ESPN CareersInnovationNHLThe ESPN DifferenceWalt Disney CompanyWho Does That?Working @ ESPN

Scoring Bonanza: Programming’s Jo Goldblatt Reviews Some ESPN NHL Presentation Highlights

Before Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference Final unfolds tonight on ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes, consider a few of the innovative storytelling peaks in this fast-paced season

ESPN’s Johanna Goldblatt poses with Lord Stanley. (Johanna Goldblatt/ESPN)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight, NHL Western Conference Final Game 4 between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars begins at 8 ET on ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. A Golden Knights’ victory would send them into the Stanley Cup Final against the Eastern Conference Champion Florida Panthers. With ESPN’s second returning year of comprehensive game coverage with the NHL winding down, Johanna Goldblatt, Manager of Programming & Acquisitions, takes fans through some of this season’s highlights.


“This season, we had more exclusive games on ESPN and ABC than ever before, and we worked closely with our scheduling and production teams to find more opportunities for linear games in creative ways, such as ABC doubleheaders in the afternoon and more games in the regular season.

“These new games brought increased viewership to TWDC platforms, where four of the top five NHL regular season games appeared, and overall regular-season viewership was up 19 percent versus last season.

“Additionally, 2023 NHL game viewership on ESPN+ (exclusive games, out-of-market games, and studio shows) season to date is up 12 percent versus the same period the year prior.”


“One of the best values and aspects of our NHL package is the 1,050+ live out-of-market games on ESPN+, formerly known as In addition, our marketing and digital brand teams announced the launch of NHL Power Play on ESPN+ this season, which allowed us the opportunity to collaborate with our PR and Marketing teams around “Power Play Picks of the Week” for noteworthy games included in the package.


“Through its unique offering, we were able to capture historical moments such as [Washington Capitols star] Alex Ovechkin’s chase for the 800-goal milestone and becoming the second all-time NHL goal scorer, as well as the Boston Bruins’ historic year and their successful quest to become the winningest regular season team ever.”


“Expanding our audience and innovating how NHL games can be experienced through our alternate telecast strategy provided fans with multiple options to watch their hockey games.

“Throughout the season, the innovative ‘Star Watch’ alternate presentation showcased the best players in hockey in isolated camera views for the duration of the entire game, along with special statistics around their performance.


“Another fun alternate telecast was the NHL Big City Greens Classic, an innovative partnership between TWDC, NHL, and Beyond Sports. This was the first volumetric broadcast of a live event as we collaborated with Disney Channel and Disney XD to air a real-time animated version of the Capitals vs. Rangers game on ESPN. These unique initiatives enabled us to continue exploring how hockey fans choose to watch their games and drive audience expansion through reaching younger and more female demographics.

ESPN NHL analyst and former goaltender Kevin Weekes “gets animated” for ESPN’s innovative “Big City Greens” game telecast. (Kelly Backus/ESPN Images)


In February, ESPN also televised its first outdoor game with the 2023 NHL Stadium Series at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina, featuring the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes. Our production team delivered an ABC telecast with a true tentpole event feel in our NHL regular-season schedule, showcasing a unique college football environment with all the bells and whistles, including commentator Marty Smith interacting and tailgating with the fans.


While this year’s regular season schedule delivered double-digit viewership increases, our NHL season really ramps up with the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We dropped the puck in the First Round with 11 games in three days. The incredible on-ice product and increased the number of broadcast games made this First Round the most-watched on record – up 22 percent versus last year. That momentum continued with games on The Walt Disney Company platforms delivering three of the top five most-viewed games in both the First and Second Rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As we look to close out our NHL season with the Western Conference Final this week, we are truly grateful for such an amazing team who has worked so hard all year round to give hockey fans what they deserve – the best NHL coverage and overall experience.

Danny Chi contributed to this post

Visit ESPN Press Room for more on ESPN’s NHL coverage

Back to top button