The Finnish hockey league Liiga is introducing the smart puck, developed by Liiga together with Bitwise and Telia. The data the Wisehockey smart puck technology provides will enhance broadcasts during the season and deliver a deeper experience.
Last season, Telia piloted the use of smart puck data in parts of its Finnish hockey league Liiga broadcasts. During the summer, the Wisehockey system has been installed in all Liiga arenas and now the collaborative pilot is expanded to cover all Liiga games and Telia broadcasts.
“Finland is on the leading edge of international development of smart pucks and smart hockey. Liiga is the first series in which the system will be commissioned. Based on promising experiences, one can say that smart puck data will open a number of new windows in gamecasts to understanding the games, teams and individuals. At the same time, we have great responsibility for developing the game experience in the right direction and with the right moderation for the viewer,” says Telia’s Kalle Takala, the producer in charge of Liiga broadcasts.
Telia’s Liiga broadcasts commentator Tuomas Nyholm, winner of the Hockey Reporter of the Year award, is just as enthusiastic about smart pucks.
“For a century, we have had the same information on ice hockey, but things will really change with the smart puck. The real-time manner and the sheer amount of data will provide a new level of intensity of following the sport,” says Nyholm.
Great insights when dumb puck gets smart
Many new elements can be offered to the viewers during the starting season. For example, new statistics related to puck handling, pass volumes and percentages, shooting sectors and blocked shots provide even better insight into the sport. At the individual player level, we will obtain information on the place where each player aims to score from and where to.
“This is a long-term development that is only just beginning. Because the changes are so major, we will introduce new information to the broadcasts gradually. We are looking at a whole new scene,” Nyholm concludes.
The Liiga season, starting on 12 September, comprises a total of 450 games and more than 200 hours of auxiliary programming on TeliaTV. All subscribers of the Liiga product can view all matches and Liiga auxiliary broadcasts on Telia TV.