Problems Televising Hockey Games

I heard a discussion a while back about the difficulty in televising hockey games, at least w/regard to making the broadcast more interesting for viewers. Memory serves, it had something to do with limitations associated with camera placement.

Anyone have any insight?

Not I, but someone in The Game Room might. Let me move it thither for you.

twickster, moderator

People thought HD was going to be really good for hockey and it does look much better but that is true for all sports. I think hockey is fine on TV but for some reason the conventional wisdom is that it doesn’t work well on TV.

The biggest problem for hockey on TV is following the puck. It’s small and fast-moving and you often have to concentrate to figure out where it is. At one point, they electronically enhanced it to make it easier to see (like the first-down lines in televised football) but that angered the fans and didn’t bring in anyone new.

The specific reason I don’t like hockey is that when I tried to watch on TV, I couldn’t follow the puck, AT ALL. I’m not blind, I just couldn’t see it. I’ve been told that it’s better at a live game.


I can follow the puck but I know it is not real easy - HD helps a lot since the puck is smaller than a baseball. One way you can tell who has the puck is by the actions of the player and the defense.

You don’t need to follow the puck. Just follow the flow of the players. When you need to see the puck you’ll find it.

What aggravates me is when a close game nears the end and all the fans stand and seriously block the camera’s views.

Amazing that there are no better locations to plant the cameras.

It’s probably because I’ve been watching it on tv for as long as I can remember, but I don’t have any trouble following the play at all. Sometimes you can’t see the puck, but you can still be ahead of the play (as a viewer) by watching what the players are doing.

The skill of the camera operators is important. The CBC camera people and producers are second to none when it comes to keeping up with the play and aiming the camera where the puck is / is going to be.

Agreed. Canadians have no trouble following the play of televised hockey for two reasons: long experience, and …

Exactly. With over 50 years of experience in televising hockey in such a way that holds the viewers’ attention and allows them to follow the action, CBC knows what they’re doing. The unfamiliar-with-hockey telecaster will be turning off potential viewers while trying to reinvent the wheel if they don’t seek out expert advice from the CBC.

I don’t have too much of a problem watching hockey games. It’s true that you can’t always follow the puck but, even during those times, you still know where it is from the player’s behavior.

With that said, nothing beats some good seats at a hockey game. Seeing the players up close does make it a lot more exciting and personal.

Don’t know why they don’t use that fancy remote control camera on wires that football broadcasters use. Only risk is an elevated puck being cleared, which can simply become a new faceoff if it hits a wire or the camera. In any event even on my grainy 80’s set I could easily follow the puck, and with HD it is even better (snow flying from a sudden skidding stop!).

Hockey is a much, much better game in real life. Football is better on TV. Baseball is good on Tv and real life.
If you went to a hockey game, you would love it.

If you follow hockey, you realize that watching the puck makes about as much sense as watching the ball during any other sport. I’m willing to bet you follow the play in football, basketball, etc. and don’t really keep your eye on the ball; you instinctively know where the ball is based on the movement of the players.

The same holds true for hockey. The more you watch the game, the less you’ll be concerned about watching the little black puck. The flow of the players will dictate where the puck is.