Disney and the NHL Team Up For “Big City Greens Classic”
Disney owned channels ESPN and Disney Channel are teaming up with the NHL for an entirely new kind of sports broadcast.
The NHL Big City Greens Classic will be the first-ever live, animated NHL game telecast.
The Capitals vs Rangers match-up will feature live, real-time animation of players and teams. The animation will be done in the style of Disney’s Emmy-winning animated comedy Big City Greens.
On March 14, NHL fans young and old can tune in to the Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN+ or Disney+ to see the animated version of the telecast.
Viewers who prefer a traditional telecast will be able to watch game on ESPN.
How It Works
The animated presentation will use NHL Edge positioning data to recreate the action on the ice. The telecast will then be able to feature characters from Big City Greens, skating alongside animated versions of the NHL Players.
The real-time animation will be created in association with the ESPN Edge Innovation Center, and NHL Edge Innovation partners including Version, Beyond Sports and Silver Spoon.
“Working with Disney Channel and the NHL, we are producing a telecast that will reach a new and different audience and help to grow hockey fandom even more,” said Ilan Ben-Hanan, senior vice president of Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN. “Big City Greens has a huge following in a younger audience that we are excited to tap into, offering a fun and creative way to enjoy the game across Disney platforms.”
A Partnership Between Disney and the NHL
For their part, the NHL sees their partnership with the Walt Disney Company as a big win.
“We’ve said from day one that our partnership with The Walt Disney Company is a big win for our fans and our League,” said Dave Lehanski, NHL’s executive vice president of Business Development and Innovation. “We’ve spent years investing in a fast and accurate puck and player tracking system to help us grow the game. The NHL Big City Greens Classic will demonstrate how we can leverage data from NHL EDGE — our puck and player tracking system — to create entirely new fan experiences for a younger audience in collaboration with incredible partners like The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Beyond Sports. What a testament — to have the greatest animation company of all time leverage its incomparable creativity and IP to promote and grow our game.”
Watch the Teaser Trailer
In advance of the game, Disney and the NHL have also released a teaser trailer. You can watch it now!
“Hockey is an incredibly exciting and animated sport, but we felt it wasn’t animated enough, said Big City Greens creators and executive producers Shane and Chris Houghton. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the NHL and ESPN to see the Greens lace up their skates and add a generous dash of Big City Greens comedy to what is sure to be an entertaining game.”
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