“NHL Big City Greens Classic” Proves Successful with Viewership

The NHL Big City Greens Classic, a special experiment that saw a live hockey game animated and rendered in real time in the world of Disney Channel’s hit series, Big City Greens, proved to a be a rousing success.

What’s Happening:

  • The NHL Big City Greens Classic, which saw the Washington Capitals go against the New York Rangers in a completely animated world, drew 765,000 viewers on Tuesday night (3/14) across ESPN, DisneyXD and Disney Channel.
  • The NHL Big City Greens Classic was an effort that sawa live hockey game re-created in real time inside a virtual environment featuring 3D animated players whose movements synced with what was happening on the ice at Madison Square Garden thanks to puck and player tracking data.
  • The game drew 589,000 viewers on ESPN, while Disney Channel had 143,000 and DisneyXD had 33,000 viewers. The animated versions on Disney networks had a higher share of the overall audience than any other NHL alternate presentation to date. ESPN’s audience for the live game also marked the net’s best NHL game since Bruins-Penguins on Nov. 1.
  • Disney Channel had a median age of 14 for its animated telecast (last month, the median age for the network was 22). The DisneyXD audience for the game had a median age of 12 vs. 28 for all programming last month on that channel. Both networks skewed 59% female (Disney Channel is normally 36%, while DisneyXD is typically 48%).
  • The combined audience on Tuesday night (765,000) outdrew sports competitions like the World Baseball Classic on FS1 (395,000 for Great Britain-Mexico at 10pm ET and Israel-Dominican Republic with 377,000 at 7pm).
  • The special was also streamed live on both Disney+ and ESPN+, though numbers for those streams are not available at this time.
  • The experiment received generally positive reviews, across the internet, and of the series creators, Shane Houghton, in a behind-the-scenes feature during the broadcast, hinted at additional future sporting events with Big City Greens.

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