Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/26/07 at 02:44 PM ET
STAMFORD, Conn. (March 26, 2007)- VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, will televise wall-to-wall Stanley Cup playoff action beginning April 11 with the Conference Quarterfinals and all the series leading up to and including the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. Each night VERSUS will televise one or two playoff games as well as the studio wrap-up show, “Hockey Central”. VERSUS will announce its playoff schedule on April 9.
In the Conference Quarterfinals, which begin on April 11, VERSUS anticipates covering 15 to 20 games. The number of playoff games will vary depending upon the length of each individual series. This is also true of the Conference Semifinals, which are scheduled to begin on April 25. During the Conference Finals, that are scheduled to begin on May 10, the network will present both series, anywhere between 6 to 12 games. VERSUS’ Stanley Cup coverage will culminate with the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. All games in each series will be presented in hi-definition. VERSUS will, when feasible, simulcast games from Canadian networks to give viewers the unique perspective of other network’s coverage.
The network’s studio show, “Hockey Central”, is hosted by Bill Clement with Keith Jones and Brian Engblom and will once again provide extensive insight and commentary of the games and what’s happening around the NHL, and also feature a number of unique production features. VERSUS will also, on occasion, bring players into the studio to serve as celebrity guest analysts and this venture will be highlighted with Mark Messier joining the studio team during the network’s telecasts of the Stanley Cup Final games. Among the regular segments of the studio show are the following:
VERSUS One-on-One, remote interviews with players and coaches that go in-depth with their subjects, unlike the usual between-period interview segments; Face-Off, a regular debate between the studio talent on the hot topics in the NHL; Plays of the Week, a weekly musical tribute to the best plays of the past week and Marquee Match-Ups, which previews key NHL games not televised by VERSUS during the week.
Each night VERSUS features a playoff match-up, the network will deliver a condensed highlight version of the game that will be distributed via the network’s VOD platform. These will be available the morning after game play, so that hockey fans who may not have seen the previous night’s game won’t miss out on any of the playoff action.
VERSUS.com will continue to provide exhaustive information about the NHL including editorial coverage from some of the most knowledgeable hockey sources. The network’s website will ramp up daily coverage to include highlights from all of VERSUS’ games as well as daily insider video featuring VERSUS’ NHL talent on the network’s broadband channel “The Player”. Each night after the studio show, VERSUS’ talent will film Web-exclusive content that will give the inside scoop on what has happened to-date in the playoffs, as well as their predictions for the future games in the series. The website will also feature a new playoff version of the VERSUS Salary Cap Challenge fantasy game.
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