NEW YORK -- The NHL and Disney Streaming Services launched GameFlow on Thursday, an interactive tool available in the NHL mobile app which provides fans with shot pressure data in a visual representation of a game's momentum.
"NHL fans are very tech savvy and embrace innovative digital experiences like GameFlow that take them further inside the game," said Stephen McArdle, NHL executive vice president of digital media and strategic planning. "Fan engagement and technological innovation are paramount to our partnership with Disney Streaming Services, and we're thrilled to collaborate with them to deliver this novel second screen interactive experience."
Fans can access GameFlow during or after a game via Gamecenter, which shows the rate of all shot attempts (on goal, missed, blocked). The larger the graph, the more shot pressure a team is generating. Vertical grid lines are drawn at the NHL average of 55 shot attempts per 60 minutes and twice that, at 110 shot attempts per 60 minutes, and markers along the vertical timeline indicate significant milestones during the game.
Fans can tap on milestones and goals to view the action as video highlights, and NHL.TV subscribers can jump to stream the game from any point on the graph. Although GameFlow was launched Thursday, it is available retroactively for every game that has been played this season.
"When you're in the first intermission and want to take a look at what happened, you can scroll back through all those important moments flowing through and continually being updated throughout the game," Barry Tishgart, senior vice president and general manager, hockey, Disney Streaming Services said.
GameFlow allows fans to take a deeper look into the action beyond the score, allowing them to pick any moment during the game and see which team was generating more shot attempts at that point and subsequently watch from that point in the game if they choose to.
"A great way to check pregame analysis and then during the game, be able to visualize that exact spot," Tishgart, said. "You can see all those important moments flowing through and it's continually updated throughout the game."
GameFlow will also be able to be paired with Apple TV so fans can watch highlights or another game on TV using their phone to control what they want to see. This allows fans to remain with their TV on the game they want to watch while also getting a picture-in-picture of a highlight or another game.
"GameFlow is a first-of-its-kind data visualization experience that we believe has the potential to revolutionize sports streaming," Tishgart said. "We're the first (sport) to do something like this and give you a visualization of the game that you can scroll through and control with your smart device."
More events, moments and statistics are expected to be added to GameFlow in the near future. At some point, that may include data from puck and player tracking.
"We're on track now for puck and player tracking to be introduced at certain points in the regular season for showcases or one-off events," McArdle said. "Full puck and player tracking will come at the start of the playoffs, to be utilized as a broadcast enhancement. As we move into next season, working with DSS, we will determine the right integrations. But you can imagine puck and player tracking at the intersection of that with shot pressure will create some pretty cool experiences."
GameFlow was developed in collaboration with Micah Blake McCurdy, founder of hockeyviz.com, to bring hockey data visualization to the NHL.
"It's the first of its kind and is really not available in any other sports app today," Tishgart said. "It will change the way live sports are consumed. It gives the user more control than just flipping from one out-of-market feed to another."