Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/25/07 at 11:52 AM ET
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Versus has used the NHL to increase its exposure by almost 20 percent, from 64 million homes to 72 million. It reportedly has pursued the NFL and Major League Baseball and could be a suitor for the NBA next spring.
If Versus continues to grow at the same rate, it would be in about 80 million homes when the current contract expires at the end of the 2007-08 season, which would make it a significant competitor to ESPN2, if not ESPN.
An NHL spokesman said Versus has an option for another three years beyond that.
“A lot of people now know where Versus is compared to two years ago,” said sports-television consultant Neal Pilson, the former head of CBS Sports.
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