Tuesday November 4th, 2014

The NHL is testing virtual advertising technology on dasherboards, Sports Business Daily reports.

Seventeen teams already use virtual advertising above the boards during broadcasts, but the league is exploring options to expand the technology to create “dynamic dasherboards.”

The new digital billboard replacement, which is being tested by European company Supponor, would allow for broadcasters to sell dasherboard inventory even when a team is playing at an away venue.

The in-venue ads would also generate more revenue, though venues and broadcasters may dispute how to split profits.

“There’s tremendous potential, but it’s a political situation,” said Andrew Judelson, former senior vice president of NHL sales and marketing. “In the mid-90s, we thought virtual ads would change the economics of venue signage, which has happened to some extent in baseball. But it gets down to a control issue between venues and broadcasters over which one gets to control and monetize inventory.”

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NHL COO John Collins hopes that if approved by the Board of Governors, the technology could be installed by the 2015-16 season. The system has already been tested at several venues, including the Prudential Center, where the New Jersey Devils play. 

- Danielle Zhu

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