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ESPN Launches New Production, Applying Operational Lessons From Last Season

The station’s regular season schedule includes the NHL Stadium Series and the NHL All-Star Game.

In ESPN’s first season in the National Hockey League since 2004-05, when the Colorado Avalanche finished with the Stanley Cup at Amalie Arena, the broadcaster’s production and operations crew will be providing a valuable Lesson Learned: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. ET in New York City, Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings at 10:00 p.m. at City of Angels.

“Last season was a lot of fun because I had a passion to take things step by step and make things better. Erin Orr, Senior Manager, Remote Operations, ESPN“We tried new things and some things worked and some didn’t, but our team learned from every moment.”

Key Lesson: Production, Operations Will Positively Affect New Seasons

ESPN experienced a learning curve during its first NHL season in nearly two decades. Producing each game as a cohesive unit, the production and operations crew applied their own critiques after each show. On the production side, understanding viewing habits and implementing enhancements that appealed to NHL audiences was paramount. Despite the unknowns and obstacles, having this new NHL property in 2022 is ESPN Coordinating Producer Linda Schultz When Lead Game Producer Jeff Dufine.

ESPN’s season of the 2022-23 NHL kicks off Tuesday night in New York and Los Angeles.

“One of the reasons I was so excited to be a part of this project was because we were building a production plan from the ground up. There was

With a team of varying levels of experience, production creativity slowly coalesced as the season progressed. The crew learned how to adapt to changes on the fly and devise production plans while also wondering if all the equipment was ready to turn when the pack dropped.

“Achieving our goals required extensive camera and audio specs, an aggressive setup in a facility that is often used the night before a match,” explained Schulz. increase. “With our exclusive coverage, loading and unloading were often completed in one day.”

Operationally, the core crew — Senior Remote Operations Specialist Jeff Werner; operation specialist John winder When block WetherbyOperations Coordinator Carson Kenny; Katie, Remote Operations Producer Abbott, fill Erwin, mat Pekarovich, Andrew Schneider, Seth ShoreWhen Dave walkerOrr was tasked with ensuring that the production team’s vision was realized and working with other groups to do so.

Collaborating with other users in any game includes: Senior Manager, Cruing, Eileen Lauer; Senior Crew Coordinator Paula Graham; When Crewing Coordinator Eric LopesMobile unit configuration using ; Remote Production Operations Manager Liza Coleproduction operations at ; Manager, Content Operations, Daniel Lannon; Remote Operations Supervisor Tara Shea; When Technical Operations Manager Marissa BonertzRemote traffic using ; Director, Remote Traffic Operations, Adam Whitlock; Pete Whychulis, Remote Traffic Producer; When Senior Remote Traffic Coordinator Ryan Wentwortheven as Associate Manager, Remote Operations, Jesse Kupec When Senior Communications, Audio and RF Coordinator Katherine WhiteAll members of the team took risks and made their creations better and better over time.

“We were given a new opportunity,” says Orr. “Looking back, they helped us become better versions of ourselves. [This season], we take our chances and step out of our comfort zone to ensure we continue to deliver the best products. “

Coast to Coast Opener: Madison Square Garden, Arena Host Double Dip

The 2022-23 regular season kicks off with a splash on both coasts. Tuesday night will see a rematch of last season’s Stanley Cup Eastern his Conference Finals, where the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Rangers in his six games.

At Madison Square Garden (MSG), the onsite team will be housed in the Game Creek Video Gotham Mobile Unit. Inside the venue, the game is covered on ice, on ice and every angle in between. Deployed in last season’s notable high-profile games, the aerial Supracam is installed in the rafters of MSG for shots of upper-level crowds and replays of the action from a bird’s-eye view. Camera operators on ice get shots during breaks and timeouts. Near the board, a Sony HDC-4800 records at his 16x speed.

The 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend will take place on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4.

In Los Angeles, the Arena will host the Pacific Division match between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Los Angeles Kings. Within the NEP EN3 mobile unit, the LA-based production team directs his nearly 40 cameras (including handhelds on ice and an ultra-slow motion unit), as well as other devices in use in New York. With about 40 video feeds coming from the Big Apple, both games use about 80 replay channels.

New for this season, league-mandated Digitally Enhanced Dashboards (DEDs) will be seen for the first time on broadcast stations. Introducing Sponsor’s AI-based keying technology, the sponsorship message and signage will be integrated into the live broadcast.

“This technology allows us to place virtual ads along the dashboard during gameplay,” says Werner. “The augmentation process will be applied downstream of the mobile he unit prior to release of the transmission.”

In addition to the DED workflow, remote resources will continue to play a role during the 2022-23 NHL campaign. Rules analyst Dave Jackson Appearing on air to explain the tough calls by authorities, he plans to do so from his home in Denver. Some work from off-site locations, such as producers building packages from their homes in Phoenix.

“We will be working with more remotely connected users such as graphics operators, bug operators, Libero operators, and even EVS editors preparing packages with player microphone content,” says Werner. . “As soon as the pack is dropped and the replay room starts creating content clips, the file transfer between Bristol and the remote site begins immediately. means to.”

Upgraded production: Viewers can expect enhanced replays, linear elements of ESPN+

Production-wise, each show features both familiar and new elements. For the former, Schulz sees the benefits of technology introduced last year to tell a deeper story within the game. [last year]Super slow motion is your best friend for showing fast packs and their path to the net, and we knew that adding a mic to the net could give fans an arena experience through the sound of the game. “

In addition to some of last year’s techniques, there are also some new implementations. In-game coach interviews seen during a typical broadcast on linear television become commonplace in games streamed on ESPN+. The enhanced replay technology introduced in last year’s Stanley His Cup playoffs will be used for high-quality telestration. The alternate cast seen during ESPN’s MLB and NFL seasons head to his NHL side on ESPN+. Debuting at his Lightning vs. Florida Panthers on Friday, Oct. 21, “Star Watch” will exclusively track some of the most influential players in the game with isolated cameras and stats. Other games will also have this feature, including Avalanche vs. Rangers on Tuesday, October 25th and Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, November 1st.

Featured Games: 2023 NHL Stadium Series, NHL All-Star Game

The NHL Stadium Series on Saturday, February 18, 2023 will be ESPN’s first outdoor NHL game production.

During the regular season, we expect large viewership on TV and streaming, but viewers should have a gold star next to two events on their calendars. First up is his 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. Home to Eastern Conference powerhouse Florida Panthers, this will be his first crown-like event to be held in South Florida since 2003. The two-day celebration will be highlighted by the NHL All-Star Skills Game on Friday, February 4 at 7:00 PM ET. The ESPN and NHL All-Star Game will air on Sunday, February 4th at 3pm on ABC and ESPN+.

The 2023 NHL Stadium Series heads to Raleigh, NC for a special outdoor game between the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, February 18 at Carter Finley Stadium in NC. Simulcast on ESPN+. From Schultz’s perspective, the college football venue provides a unique angle to the broadcaster’s first outdoor NHL game production.

“In this game, we have a student section in the end zone that stretches out onto a field by the ice,” she says. “We are exploring new technologies that can only be realized in such an environment and we can’t wait.”

In terms of talent, ESPN’s NHL moves forward with a cast of hockey experts, including: every play Commentator Sean McDonagh, Mike Monaco, steve Levi, John butygloss, bob WishessenWhen rear Hector; Analyst Marc Messier, Chris Chelios, Barry Melrose, Ray Ferraro, Brian Boucher, Kathy Campbell-Pascall, Kevin Weeks, Ryan Callahan, AJ Mleczko, Rick DiPietro, Hilary KnightWhen Dominique moore; When Reporter Ryan S. Clark, Greg Wissinski, Kristen Shilton, Blake BordenWhen Emily Kaplan.

in the studio, Linda Cohn When Alda Ocal will host at the creasefor ESPN Deportes games, Kenneth Garai When Eitan Benezra We will give a live commentary at Carlos Rossell When Antonio Valle as an analyst.

No sophomore slump: ESPN prepares for another year of fast-paced hockey

With a schedule that features stars on the ice as well as behind the scenes, there’s plenty of reason to get excited.Armed with new technology and a trusty crew, Schulz is Orr, Werner, and ESPN’s NHLtechnical crew.

“Erin [Orr] and Jeff [Werner] We have the difficult task of taking our production concept and bringing it to life,” says Schulz. “Whether it’s his REMI with 19 passes, which is uncompromising because we’re producing from the control room, or onsite production with multiple live pointers, they’ve got us covered.”

In addition to Tuesday night’s doubleheader, ESPN will be producing four games over the next week. Hulu; Flyers vs. Lightning on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. and Kings vs. Predators at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.