TSN Overhauls Graphics Display for NHL Draft

While the National Hockey League will usher in a new generation of superstars tonight at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota, Canadian English language network TSN will be loading up viewers with more on-screen information than ever. TSN again will be home to the first round of the NHL Entry Draft and this year’s production is putting a heavy emphasis on graphics insertion.

Filling the screen

According to TSN Senior Vice President of Production Mark Milliere, an L-frame graphic will be featured during the entire live broadcast. The side panel will display draft order, player bios with headshots, and Draft Insider Bob McKenzie’ Best Available, while the lower banner with scroll through unrestricted free agents, 2010-11 stats, organizational top five prospect lists and a social media feed featuring Tweets from draftees, league personnel, reporters and fans.

“We really wanted to up the level of our graphics and provide more information to our viewers and we feel we’ve got that in place,” said Milliere.

Graphics will be handled at TSN’s home studios in Toronto with the clean feed coming in from Minnesota to a pair of Avid Dekos that will drive the graphics insertion prior to the broadcast being sent out to air.

Inside “The X”

Broadcasting out of Dome Production’s Thunder HD truck, the network will deploy 15 cameras including one jib plus two robotic house cameras on the base of the center-ice scoreboard and in the press box. James Duthie hosts TSN’s coverage from the Draft stage, interviewing GMs and players following their selections. Duthie will be joined by TSN’s Draft Panel with McKenzie, analyst Pierre McGuire and commentator Gord Miller previewing and breaking down each selection.

The crew has over 350 b-roll reels cuts of draft prospects to accompany there broadcast. There will only be two remote cameras used as TSN will carry shots of draft parties for the Edmonton Oilers (first overall pick) and the new Winnipeg franchise (seventh overall). Overwise, off-site crews won’t be necessary as most all prospects and team executives will be in attendance at Xcel Energy Center.

“The great thing about the NHL Draft and what makes it so unique is that everyone is here,” said Milliere.

First-round coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on TSN and will be simulcast in the United States on Versus. Rounds two through seven will be carried by NHL Network on Saturday.