The Hockey Central studio makes its debut on Oct. 8 for the opening night of the NHL season.
Sportsnet unveiled its space-age Hockey Central Studio today, a week before its debut on opening night of the NHL season Oct. 8.
Most TV studios operate at one of two extremes. They are either in large, dark cavernous spaces with sets littered around the edges to provide maximum flexibility and variety in shots, or they are surprisingly small, with just enough room for the anchor desk, cameras and crew. Rogers’ new Sportsnet Hockey Night in Canada set is neither.
Housed in a made-over 10th floor space in the CBC building — where the in-studio elements for Hockey Night in Canada used to be shot — the new $4.5-million set is a gleaming state-of-the-art studio that looks like something for which Starfleet might like a design credit.
There are nine distinct sets, with a main stage featuring a 3.3-by-11.6-metre ultra-high-resolution monitor nicknamed Goliath — claimed to be the largest ever used in a Canadian television studio. On the other side are two large studio pods like giant glass bubbles, where regional broadcasts will take place. There’s an interactive puck wall element, which, like something from a game show, lights up with stats for specific teams; a smaller studio to the side outfitted with red chairs for host George Stroumboulopoulos’s interview segments; and at the centre, a glass table for panel discussions with Rogers’ legion of hockey commentators.
The new studio’s puck wall.
“We need to tell stories in a variety of ways, and we wanted to get away from the traditional desk, where there are four people on it and they are all that you see. We have a dynamic place to work in. We have places to show and tell in a variety of different ways,” said Gord Cutler, Rogers’ senior vice-president of hockey production.
With so much hockey, including national broadcasts on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, as well as regional rights for several teams, Cutler says the many sets are necessary to keep the product visually interesting throughout the many broadcasts.
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