NBC Sports Group Deploys an Array of Assets for Stanley Cup Coverage
For the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the NBC Sports Group is flexing its collective muscle to showcase the East-West showdown on all of its platforms: NBC, Versus, Comcast SportsNet New England, and new joint digital destinations on Facebook, Twitter, and NBCSports.com.
“We are really excited about this final and the NBC Sports Group working together between platforms to make this the biggest and best yet in the new world of the NHL,” says Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and Versus. “The combination of the game group and the studio group coming together on the road and sharing the platforms between Versus and NBC is very exciting. It’s allowed us to put everyone in the best position to be successful.”
Games 1 and 2 (as well as 5-7, if necessary) of the series between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins will air on NBC; games 3 and 4 will air on Versus. Pre- and post-game coverage will run nationally on Versus and locally in Boston on CSN New England. Throughout the series, Versus will deploy talent from NBC (and vice versa) to ensure the best viewing experience across networks. Mike “Doc” Emrick and Eddie Olczyk will anchor the game coverage on both NBC and Versus, and one team will handle studio responsibilities after each game.
Each Versus live postgame show will be produced from either the TD Garden in Boston or the Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
“To be able to be live from both coasts with all this hockey and put on a half-hour postgame show on Versus after each game makes it a bigger platform and opportunity to drive audience between the two [networks],” Flood says.
Because the games in Vancouver will also be broadcast by Canadian networks CBC and RDS, NBC will be able to share equipment with the Canadians, providing NBC with additional equipment.
“We share some of the toys with CBC and RDS, so we’ll have a couple of extra cameras that we don’t normally have available to us,” Flood says. “That gives us more to play with. We will have more than 25 different paths of video coming in.”
Despite all the toys, Flood is quick to point out that the philosophy of the NBC Sports Group is to tell the story and showcase the game, while the technology takes care of itself.
“We’ll obviously have players with microphones, but we’re not going to get in the way of the game,” he says. “We’re going to let the game be the star. Our job is to document the game and explain why things are happening on the ice; that’s why our talent is the most important tool we have on our telecast. Their job is to tell us why everything is happening in this series.”
In addition to sharing on-air talent for the coverage, NBCSports.com and Versus.com have consolidated both networks’ hockey sections into NBCSports.com, where fans can find exclusive online videos, ProHockeyTalk news, and “Star-Cam” and “Net-Cam,” two dedicated feeds providing coverage of marquee players and perspectives from behind the goalie, respectively.
The NBC Sports Group has also consolidated the social-media hubs for both networks, creating a joint “NHL on NBC and Versus” Facebook page and NHLonNBC_VS Twitter feed. Fans who like the new Facebook page will be able to play games, upload fan photos, and receive up-to-date scores, reports, and stories from around the NHL.