Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/23/12 at 01:12 PM ET
from Stuar Miller of Multichannel News,
Programming a network run by a pro sports league is, on one level, extremely simple: Dedicate time and resources to live coverage of games and surround them with news coverage, previews, updates, live cut-ins and post-game analysis.
Then fill in the gaps with countdown list series, which can be produced cheaply, repurposing footage from the archives. All four major sports league networks — NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV and NHL Networks — follow this same basic formula. But even that’s not enough to fill the screen 24/7 in or out of season. So the networks continue exploring new ways to fill out the fringes of their schedules….
In the fall, the NHL created NHL Original Productions, partnering with former HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg; its first effort is NHL 36, which follows a current star for 36 hours.
However, to make the finances work, NHL 36 runs first on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus), prior to live games featuring the profiled player, before repeating on NHL Network. Similarly, the reality series Oil Change is produced for Canadian television before reaching the NHL Network.
“It’s a good economic model for us,” Coplin said.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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