Four months later, hockey is back on tv

Quatre mois plus tard, le hockey est de retour à la télé

As of Tuesday evening, a new ritual will spice up this summer made unique because of the sars coronavirus : is install in front of the tv to watch a game of Canadian.

The tough game between the CH to the Toronto Maple Leafs will mark the start of a marathon on television, which will stretch over two months, and a hundred playoff games, until that is crowned the winner of the Stanley cup, somewhere towards the end of September or early October.

Quebecers will have the taste to leave the warm rays of the sun to watch the hockey ? On TVA Sports, which owns the French-language rights for all series, including the round of qualifications 3 to 5, during which time the Canadian will face the Pittsburgh Penguins, one is persuaded that the answer is yes.

“The options for entertainment are limited, it’s been four months without hockey and, in addition, these are not the games that mean nothing. We go back to matches of the series. (…) It is like a reality tv again “, image descriptor, Félix Séguin.

“As a supporter, I think I would like it, during my vacation, from the barbecue, and turn on the TV to watch a hockey game,” adds the analyst Patrick Lalime.

Without spectators

For Séguin, Lalime and the entire team of TVA Sports with which they share the task of describing the action, the command is ad size. With games that start at noon, 16 h and 20 h, the stopping time will be rare. It speaks of more than ten hours of hockey live each day.

Confined in a studio in Montreal, the descriptors and analysts will also have another challenge : to present to the hockey played in amphitheaters deserted by the usual noisy crowds of the series.

“I don’t know at what point the difference will be palpable to the tv. For the players, by contrast, whew, I am convinced that this will be a item to manage, ” notes Lalime, who has experienced the frenzy of the series when he kept the goals of the Ottawa Senators.

His team-mate in waves, believes for his part that the viewers will never see it fire.

“I don’t think it’s going to change the television experience because it’s going to be technical support. Of course, at the beginning, they will notice that there are no spectators, but they will quickly find the love of hockey “, analysis, Félix Séguin.

Intense preparation

Before to sit down in the studio, separated by a pane of plexiglas, Séguin and Lalime must also submit to a form of training camp. After four months, it’s time to reminisce about all the transfers of players and change of coaches that have made the news of the national hockey League during the weeks before the forced break.

“For the past three weeks, it is intense. I need to refresh my memory, ” says Félix Séguin.

Ditto for Patrick Lalime, who promises to peel all the newspaper articles of the clubs which he will have to analyze the performance.

Will not believe that this preparation is a burden. “We are in a hurry,” says Patrick Lalime.

The CH to the tv

To be a tough game

  • 28 July, 19:: Montreal c. Toronto, TVA Sports and TVA Network)

Round of qualifications 3 to 5

  • 1 August, starting at 18: 45 : Montréal c. Pittsburgh
  • 3 August, 20 h : Montréal c. Pittsburgh
  • 5 August, 20 h : Pittsburgh c. Montreal

The date and time of the other games of the series, if necessary, will be announced at a later time.

Adapt to the coronavirus in six steps

Do not adjust your device, the broadcasters of the hockey playoffs will do it for you. Within five seconds, soundtrack added, limited access to players : broadcast a hockey game in full pandemic, in an amphitheater of the desert, will require several adjustments and innovations. For fans, the experience will be necessarily different. Are you ready for a series like no other ?

1. EA Sports to the rescue

No spectators, no atmosphere ? Not quite. To compensate for the lack of fans in the stands, the NHL went to knock at the door of EA Sports, maker of the popular video game for consoles NHL. “They have developed a ambient sound that will be added to the dissemination and which will be adjusted to the situation, for example when a goal is scored. There will also be music during play stoppages, ” says Louis-Philippe’s Nephew. In particular, it is question that the “songs of goal” (the goal songs) of each team resound when a player shakes the ropes. It will not, ” said Mr. Nephew, heard the noise from the skating rink. Quite to the contrary. “We’re going to hear any better, the skating, the failed, the players, who will talk on the ice “.

2. Two cities-bubbles, two diffusers, a same image

Forget the frenzy of the early games of the series at the Bell Centre, forget the crowd cheering when a player from the local team scores a winning goal in overtime. All games will be presented in the halls without the supporters of the two cities-bubbles designated by the national hockey League, Toronto and Edmonton. A single television channel will have access to the bubbles, Sportsnet Edmonton, and NBC in Toronto. The regional stations, including TVA Sports for the French market, will be confined in the studio, at the mercy of the images provided by the presenter designated. “It will be like at the olympic Games, shall submit to the executive producer at TVA Sports, Louis-Philippe’s Nephew. “We will be in a reactive mode,” says analyst Patrick Lalime, who will not be able to self-select the times that he wants to present to viewers in order to explain a phase of the game.

3. Of ways

In the absence of having supporters in the stands, there will be additional cameras. The absence of fans will allow broadcasters to have access to sections of the amphitheatres where they can’t install it normally, which will give an angles new. The protective netting behind the goals will be removed. “It’s going to be a beautiful television experience,” says Louis-Philippe’s Nephew.

4. 5 seconds to erase the bad words

Speaking of players who talk on the ice, you are not without knowing that your stars are not generally in the lace when they come to the word. However, without spectators, it will be easier to hear the insults launched by Max Domi and Brad Marchand. To avoid shocking the sensitive ear, a simple solution and already used in other events, such as the spectacle of the half time of the Super Bowl, will be put in place : the action reaches us with a delay of five seconds. “In Toronto and Edmonton, there will be someone on site who can cut the sound if he said something inappropriate “, says Louis-Philippe’s Nephew.

5. Players less accessible

Coronavirus requires, the access to players will be limited to a maximum of. It will thus be necessary to move from traditional interviews near the ice-skating rink during the warm-up session, between periods or with the star of the match. All broadcasters will have to settle for the same interview pre-game with a player who will answer the questions of the on-site production. “This is an interview for all the networks, that’s it , “said Louis-Philippe’s Nephew. After the match, we talk about organize of the Zoom with the coaches and players chosen. On TVA Sports, it is assured that the NHL is sensitive to designate players who speak French.

6. Delays expected

The NHL relaunch its activities with three games per day in each city-bubble, at noon, 16 h and 20 h. however, as we are in the playoffs, there will certainly be games that will go into overtime and that will shift the beginning of the following parties. You will therefore be well advised to have the results of matches of the afternoon to the eye, if your favorite club has to play in the time slot of 20 h. You wouldn’t want your chicken wings are cold when the game will take off.

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