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Comcast SportsNet to Launch SportsNet Central as Part of Dynamic New Program Lineup

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Bethesda, Md. (Sept. 29, 2010) – Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leader in television and online sports coverage, will unveil comprehensive changes to its lineup of daily news and entertainment programming beginning on Monday, Oct. 4. The new program schedule will deliver enhanced news shows and expanded team coverage in a viewer-friendly daily lineup to complement the network’s extensive schedule of live-game coverage.

The network’s new lineup will be highlighted by the transformation of its marquee daily news programs to the redesigned SportsNet Central and the addition of Capitals Central and Wizards Central pregame shows. Capitals Postgame Live and Wizards Postgame Live will continue to provide full news and analysis following each game, but will now air live from the network’s state-of-the-art HD studios for all broadcasts. These programs, along with the new thirty-minute format for Washington Post Live, will deliver a comprehensive game-day viewing experience for area fans.
“Our innovative new delivery of sports news and information, combined with the addition of more team coverage, enables us to provide a high-quality lineup that reflects the growing excitement and passion that surrounds local teams,” said Comcast SportsNet Senior Vice President and General Manager Rebecca Schulte. “Our network is entering a new era in which our news and entertainment shows will match the energy and significance of our live-game coverage to create an all-inclusive destination for fans before, during and after games.”
Comcast SportsNet’s portfolio of daily news programs, SportsNite and SportsDay, will re-launch as SportsNet Central on Monday, Oct. 4, representing the introduction of enhanced show formats that will provide fans with the most topical and comprehensive sports coverage throughout the day. The new shows will feature regular anchor teams delivering unique content distinctive to each daily time-slot, with a focus on viewer participation. The interactive elements – which will include text and video messages and social media – will enable fans to take an active role in the broadcasts and provide an outlet for their views. SportsNet Central will air daily at 6 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., as well as multiple times each morning.
Anchor Russ Thaler will lead the day’s first edition of SportsNet Central at 6 p.m., presenting a more in-depth look at the compelling stories that are generating fan interest throughout the region and previewing the night’s slate of games. Veteran anchor Chick Hernandez will team up with the network’s newest addition, Julie Donaldson, for SportsNet Central at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. for an informative, faster-paced rundown of the night’s action, filled with the latest scores, statistics and highlights. Late night and morning editions of SportsNet Central will be anchored by Michael Jenkins, who will use his unique brand to deliver a high-speed digest of all that is happening in the regional and national sports landscapes.
Capitals Central and Wizards Central will provide a half-hour of full pregame coverage immediately prior to live-game broadcasts of the Capitals and Wizards on Comcast SportsNet, expanding the network’s already significant on-air coverage of the teams. The shows join Capitals Postgame Live and Wizards Postgame Live in providing extended team content surrounding games. These programs will originate from the network’s HD studio and will include full news reports, special features and in-depth analysis from the region’s top experts and insiders.
Russ Thaler and Al Koken will alternate as hosts for the new Capitals Central and Capitals Postgame Live, with Koken handling duties for road games and Thaler serving in the position when the Capitals play at home. Former Capital Alan May will serve as analyst, with play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati, color analyst Craig Laughlin and Capitals television reporter Jill Sorenson contributing to coverage. Capitals Central will debut at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, prior to the team’s season-opener at Atlanta (7:30 p.m.), followed by Capitals Postgame Live immediately after the game.
Comcast SportsNet’s Wizards television reporter Chris Miller will host Wizards Central andWizards Postgame Live for road games and veteran broadcaster Michael Reghi will lead the shows when the team plays at home. Analyst Ron Thompson will be featured, with play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz and color analyst Phil Chenier contributing from the arena. Wizards Central will premiere at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, as the Wizards play at Atlanta at 7 p.m.Wizards Postgame Live will make its season debut immediately following the game. 
In early September, Washington Post Live with Ivan Carter moved to a new half-hour format. The change signaled the show’s shift to a more aggressive, fast-paced style, while still providing the opinionated panel debates and commentary that viewers expect from Carter and his daily stable of athletes, coaches, reporters and insiders. Washington Post Live will continue to air at 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The first daily broadcast of Redskins Nation will move to 5:30 p.m., with the encore remaining at 10:30 p.m. The network’s Raven’s programming, including One Winning Drive, The John Harbaugh Show and Purple Passion, will continue to air daily at 4:30 p.m. and 12 a.m.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted and, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.
Comcast Sports Group operates 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes.  Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest.  Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming.  For more information,
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