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ESPN’s Championship Level World Cup of Hockey 2016 Production Plans

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  • Cameras Added to Supplement World Feed
  • Veteran Voices on Game Coverage, Studio Analysis and Team Reporting
  • Fans Select Top Players of All Time in National Hockey Legends: Pantheon of Greatness

ESPN’s start-to-finish World Cup of Hockey 2016 telecasts will have all the angles covered through innovative production techniques, top-tier commentary, creative enhancements and studio programming surrounding the games. The puck drops on the World Cup of Hockey 2016 Saturday, Sept. 17, at 3:30 p.m. ET when Team USA takes on Team Europe (ESPN2).  All games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president production and remote events, said, “ESPN’s World Cup of Hockey productions will bring viewers into the arena through a wide range of camera angles and in-depth commentary from experienced NHL voices. World Cups are all about national pride and cheering for your country. We will help elevate fans’ knowledge in this endeavor through our comprehensive on-site and studio coverage.”

Game Coverage:

ESPN will supplement the world feed of 31 cameras with additional cameras to provide more angles for enhanced coverage. One camera will be positioned on the main center ice platform giving ESPN the best access to its between benches reporter and isolation capabilities on both benches and players on the ice. Another will be placed in the slash position (near-side corner about halfway up the stands) and provide an interesting angle for on ice activity.  A handheld camera will travel with on-ice reporter Leah Hextall.

All coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS will also be available to stream live on WatchESPN across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices via an affiliated video provider.

NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose, SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes will call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Hextall will report and provide interviews from ice level.

Player and Puck Tracking:

All ESPN telecasts will feature player and puck tracking technology to help emphasize and educate viewers about the speed of the game. Sportvision’s infrared tracking system will be embedded in pucks and player jerseys above the name plate to capture data including puck and skating speed, puck trajectory and puck and player location and distance traveled.

Cameras in Air Canada Centre rafters will capture data from the IR signals, which will be sent to Sportvision’s control truck.  From there, the data will be put into graphic rendering engines and be made available to ESPN to create on-air graphics

The NHL, the NHLPA and Sportvision first utilized this technology at the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus.

Opening Animation:

ESPN will debut an exciting new animation package which will be seen before each World Cup of Hockey 2016 telecast. The design and animation language, created by an in-house team, is a contemporary mixture of energy, sport and art, aggressive and unexpected, reflecting a game that can change in the blink of an eye. It takes an abstract view of both the sport and team, framing them in a world of title sequences with a balance of mystery, drama, and action.

Fan Vote – National Hockey Legends: Pantheon of Greatness:

National Hockey Legends: Pantheon of Greatness allows fans the opportunity to vote for the four best players of all time from six teams – United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. The final four from each nation will be revealed over six consecutive nights (one team per night) during ESPN’s pre-game shows starting Sept. 17.  Voting is open now on ESPN.com

Studio Shows:

World Cup of Hockey Pre-Game shows will generally precede ESPN’s coverage by 30 minutes. World Cup of Hockey Post-Game shows will periodically wrap up the action. Each show will be televised on the same network as that day’s game.

ESPN’s studio coverage will be anchored by John Buccigross, Linda Cohn and Adnan Virk with analysis from Hall of Famers and former NHLers Chris Chelios and Brett Hull. Studio shows will feature advanced telestration technology to provide in-depth breakdowns of pre- and post-game highlights.

Visit ESPN MediaZone for more on World Cup of Hockey 2016.

About the World Cup of Hockey

The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Eight teams — Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team USA — will compete in the two-week tournament, featuring more than 170 of the best players in the NHL. All tournament games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The eight teams are split into two Groups, Group A and Group B, for the Preliminary Round (Sept. 17-22), when each team will play its three Group opponents in a round-robin format. Placed in Group A are Team Canada, Team Czech Republic and Team USA, plus Team Europe, a pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. The four teams in Group B are Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team North America, a selection of the top players from Canada and the United States who are 23 or under as of Oct. 1, 2016.

The top two finishers in each of Group A and Group B will advance to the Semifinals (Sept. 24-25), where each qualifier will face an elimination game against a team from the other Group. The two Semifinal winners will meet in the Final, a best-of-three series on Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1.

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Media Contacts: Diane Lamb at [email protected] or (860)-766-2245 (@Diane_ESPN);

Michael Skarka at [email protected] or (860)-766-1342 (@Michael_ESPN)