Rogers Brings LiveHive to NHL
By Andrew Lippe
Rogers Sportsnet will incorporate LiveHive Systems’ NanoGaming interactive-technology platform into 206 hockey broadcasts this season. NanoGaming is designed to engage viewers with interactive chats and trivia games as they watch the game on television. Five NHL teams — Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks — will make the technology available to fans.
“The more exposed to LiveHive Systems we became, the more intrigued we were,” says David Ballingall, VP of marketing and general manager of Sportsnet.ca., “and we could see how it would definitely enhance the experience of the game presentation.”
NanoGaming fits the network’s objective of making its Website a game-day destination, Ballingall says. It asks a variety of questions, which can range from which team will win the current game to, in the case of a penalty, will a team score on an ensuing power play. NanoGaming reacts as the game unfolds in front of the viewer, a feature that will make fans stick to the Website while also watching the game.
Early returns are promising. While the Toronto Maple Leafs battled the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Oct. 17, more than 800 fans were online, participating in NanoGaming for an average of more than 65 minutes. “That speaks to how captivating they found the offering and how engaged they were with it,” says Ballingall.
There are also trivia questions related to Rogers Sportsnet pregame and postgame shows, again driving viewership and interaction. Fans are able to chat with other hockey fans, with whom they can also establish mini-competitions.
LiveHive Systems also delivered an interactive viewing experience for NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and provided an interactive experience for Turner Sports, ESPN, the Canadian Football League, and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Says Ballingall, “Sportsnet is in touch with home-team hockey fans and has really found an innovative way to enhance the experience of watching a game on Sportsnet.”