Edmonton Oilers Engage Their Content-Hungry Fans

Oilers+ Streaming Content Delivers a Slapshot of Innovation with LiveU Technology

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Background

Longtime Edmonton Oilers Manager of Video Production, Ryan Hyrcun has been a big believer in digital media since the beginning. First bringing content to diehard fans of the NHL team via social media channels, then helping to launch Oilers+, a streaming platform that gives fans exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content, live shows, pre/post-game shows, press conferences and more. The team previously used a different transport solution for their live content, but learned from other NHL teams that the LiveU solution was more user-friendly and functional.

What happened next was a slight change in the workflow, an even bigger opportunity to bring fan engagement to the team’s dedicated following, and a significant spike in revenue.  With a 12-month subscription model, the Oilers grew the Oilers+ OTT from 10K subs in the first year to an eclipse of 20K+ in year two, bringing revenue to over $1M. This bump directly correlates with the increase in live content to the app.

The Challenge

The Oilers wanted to expand their live coverage – going live at every home and away game to produce their exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Throughout the season, they must also figure out how they’re going to produce more special events, like special outdoor games. For the 20th anniversary of the famous NHL Heritage Classic, one of the series of outdoor games played in Football stadiums across Canada, the Oilers TV Production Team had to take their live production to the next level.

The 2023 Heritage Classic took place in front of 60,000 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada. Because this was a neutral or offsite stadium, the team did not want to rely solely on the venue’s connectivity and wanted the freedom to roam around the entire stadium and be able to capture content from everywhere.

The Solution

After a trial period, the Oilers made the investment in LiveU, with an LU800 field unit and one compact LU300S field encoder. Today, they have come to use LiveU for both their OTT and social media content creation during their 82-game season.

For their home games and special events such as the renowned NHL Heritage Classic, the team utilized a Remote Production workflow with LiveU at the heart of it all. The team had a camera at the pre- and post-game press conferences, some at the family-skate on the rink before the game, and a few more scattered around the massive venue. All live video being transmitted back to their production control room at Roger’s Place in Edmonton, where an editor and switcher reside to control the whole show.

“LiveU gives us the capability of expanding our horizons and possibilities when we are doing our remote and road coverage. LiveU makes everything so much easier so we can focus on the creative side for our live productions.”

Ryan Hyrcun, Edmonton Oilers Manager of Video Production

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