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As Stanley Cup Final moves to Montreal, NBC Sports production team stays in Tampa

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TAMPA – As NBC Sports broadcasts the next two games of the Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens, much of the heavy lifting for production will be done from trailers parked in the player’s parking lot. Amalie Arena.

Travel to and from Canada is still severely limited due to the coronavirus, and the NHL and the Canadian government have worked to allow parts of the league’s U.S. television rights holder to cross the border to cover the final .

About 30-35 members of NBC’s broadcast crew traveled to Montreal, including its team of announcers and most of its film crew. But that’s just a fraction of the 80 people who would typically be on hand for a broadcast or the more than 100 staff who would be there in a normal playoff year.

Among those who remained in Tampa is the show’s producer and director, who will connect with the team in Montreal from production trucks at Amalie Arena.

The show will be produced primarily from Tampa, with the exception of some graphics that will be added at NBC’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, which NBC has done in large part due to the pandemic to avoid overcrowding in trailers. .

Everyone making the round trip has had to self-quarantine when not in the arena, even in Tampa, where there are no longer restrictions.

“To be honest with you, putting our whole team through this was going to be a logistically nightmare,” said NBC Sports coordinating producer John McGuinness. “There is a lot of paperwork that our advertisers have to go through. There is the quarantine. Even in Tampa, they are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms.

NBC will have its own camera feeds in Montreal, but will also rely on Canadian rights holders Sportsnet (English) and TVA (French) for additional feeds. NBC provides Canadian networks with additional streams for games in Tampa.

Yet this is a notable step forward. For most of the past year, advertisers and analysts have called remote games. Their camera angles for games have been limited to the feeds they can get, so this final Cup setup will give them a full, wider picture of the ice.

This is NBC’s last hurray as the holder of the US television rights. NHL games will go to ESPN and Turner Sports next season for a seven-year contract.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at [email protected]. Follow @EddieintheYard.

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