NHL News

A guide to Saturday's animated Blackhawks-Stars broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago and the Blackhawks will air an animated version of Saturday's Blackhawks-Stars telecast

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Chicago Blackhawks and NBC Sports Chicago will air the first-ever local animated real-time sports telecast for the Blackhawks-Stars contest this Saturday.

Here's everything you need to know about the telecast.

How to watch Saturday's animated Blackhawks broadcast?

  • Traditional broadcast: NBC Sports Chicago's Main channel
  • Animated broadcast: NBC Sports Chicago's Plus channel

The Blackhawks will face the Stars this Saturday at the United Center. The Blackhawks-Stars contest and its animated presentation will air on the NBC Sports Chicago Main channel and the NBC Sports Chicago Plus channel. You can stream both on the NBC Sports Chicago website and app, too.

The traditional broadcast will air live on the NBC Sports Chicago Main channel. The alternate, animated version of the broadcast will air live on the NBC Sports Chicago Plus channel.

What time is Saturday's animated Blackhawks matchup?

  • Date: Saturday, April 6
  • Time: 2 p.m. (CT)

Coverage for Saturday's Blackhawks telecast will begin at 2 p.m. (CT) with a special version of Blackhawks Pregame Live on NBC Sports Chicago. Puck drop is slated for 2:30 p.m. (CT) on both the NBC Sports Chicago Main and Plus channels.

Why is this broadcast different from the rest?

NBC Sports Chicago and Blackhawks are teaming up with the NHL to deliver a one-of-a-kind broadcast that displays a live, animated version of the broadcast. The day also lines up with Tommy Hawk's birthday celebration.

The big event, geared toward families, will show a mirrored version of Saturday's telecast, but in an animated format, including Connor Bedard and announcers Chris Vosters and Dominic Moore.

Here's a sneak peek at what the players will look like on the animated version of the broadcast. 

How does the technology work to convert the live feed into an animated broadcast within seconds?

"This technology that's being used by the league, it's fair to say that it's cutting edge," Matt Celli, the VP & Coordinating Director of NHL Productions, told NBC Sports Chicago. "There isn't a lot out there that can pull live data from players in constant motion, X,Y and Z planes, and then recreate that in an animated world. It happens in seconds and it's a great tool and a great opportunity for us to try out different types of storytelling."

Tune in on NBC Sports Chicago (Plus) this Saturday at 2 p.m. (CT) to experience the live, animated version of the Blackhawks-Stars broadcast.

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