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Goal Line Report

A Look at the “New” NHL Network

Thanks to Kerry McGovern, senior manager of communications for the National Hockey League, I was lucky enough to get an e-mail interview with Bob Chesterman, the VP of Programming for the NHL Network.

This e-mail interview comes at the perfect time as the league’s channel has gone changes both format-wise and look-wise as the NHL is now into their “second season”, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

PH: How do you think the changes that were made to the Network, such as the ones made to “NHL Live”, “NHL On the Fly Pre-game”, and “NHL on the Fly”, are going to help for the future of the Network?
BC: By providing consistent and now extended live content, fans—especially those in the US—now know they have a channel that they can turn to for relevant and informative hockey programming that covers the entire scope of the League. We are feeding that insatiable demand that they have for hockey programming, and the more we are there for our fans, the more they will support us back.

PH: What made you think that the NHL Network needed to go in the direction that it is currently going in? Did you do it based on fan or league feedback or is this something you thought would benefit the Network going forward?
BC: It’s a mix of feedback and also examining what opportunities were available to us. For the move of NHL Live from Noon to 4pm, we know there are more eyeballs watching at 4pm. It made sense to bring that kind of a show – which was popular to begin with – and make it more accessible.

PH: The Network seems to be establishing a great relationship with NHL.com writers? How do you think this trend will help the Network?
BC: We’re really looking to integrate both platforms (NHL.com and NHL Network) into one cohesive unit that shares content and talent. It’s firing on all cylinders with information and access that a League-operated media source can offer, and making it available across multiple platforms so fans can access the same great content through their method of choice.

PH: Do you ever think that one day, you will get bloggers involved with the NHL Network? Why or why not?
BC: The line between bloggers and traditional media is blurring, so depending on your definition, I would say we already have bloggers involved with the Network. NHL.com writers are bloggers. Some our guests who are notable hockey journalists are bloggers. As for fans off the street, we have that covered too with our social media integration which was just introduced through the new format of NHL Live. We’re accessing questions from Twitter and answering them, and tapping into other networks such as Facebook.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: bob+chesterman, nhl+network

Comments

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Good stuff.  I have to admit I do kind of miss the old NHL Live.  It was kind of this old-school, laid-back type of show that is easy to enjoy.  And I think Don La Greca is actually a fabulous talk show host, so losing him with the move to 4 is tough.  I haven’t heard him on his other programs, but inevitably he made the show really quite fun and witty.

The new NHL Live is certainly prettier and more informative in some ways, but I almost wish they could have kept NHL Live as it was and just created this as a completely new entity at 4.

Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 04/15/11 at 09:10 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

nosferatu, my thoughts exactly. NHL Live was great as is. They could have done a new made for TV show at 4. Disappointing. I really enjoyed the old-school style you mentioned and the ability to catch it during lunch and LaGreca as well.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 04/15/11 at 11:16 PM ET

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I think the new NHL Live needs a lot of work. It’s hard to watch EJ standing over Deb the whole time in a studio that looks a lot more cramped with the new design. Without the radio mikes to anchor them, it’s just an odd setup…and the audio doesn’t seem as good. The info is ok, but it’s hard to watch…is there a TV producer in the house?

Posted by Steve from Chicago on 04/15/11 at 11:19 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Patrick, if you haven’t already shared the link with Mr. McGovern, maybe that would get him to take some of these comments into consideration?

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 04/15/11 at 11:25 PM ET

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.