In the U.S., OLN—which changes its name to Versus on September 25—and NBC return for the second year as the League’s national television partners. In Canada, CBC begins their 54th consecutive year of NHL broadcast coverage while TSN—who’s been covering the NHL since 1985—will again be the national cable home. RDS, the French-language national telecast partner of the NHL enters its fourth year televising Montreal Canadiens’ regular-season games as well other select NHL games.
On Opening Night, Wednesday, Oct. 4, Versus will telecast a double-header featuring the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes taking on Buffalo, followed by the Dallas Stars facing off against Colorado.
The Opening Night game featuring Buffalo at Carolina will unveil Versus’ first Game of the Week—something new for U.S. hockey fans. The network’s 54-game schedule (airing mostly on Mondays and Tuesdays) will offer 24 dates on which no other game will be televised in the U.S during that time—providing hockey fans with a true Game of the Week. Versus will wrap up every telecast with its NHL studio show of news, highlights and commentary.
NBC has expanded its regular-season coverage from six weekend dates to nine—providing the most NHL regular-season broadcast coverage in the U.S. since 1998. NBC begins its afternoon coverage Saturday, Jan. 13 with three regional games highlighted by an Original Six clash between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. The following eight weekend dates will air on Sunday afternoons, including a Feb. 18 showcase between the hottest young stars in the League, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin.
In Canada, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada begins its 54th year of NHL coverage on Thursday, Oct. 5 with a rivalry-loaded evening. The first game features the “Battle of Ontario” between Toronto and Ottawa, while Vancouver takes on Detroit (regional), and the second half of the double-header spotlights the “Battle of Alberta” between Calgary and Edmonton. CBC’s 31dates this season are highlighted by 28 all-Canadian match ups, Saturday night double-headers as well as six tripleheaders including the seventh annual CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada on Saturday, Jan. 13.
TSN heads into the 2006-07 regular season with a 70-game national package that starts with a double-header on Opening Night as Ottawa visits Toronto and Dallas travels to Colorado Highlights of the schedule include three all-Canadian match-ups, 33 games featuring Canadian teams, the return of the weekly staple Wednesday Night Hockey. Wednesdays continue to be appointment television as this year’s schedule features a strong emphasis on the six Canadian clubs. Three-quarters of TSN’s games on Wednesday nights include a Canadian team.
The 2007 NHL All-Star festivities in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 23 and Wednesday, Jan. 24 will be televised by Versus in the U.S. and by CBC in Canada. All four national networks will offer expanded NHL coverage in high-definition all season long. On-air talent, broadcast enhancements and playoff coverage will be released at a later date.
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