NHL Season Preview: NBC Sports Boosts Super-Slo-Mo Capability, Doubles Capacity of Data-Transfer Circuit to Stamford
New arenas in Las Vegas and Detroit add new remote wrinkles
Loaded with compelling narratives, the 2017-18 NHL season got off to a roaring start this week, and NBC Sports Director of Operations for NHL Coverage James Stuart couldn’t be more excited.
Will the Pittsburgh Penguins make a run at three consecutive Stanley Cups? What will a new team in Las Vegas look like? How much better can young stars like Connor McDavid and Austin Matthews get? How big an impact can No. 1 overall draft pick Nico Hishier have in turning around the New Jersey Devils?
“There are so many exciting stories across the league this year,” notes Stuart, a veteran of NBC and NBC Sports for nearly 15 years.
To capture it all — and then some — NBC Sports entered the campaign with a couple of enhancements to its coverage of the NHL, including expanding both specialty-camera resources and file-transfer capabilities.
Super-slow-motion cameras shooting at 6X were previously deployed only on marquee contests, but, with the network adding two robotic 6X units to bolster the total of SSM cameras to four, such shots will be available on a clear majority of NBCSN games this season.
In addition, the network invested in increasing the size of its file-transfer data circuit, doubling capacity from 300 Mb to 600 Mb, opening the door for a dramatic increase in the high-quality, high-speed clips that can be shared between the remote site and the network’s home facility in Stamford, CT.
New technological wrinkles also come in the form of two NHL venues debuting this season: T-Mobile Arena and Little Caesars Arena.
Home to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, T-Mobile Arena gave NBC Sports and the NHL plenty of opportunities to scope out the venue when it hosted the NHL Awards Show and the Expansion Draft in June. NBCSN will broadcast the first Golden Knights home game from T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday Oct. 10 (10 p.m. ET).
Little Caesars Arena, meanwhile, made its triumphant debut last night. Stuart says that, although the NBC Sports team did not get a chance to conduct a walkthrough of the new building for broadcast specs prior to the season, it has done its due diligence in preparation. NBCSN was there to capture the official opener of the Red Wings’ new home and their 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
“It was an honor to televise the home opener on Thursday,” says Stuart. “Little Caesars [Arena] should jump right into the discussion of top arenas in the NHL.”