Oh, Hey There: The NHL’s Blu-Ray Initiative

New York, NY – Today the National Hockey League (NHL) and Giant Interactive announced the NHL’s inaugural Blu-ray Disc, The Chicago Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup® Championship. This release will be the first in major league sports to be BD-Live-enabled, powered by BD-Connect™.

The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks® Stanley Cup® Championship Blu-ray Disc, which hits stores on July 20, will deliver its BD-Live experience with downloadable content and expanded bonus features, including the latest features and interviews from Blackhawks TV and updated news from the Blackhawks and the NHL.

“When planning this year’s commemorative Stanley Cup release, we recognized the potential for BD-Live to enhance the fan experience,” noted Dave McCarthy, VP, Integrated Marketing. “BD-Connect will enable the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship Blu-ray Disc to deliver a fresh experience every time it plays in a connected Blu-ray Disc player, offering a whole new way for fans to interact with NHL content.”

Though other sports leagues, including the NFL and MLB, have released Blu-ray discs in the past, the NHL® is the first to embrace the full potential of the web interactivity offered by the rapidly-growing Blu-ray format. “BD-Connect was the perfect BD-Live solution for the NHL”, noted Jeff Stabenau, President of Giant Interactive. “It’s the easiest BD-Live technology to implement, it’s pre-configured with more features than competing solutions and it’s ready to go.”

BD-Connect is a complete BD-Live solution for delivery of creative content along with marketing and community building features. A highly scalable architecture with Akamai edge server content delivery allows for rapid loading of BD-Live components and full screen progressive streaming video. Easy to implement, BD-Connect offers numerous out-of-the-box features, including many found on this inaugural release.

BD-Connect is used on more Blu-ray Discs worldwide than any other BD-Live platform,” noted Roger Baker, Director of Business Development at Giant Interactive, “and we’re excited to see this technology being used to create such dynamic channels of communication with viewers.”

Like prior Stanley Cup Championship releases, the Blu-ray will feature a highlights program recapping the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs run. Both the DVD and Blu-ray will be available on July 20.