenas essentially become studios, around the rink.
Sportsnet will rely on a camera controlled by a director in the studio. If analysts and commentators talk about such a player, the camera can show it before returning to the central signal.
The working method will be different, as there will be less control over the choice of precise sequences and repeats.
“In some ways during a game it's a bit like not having your hands on the wheel,” said Corte. We adjust to a central signal and at the appropriate times, we will highlight this or that story. "
Analysts and commentators will be inside the arenas. Journalists will ask questions of players using a video link.