NHL, Disney Streaming Services Debut New ‘GameFlow’ Momentum-Tracker in NHL Mobile App

Apple TV users can also deploy new GameFlow Sync feature as an interactive controller

NHL fans are about to get a deeper look at the action on the ice than ever. The league has teamed up with Disney Streaming Services (DSS) to launch GameFlow, an interactive tool on the NHL mobile app that leverages shot-pressure data to provide fans with a visual depiction of a game’s momentum. In addition, Apple TV users can use the NHL App’s new GameFlow Sync feature as an interactive controller, allowing them to push highlight videos (or full games for NHL.TV subscribers) from their handheld device directly to their Apple TV.

GameFlow: Beyond the Box Score
NHL mobile app users can access GameFlow during or after a game via Gamecenter to follow the flow of a game and track how offensive shot pressure corresponds to goals.

The NHL Mobile App’s new GameFlow tool leverages shot-pressure data to provide fans with a visual depiction of a game’s momentum.

The GameFlow visualization captures the rate of all shots attempted during a game, including goals, missed or blocked shots, and saves. The larger the graph, the more shot pressure a team is generating in the offensive zone. Vertical grid lines are drawn at the NHL average of 55 shots per 60 minutes and twice that, at 110 shots per 60 minutes; markers along the vertical timeline indicate significant milestones during the game.

All app users can tap on these milestones and goals to view the play as a standalone video highlight, and NHL.TV subscribers can also jump to stream the game from that point.

“We are excited to introduce this season new and engaging tools that bring hockey fans deeper into the trends and play habits outside of typical box scores,” says Barry Tishgart, SVP/GM, hockey, Disney Streaming Services. “GameFlow is a first-of-its-kind data-visualization experience that we believe has the potential to revolutionize sports streaming.”

The NHL and Disney Streaming Service collaborated on the GameFlow project with analytics and data-visualization expert Micah Blake McCurdy, founder of hockeyviz.com (a favorite among the hardcore hockey-analytics crowd).

GameFlow Sync: Uniting the Mobile and TV Experiences
Although GameFlow is intended to take the mobile-app experience to the next level, the league and DSS are also amping up the NHL viewing experience on connected devices.

The NHL app’s new GameFlow Sync feature for Apple TV provides a second-screen experience, enabling fans to manually fast-forward through the GameFlow visualization from their mobile device.

GameFlow Sync allows viewers to push video from their handheld device right to their Apple TV in picture-in-picture view.

In addition, users can seamlessly push highlight videos — or full games for NHL.TV subscribers — directly to their connected TV. Fans can seamlessly push more than one game to their TV and create a dual view or picture-in-picture view for highlights.

“It’s really a first-of-its-kind sync application and changes the way live sports is consumed,” adds Tishgart. “Today, a lot of the out-of-market package simply takes the feeds from the broadcaster or the RSN, but [this feature allows viewers] to really delve into the action and have a multiple-game experience. When one game is in commercial, [they are] able to go and look at highlights of another game or turn on the live feed of another game and then jump back into the game they were watching. It gives the user more control than simply flipping from one out-of-market feed to another.”

GameFlow marks the latest in a host of enhancements to the NHL digital portfolio (NHL.com, NHL Mobile App, NHL.tv) since the league first partnered with Disney Streaming Services (previously MLBAM before it was acquired by Disney) five years ago.

“NHL fans are very tech savvy and embrace innovative digital experiences like GameFlow that take them further inside the game,” says Steve McArdle, EVP, digital media and strategic planning, NHL. “Fan engagement and technological innovation are paramount to our partnership with Disney Streaming Services, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with them to deliver this novel second-screen interactive experience.”

Stay tuned to sportsvideo.org for further coverage of this story.