Visit Hollywood for NHL “Bubble” Games 2020 Season Restart

With no fans in TV hockey seats coming back and teams competing on shiny, shiny ice surfaces as if in a dazzling floor entertainment show.

The National Hockey League is resuming its epidemic-era 2020 season with Grammy winner Michael Bueble on Saturday, singing the national anthem for the New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes match on Saturday.

But beyond that, viewers of NBC, NBCSN and the NHL Network do stateside and SportsNet and CBC viewers in Canada will watch sports unlike any broadcast because the Pro Hockey League COVID-19 to save the weather ravaged by the public health crisis Looks

They will have no enthusiastic or groaning fans in the packed stands as the goals are scored, and over the next 60 days the team’s players will be sequenced at the so-called “bubble” hotels and arenas in Toronto and Edmonton as safety precautions. And as NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer explains Three hearted, The Pro League was never going to drop the hockey puck in silent, cold arenas.

This is a big challenge as the rumble and thunderous roar of fans running behind their teams during the Stanley Cup playoffs each year is a big part of the screen-crossing energy and buzz to connect with the TV audience. Nor will the NHL in Toronto’s Scotiabank and Edmonton’s Rogers Place feature empty seating, with virtual fan walls or cardboard cutouts.

“With all due respect to my Korean friends, there is no way we were going to place stuffed animals in the seats,” Mayer says filling the empty stand with plush toys of Korean baseball. The NHL, instead of ending the four-month epidemic, has gone to the Hollywood Playbook and created giant TV-sets to bring fans closer to the action in more than 160 countries.

In games played behind closed doors, EA Sports will pump in crowd noise and the lower levels of both arenas will be surrounded by mega graphic panels, 30 feet in the air and six LED screens with six steps. “We want to give them a show,” Mayer said of fans watching from home, who are surrounded by friends and family or connected to fellow fans via social media, Zoom and other platforms.

On the video screens of those giant arenas, viewers will see zoomed-in videos, replay of the game, taped pieces about their NHL heroes, team logos and graphics cheering from the respective teams’ superfined creatives at home. Meyer insisted, “We came in with the lighting director of a Hollywood Award show. We brought entertainment and set design from Broadway. We saw it as a made-for-television program.”

In addition to additional cameras for new angles on game action, the bubble broadcast will include piped-in team cheers, songs and goal horns from each of the NHL teams as audio. And rink-level microphones will enhance the game’s natural sounds – stopping metal skates on ice, slapping shots, and players hitting boards.

The NHL telecast will be on a slight tape delay, however, from players on the ice or team benches to edit colored language, which is a very part of the traditional game. “We know we have kids and family to watch, it’s important for the league,” says Meyer.

Returning later this week to launch the NHL playoffs in the hub cities is important for the NHL, because like other pro leagues, it suffered a loss of millions if it should be tied to Playsn Play without TV revenue.

Meyer has watched European football and now Major League Baseball as a sports fan and the NBA has resumed its season amid an epidemic and insisted that the NHL intentionally accompany its stunning TV show showcasing dazzling TV talent Does not make a separate deal.

“It’s amazing that the game is back and we weren’t trying to be different in any way. We felt this was the right approach for us,” he says. Complaining about the NHL’s preparation for the 2020 season, everything had to be done on the fly.

In early May, the NHL knew a season was in the works for the relaunch, but the league did not know which cities had the hub. The NHL saw ten cities in North America as potential tournament sites, and made efforts in North America to deal with coronoviruses.

“When you saw what was happening in areas of the United States, and what was happening in Canada, it was a very easy decision. We went to where COVID was not a very big problem,” Mayer told Toronto and Edmonton Hub. Said about choosing as cities. . The Pro League then sat around all NHL team players, coaches and staff making a tight circle, calling on all to never emerge behind the hotel and the rink and cement blocks and blacks to interact with the outside world. Hidden behind the curtain.

“There is nothing wrong around us. Our protocols are so strong and strict. I am wearing a mask. Everyone is wearing a mask and is a social distance,” says Mayer. And to create events made for TV, the NHL decided against weeks of phone calls and design drawings with its set builders, led by Hotop Productions, and went quickly to 3D modeling and production.

Beyond this weekend, Meyer and his team are already reiterating how they will broadcast the NHL’s most authentic TV tradition – the Stanley Cup ascension by the playoff-winning team – without shouting and the team in color Without appreciating the fans.

“We know we have to give that moment and make it special and make it unique for this year, which is what we’re all doing and make it memorable because 20 years later, everyone talks about the period Will, “This playoff, it’s so different,” he insists.

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