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NHL Network
NHL Network 2009.png
NHL Network logo
Launched October 1, 2007
Owned by National Hockey League, Comcast
Picture format 480i (SD)
1080i (HD)
Slogan The Home of Hockey
Country United States
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut, USA
Sister channel(s) NHL Network Canada
Website www.nhlnetwork.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 215 (SD/HD)
Dish Network 403 (SD/HD)
Cable
Available on most US cable systems Check local listings
Verizon FiOS 87 (SD)
587 (HD)
IPTV
U-verse 638 (SD)
1638 (HD)

NHL Network is a television specialty channel devoted to the National Hockey League (NHL) and the sport of ice hockey that launched in the United States in 2007. A Canadian version of the NHL Network has been on the air since 2001. The channel is also available in 1080i HD as NHL Network HD.

Contents

Development

As a result of the agreement between the NHL and U.S. cable company Comcast that places NHL games on its Versus network (known at the time of the deal as OLN), the American version of NHL Network has been in development as a joint venture between the NHL and Comcast.[1] The NHL Network in the United States currently shares about 90 percent of the same programming as its Canadian sister; the only difference are commercials and which live games the networks will show (for example, the Canadian version may show games televised on Versus, while the U.S. version airs the CBC feed of Hockey Night in Canada and TSN games). Live games are blacked out in the markets of the participating teams.

The league hired Ascent Media Network Services to manage and distribute the channel. A subsidiary of publicly traded Ascent Media Group, the company has offices in Stamford, Conn., from which it will maintain the network’s satellite signal, advertising insertions and other aspects of NHL Network.[2]

NHL Network is one of four U.S. cable network devoted to just one major sports league. NBA TV launched in 1999 with NFL Network following in 2003. Major League Baseball's channel, the MLB Network, launched on January 1, 2009.

Carriage agreements

NHL Network logo from 2007-2009.

Comcast, owner of cable networks Versus, Comcast Sportsnet, E! Entertainment Television, The Golf Channel and G4, is also one of the largest operators of cable systems in the United States. The company was contractually obligated to have NHL Network on its systems by summer 2007 at the latest, so it would be available in the United States beginning with the 2007–08 NHL season.[3] Both Comcast and the NHL had an option to end their contract after the 2006–07 season, which would have voided Comcast's obligation to launch a U.S. version of NHL Network, but opted to proceed with the launch.[4]

Since its official launch in the United States, the NHL Network announced on October 8, 2007 its plans to begin airing that month through carriage agreements with Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable. [5] DirecTV has aired NHL Network on channel 215 since October 31, 2007.[6][7] Going forward, any provider with NHL Center Ice is expected to place NHL Network somewhere on its system. Some of the providers offer NHL Network in high definition; all live games are broadcast in HDTV.

NHL.com announced on January 12, 2009 that AT&T U-Verse would begin carrying the channel.[8]

On June 2, 2009 it was announced that NHL Network and Comcast have reached an agreement to carry the channel on the Digital Classic Tier, which will increase viewership from the currently estimated two million on the "Sports Entertainment" tier to over 10 million on its Digital Classic package.[9]

Production notes

On February 27, 2008 (NHL Trade deadline), NHL Network launched a new ticker to provide up to the minute information including scores, updates, breaking news and general hockey information.

Programs

  • Top 10 - A nightly countdown show of anything hockey, from great performances to memorable moments, some of the most dramatic events in NHL history are ranked.
  • Frozen in Time - A look back at the NHL's greatest moments from players, teams and special events.
  • NHL All Access - A behind-the-scenes look at the NHL, featuring exclusive game coverage, interviews with players and much more.
  • NHL Cool Shots - Program produced by the NHL, features behind-the-scenes look at NHL players and what they do when they are not playing hockey.
  • NHL on the Fly - Flagship show that airs nightly during the regular season, features news and reports, interviews and constant updates and live segments from games in progress with hosts Dan Pollard, Brian Duff, Jim Van Horne and Tod Gordon. Also features analysis from Gary Green and former players Dave Reid, Kevin Weekes, Larry Murphy and Bill Berg.
  • NHL on the Fly: Final - Airs nightly following NHL on the Fly, a wrap-up of the all the day's games.
  • Classic Series - Airs daily a collection of highlights from a past playoff series.
  • Vintage Games - A whole game from the past.
  • NHL Live! - Television Broadcast of the XM Radio show NHL Live! on Monday-Friday, Noon-2pm and rebroadcast from 5–7pm. Hosted by Don LaGreca and EJ Hradek, this program is produced from New York, rather than Canada.
  • Best of NHL Live! - Compilation of the best interviews of the week. Airs Saturdays at Noon ET, Sundays at 5:00 pm ET.
  • Best of The Hockey Show - The best features from NHL.com's The Hockey Show, hosted by Carrie Millbank. Airs Saturdays at 1:00 pm ET, Sundays at 6:00 pm.
  • NHL.com's Fantasy Faceoff - Fantasy hockey information and advice. Hosted by Rob Simpson with contributions from a variety of hockey experts. Wednesdays at 7:00 pm ET.
  • Day in the Life - Goes behind the scenes with NHL players on game day - both in the locker room and away from the rink. Airs Thursdays at 7:00 pm ET.
  • Voices - Goes into the booth with an NHL announcer, including their greatest calls, how they got to the NHL and how they prepare. Airs Thursdays at 7:30 pm ET.
  • Captains - Hosted by Christine Simpson, profiles the NHL's best leaders. Airs Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET.
  • Pioneers - NHL legends discuss their groundbreaking careers. Airs Thursdays at 8:30 pm ET.
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Live games

  • National Hockey League
    Live coverage of games throughout the season (all in HD) on nights not featuring coverage from Versus or NBC
    • Wednesday night: simulcast from either from TSN's Wednesday Night Hockey or from one of the U.S. regional sports networks' broadcasts
    • Thursday night: simulcast of game from one of the U.S. regional sports networks' broadcasts
    • Saturday night: simulcast of the earlier evening game from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada
  • Minor League Hockey
    Live and tape-delayed coverage of AHL and ECHL games.
  • NCAA Hockey
    Live coverage of NCAA Hockey games on Friday nights, including the ECAC Final Four in March

References

  1. ^ NHL.com
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Media Week
  4. ^ Sports Business Journal
  5. ^ nhl.com
  6. ^ DishNetwork.com(Packages)
  7. ^ DishNetwork.com(CenterIce Package)
  8. ^ "AT&T U-Verse TV channel lineup scores NHL Network and NHL Network HD". NHL.com. January 12, 2009. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=403683. Retrieved January 19, 2009.  
  9. ^ Comcast to Carry NHL Network on Digital Classic Tier, Broadcasting & Cable, June 2, 2009

External links


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