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NHL Announces National TV Schedule

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
NEW YORK (August 19, 2009) – The National Hockey League (NHL) announced Wednesday the television schedules for national partners NBC, VERSUS, CBC, TSN and RDS for the 2009-10 NHL regular-season.

The following Kings games will be televised nationally this season:
Monday, Nov. 9 Kings at Chicago: Versus, RDS and TSN2
Thursday, Dec. 17 Kings at Calgary: TSN
Saturday, March 6 Montreal at Kings: CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada” and RDS.

Schedules: NBC | TSN | VERSUS | CBC

In the U.S., NBC and VERSUS return for a fifth consecutive season as national television partners. In Canada, CBC begins its 57th regular-season of NHL® broadcasts while TSN remains the national English-language cable partner as part of a multi-year deal. RDS, the French-language telecast partner of the NHL, enters its seventh year of NHL coverage. All five national television partners recorded year-to-year ratings and viewership increases for the 2008-09 regular-season.

The NHL regular-season opens on Oct. 1 – just 43 days from today – with national doubleheaders in the U.S. and Canada. That night, VERSUS and TSN present the Washington Capitals visiting the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m., ET, followed by the San Jose Sharks in Colorado against the Avalanche at 10 p.m., ET. CBC on opening night presents two all-Canadian match-ups when the Montreal Canadiens travel to Toronto to face-off against the Maple Leafs at 7 p.m., ET, followed by the Vancouver Canucks against the Calgary Flames in Calgary at 10 p.m., ET. RDS joins the action by televising the Montreal-Toronto game.

The next day, four teams will be overseas to play NHL regular-season games in Europe for the 2009 Compuware/NHL PremiereTM series. VERSUS in the U.S. and TSN in Canada will present a special Friday European doubleheader on Oct. 2. First, the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers will face-off in Helsinki, Finland at Noon, ET. Next, at 3 p.m., ET, the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues continue the action in Stockholm, Sweden.

On Jan. 1, NBC in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada will again televise what has become the signature event for hockey fans everywhere to celebrate the game they love – the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic®. The game, which starts at 1 p.m., ET, features Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins squaring off outdoors at historic Fenway Park in Boston, home of the Red Sox. With an average of over 4.4 million viewers, the 2009 NHL Winter Classic drew the largest American television audience for a regular-season NHL game in nearly 34 years.

After NBC launches its NHL coverage Jan. 1 with 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic, the NBC NHL “Game of the Week” drops the puck on Sunday, Jan. 17th at 12:30 p.m., ET. The NHL and NBC will again collaborate on flexible scheduling for NBC's regular-season dates, providing fans the most exciting match-up available. Thirteen days prior to the scheduled game, a game will be selected for broadcast on NBC. All NBC “Game of the Week” games will be broadcast on Sundays and all games will be presented in High Definition. NBC will again broadcast games in the postseason, including Games 1, 2 and 5 through 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in prime time. The deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports was the most-watched NHL game in 36 years with an average American audience of 8 million viewers.

VERSUS enters the 2009-10 NHL regular season after double-digit ratings and viewership growth last year. The network saw 27% growth in viewership for the playoffs after seeing viewership jump more than 20% during the regular season as compared to the year prior. VERSUS’ 2009-10 regular-season schedule includes live telecasts from Helsinki and Stockholm as part of the 2009 Compuware/NHL PremiereTM and highlights some of the most exciting games of the season with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins all making a season-high eight appearances on the network. The Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild will each appear seven times. In total, VERSUS will televise 54 regular season games, wall-to-wall Stanley Cup Playoff action and Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA has a 76-game broadcast schedule for the 2009-10 season, headlined by 25 all-Canadian match-ups. Highlights of the schedule include the return of pre-game show Scotiabank Hockey Tonight with host Ron MacLean, Saturday night doubleheaders all season long and marquee games including the 2009 Hall of Fame Game featuring the Red Wings and Maple Leafs on Nov. 7, the Canadiens 100th Anniversary Game versus the Bruins on Fri., Dec. 4, the Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic and the 10th annual Hockey Day In Canada Jan. 30 from Stratford, Ont. The season culminates with the 2010 Stanley CupTM Playoffs and exclusive coverage of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. The deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final was the most watched Stanley Cup Final game featuring two U.S.-based teams on CBC since at least 1989.

On TSN and TSN2, this year’s combined 124-game national broadcast package is the network’s most comprehensive NHL broadcast schedule ever. After charting a 12% increase in regular-season viewership last year, TSN this year will air a total of 89 regular season games, with 70 games featuring at least one Canadian team. TSN2’s regular season schedule features 35 live NHL games showcasing non-Canadian teams. In total, TSN will feature a minimum of 10 games for each of the six Canadian teams. Headlining the NHL ON TSN’s Canadian team coverage during the regular season is the Toronto Maple Leafs with 17 appearances, followed by Montreal with 16, and 10 appearances each for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.

RDS this season once again will telecast all 82 Montreal Canadiens games. The network also will televise a package of 39 games featuring other NHL teams, including the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. RIS plans to televise 42 regular-season NHL games.

NHL NetworkTM this season will televise up to 78 live games for its American audience and up to 40 live NHL games for its Canadian viewers. All games shown in the U.S. will be in HD. More information on the dates and times of NHL Network’s 2009-10 schedules will be released in the near future. In addition, the network’s signature show, “NHL On The Fly,” returns nightly providing highlights and analysis of every NHL game.

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