The Technology That Will Make Hockey Easier to Watch


On January 20th, 1996, at the All-Star game in Boston Massachusetts, the NHL debut the infamous glowing puck. Fox and the NHL were trying to solve a problem that’s plagued hockey for a while. The ability for casual fans to follow the puck. It had a short life and in 1998 was sidelined for being garish and distracting. The technology wasn’t there yet but it might be now. The NHL is bringing back augmented reality for the 2019-2020 nationally televised season. The technology was called Fox Trax and it tracked the puck with infrared sensors 30 times a second and superimposed a very hazy circle around the puck on screen. ESPN said it made the puck look like a blueberry marinated in toxic waste and hockey fans hated it. Even though it garnered more viewers for Fox. It lasted two seasons until the NHL contract with Fox ended in 1998. The NHL has been on a steady rise with the value of its teams rising six percent since last year reaching a record $630 million per team. While regular season viewership is slightly down in 2018, more valuable postseason viewing has increased. In 2018, Stanley Cup Viewership was up 22 percent from 2016. But compared to other leagues like the NFL, MLB and NBA, its popularity is relatively small. So, they’re looking for more ways to reach out to more viewers. In 2013, the NHL began their own development on augmented reality tech. At the 2019 All-Star Game in San Jose, the NHL debuted the new puck and player tracking technology. Every player was fitted with a sensor on their shoulder pads and 40 sensor fitted pucks were brought to the game. Fourteen to 16 antennae were installed in the arena rafters to connect with the sensors and four cameras were dedicated just to tracking. They can track the players 200 times a second and track the puck 2,000 times every second with the accuracy within an inch. The technology was developed by German company jogmo world corp, a subsidiary of the Fraunhofer Institute. The Fraunhofer Institute had originally approached FIFA with their tracking tech, but they wouldn’t allow their players to wear tracking chips. They also developed entirely new tech just for the NHL. For example, since the pucks have to be frozen, they developed a small tray that you drop the puck into before the game which tells you if the puck is turned on and how much battery it has. The NHL says that the tech is going to be deployed in all 31 NHL arenas sometime during the 2019-2020 season. The goal. “If you’re a millennial or Gen Z in particular and you’re consuming sports differently than it’s ever been consumed before, we’re going to be right there for you giving you what you want.” Die hard hockey fans weren’t happy about puck tracking back in ’96 and they’re not happy about it now. But the NHL isn’t dissuaded. They hope in the words of Mathieu Schneider to solve the problem of, “What’s the thing you always say here as hockey people? It’s like I love watching the game live but I just don’t get it on TV.” The NHL is hoping that the barrage of data will make the game more immersive on television because it can be such a hard game to follow. They plan to show stats like shot speed, number of passes, player speed, acceleration and how far both the puck and players travel in a game. The NHL hopes the data will be used for gaming, fantasy leagues, and to just have more insight into the game of hockey. It’s another way to rope in casual viewers that have for the time being evaded them and they might bring back the infamous glowing puck. Thanks for watching. Throw us a like, click subscribe and don’t forget to ring the bell post notifications.

100 thoughts on “The Technology That Will Make Hockey Easier to Watch

  1. All those stats sound fuckin amazing but HD has really eliminated the need for a glowing puck it’s perfectly visible and not hard to track at all

  2. I know I'm not the only one who can track the puck with no issue but then again playing hockey probably helped alot anyone who plays learns to track the puck in there peripheral

  3. So the pucks will have shit inside them? So that's going to fuck with the weight and cintripthical forces at work… and all you plebs who don't even play the game try to tell me that it's so small it doesn't matter. Agree with some of the other comments there should be two broadcasts then, one with and one without. And quite frankly this shouldn't be on any of the Canadian broadcasts. If you're Canadian and can't follow a hockey game LDAR

  4. You forgot to mention gambling, the NHL is going to give this information tobookeppers who will use it to create better odds

  5. If you understand hockey, then you know where the puck is going to be going usually. Plus with 4K TVs and high refresh rate TVs you can see the puck anyway.

  6. Lol this is just so people can bet on stuff like top puck speed and over under for top speed in a game etc. clever marketing scheme butttt see through.

  7. I don't mind the extra data and replay implications but if they change what I see on the screen during live play, I will be pissed

  8. It’s for all them Americans twats that can’t follow the game! I’m sure that is Canadian will hate it! Fuck you America… fuck you!

  9. You ever see a game where the analyst is working on the telestrator, getting ready for his intermission report, but it's drawing on the game in progress? That's what this new tech looks like.

    On a side note, I got a good chuckle at the fact Bettmam thinks he has a bead on millennials who don't watch the game. He doesn't even know what die hard fans want.

  10. Think you guys are missing the point. The NHL is introducing all this stuff because they’re also the first league to get into sports gambling too. That’s what this will mainly be used for.

  11. How is a puck any different from a baseball, a golf ball, you Americans are unbelievably slow !…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSvp6E6N1n8

  12. I don't really see the point. You have commentators for stats and analysis. You watch more than just the puck. It's pretty easy to follow a puck and know what and where they are going to go with the puck. I think it will make it distracting and the screen look crammed

  13. We don't need more passerby fans who bandwagon onto a popular and then never touch the sport again. Ruins the atmosphere of arenas and viewing events.

  14. Well there goes 95% of the Canadian viewership. Can we make our own league without this? Please at least have it as closed captioning, so it can be turned off. Canada wants to watch hockey, not learn how to spell people's name.

  15. Any good hockey fan (or just any Canadian) worth their salt can see the goddamn puck. Stupid idea then, stupid idea now. Stop fucking with hockey. It’s perfect to play, to watch, and even listen too!

  16. Look, I'm Mexican, hockey is incredibly popular in my country… Me and about another 3 guys follow the NHL nationwide. I can only watch the Sunday games on NBC, the playoffs and the Winter Classic. Point is… Even I can follow the puck. If they bring the glowing puck back I will start watching the KHL.

  17. I’ve gotten a lot of my friends and family into hockey by advising them to NOT chase the puck around with your eyes. Honestly, it’s almost an impossible task at times. Just watch the players. They will always gravitate around the puck. Plus, it’s just boring if you are hung up on the puck. 90%+ of the story is being played out by the guys that don’t possess the puck.

  18. The information looks cool and would be cool to analyze after the game and for coaches but viewers should definitely be able to turn the stuff off because that seems very distracting and unnecessary

  19. If you need any type of technological aid like these to “help” you follow the puck and watch the game, please do all the traditionalists a favor and watch something else. Or just jump off a cliff.

  20. If you need a light to follow the puck don't watch hockey it is that simple. It is not Thai hard to follow, follow the play not the puck. Only a fucking morph like moron needs a puck tracker

  21. I'd like to see the yellow baseboard made more flexible as to allow more dynamic rebounding and bring that more into a strategy for passing and playing the puck!

  22. That stupid line they put on the all star game sucked. Enjoy your “casual viewer” because you’ll be losing this long time viewer. That shit sucks to watch

  23. Puck watching is one thing true hockey fans and players never have or will do. Hockey is a game of zoning and movement off the puck. If they do these dumb graphics I guarantee ratings will drop.

  24. I can follow the puck just fine. If you can't see it looking at the players reactions obviously shows where its going to be and they replay any key moments anyway.

  25. I don't look at the comments but if watch the players instead of the puck the game open up in front of your eyes. The puck is secondary.

  26. I can't believe their little demo on the phone screen what the hell what that that's like not even watching sports it's just giant nametags moving around with any actual hockey barely visible

  27. Hockey has one of the smallest playing surfaces in the major sports. Its got 2 main stoppages of play. This is a waste of money to appease the simplest of bandwagon fans who wont be around for 5 more years. Terrible decision yet again by the NHL. Following the puck is easier than following a baseball. Learn the game and appreciate the game rather than some stupid graphics on a tv…

  28. I really don't get it…the puck isn't that hard to see for me. Also the tech insertion into hockey, as I've said before in other videos, is unnecessary to me. This is NOT a hard to watch sport. If all this shit comes up on the screen while in live play I'm not gonna enjoy the sport anymore…I don't care how EXACTLY fast anyone is going. I can count the passes my self if I want in replays… and finally I DON'T WANT A GLOWING PUCK. Shit looks so bad.

  29. PLEASE have someone who knows Hockey talk about Hockey next time. Not just read off some script, shows absolutely no passion.

  30. I dont get how this brings in new fans. If you WANT to watch hockey you will. No one goes "oh man I would love to watch this sport but but I just cant watch the puck." Anyone who actually wants to watch will get over the adjustment period in a few games

  31. Got a lot of babies on here saying they're not gonna watch cause of puck tracking. Seems like you don't like watching hockey on TV at all if it's that easy to turn you off entirely

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