NHL Network (NHLN) moved its Toronto operations to Secaucus, New Jersey, where it settled into its new MLB Network (MLBN) Studio digs as part of a six-year digital rights deal with MLB Network that was inked earlier this year. RCS was called in to deliver sleek new visuals for its “NHL Now,” “NHL Tonight” and “NHL on the Fly” studio shows. Taking the “MLB Tonight” graphics package and workflow that RCS established earlier in the year, our team made slight modifications, incorporating NHLN’s colors and logos, creating new graphics and updating NHLN’s existing ticker to match the new look, before porting it over to NHLN’s new Secaucus studio setup.
The project involved a considerable level of collaboration between RCS, NHLN and MLBN’s teams in New Jersey as well as NHLN’s team running the network’s control room in Denver. RCS first moved over templates and scenes from its Vizrt Pilot graphics package, then designed and built the new logos and graphics, and updated the ticker. For NHL NOW’s segment “Light the Lamp,” which sees two analysts go head-to-head in a debate on the latest hockey developments, RCS also created a custom application to power an animated graphic that helps audiences keep track of the winner. Displayed below the two analysts, the graphic resembles an ice hockey rink, and as viewers cast their votes for the winner via Twitter, a digital puck moves between two goals.
As a result of the collaboration, NHLN’s graphics operators have access to more than 60 unique graphics templates, providing more creative freedom to present information in a clean and modern way that appeals to hockey fans. Our team also integrated the new workflow with Foundation, our cloud-based solution for streamlining data-driven graphics production, which the network plans to leverage in the future to enhance the production value of each program. The new look debuted on NHL opening day, October 12, 2016.