Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/08/07 at 12:37 PM ET
note: additional information added at bottom of post at 1:32pm…
NEW YORK (October 8, 2007) – NHL Network, the first national network dedicated entirely to hockey, is being launched in the United States, beginning this month, through carriage agreements with Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. Based on the carriage arrangements, NHL Network will be accessible to 75 million homes.
NHL Network, which launched in Canada in 2001, gives viewers unprecedented 24-hour access to the most comprehensive hockey coverage, both on and off the ice. NHL Network will broadcast 50 live regular-season games in addition to classic games, documentaries, instructional shows, highlights and more.
The U.S. and Canada versions of NHL Network will have similar programming schedules. Initially, the major difference in the two channels will be in live NHL game selections, with each channel focusing on games of greater interest to its fans. All live NHL games will be televised in high-definition on the full-time HD feed (all games subject to local blackout).
The signature show on NHL Network, NHL On The Fly, airs nightly throughout the hockey season and features up-to-the minute hockey information, live look-ins on games in progress, extended highlights, overtime shootouts, real-time scores, interviews, pre- and post-game reports and news conferences. Dan Pollard and Brian Duff rotate as hosts and are joined in-studio for expert analysis from a variety of NHL veterans, including Gary Green, Dave Reid and Bill Berg. Todd Lewis and Jim Van Horne also contribute to the show on a regular basis. Fans can tune in to NHL On The Fly: Final every night during the season immediately following NHL On The Fly for a final wrap-up of the night’s action from around the NHL.
“Our fans across the U.S. and Canada now can have access to the hockey programming they want, regardless the time of day,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We have joined with six of the most-respected cable and satellite distributors in the industry, and that is testimony to the appetite and demand for the NHL.”
“NHL Network’s success in Canada has paved the way for the network’s launch in the U.S.,“ said Rick Brace, President, Revenue, Business Planning and Sports, CTV Inc. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to mirror the success we’ve had in Canada in the U.S.”
added 1:32pm, More detailed news from MultiChannel via Broadcast Newsroom,
While the league said the network will pass some 75 million subscribers with its deals, the network’s actual subscriber count will most likely be closer to the 12 million subscribers that sports tier-based networks such as NBA TV currently enjoy.
Shapiro said the league is “satisfied” with its sports-tier carriage, but hopes to eventually expand to more widely distributed programming packages.
more and HD talk too…
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