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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
ALL 82 REGULAR SEASON GAMES TELEVISED 76 Game Regional Schedule Added to 6 Nationally Televised Games

Popular INSIDE THE LIGHTNING Series Returns with All-New Episodes Including a Special "Raising the Banner" Show in October

As the Tampa Bay Lightning get set to defend their Stanley Cup Championship, Sun Sports and the team have announced the Lightning's regional television schedule for the 2005-06 season, resulting in every regular season game scheduled for television this season, a first in franchise history. The 76-game regional telecast schedule for the 2005-06 season includes 41 home and 35 away contests (10/29 game @ Atlanta to air on FSN Florida).

The season-long coverage begins with the raising of the Stanley Cup Banner in the St. Pete Times Forum live on Sun Sports Wednesday, Oct. 5. That night, Lightning fans will want to tune in early as Sun Sports will be there offering every exciting and thrilling moment as the team gathers and raises the banner inside the St. Pete Times Forum, celebrating their historic first Stanley Cup Championship. Coverage begins at 6:30pm with a very special one-hour live edition of the "Lightning Ice Time" pre-game show. Then, the Lightning begin the defense of the Cup when the puck is dropped versus the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30pm.

Rick Peckham returns for his 10th season as the Lightning's play-by-play announcer with analyst Bobby "The Chief" Taylor, in his 12th year, joining Peckham in the booth. Sun Sports' Paul Kennedy returns as rinkside reporter. Games are available to viewers in the NHL-designated Tampa Bay Lightning home television territory of northern and central Florida.

Sun Sports' INSIDE THE LIGHTNING series returns and will feature, in addition to player profiles, episodes offering behind-the-scenes access to other aspects of the team and its operations -- all designed to bring the fans closer to their favorite team. These will include an episode taking viewers along on a 3-day road trip with the team and one in October celebrating the historic raising of the Stanley Cup Championship banner in the St. Pete Times Forum.

The network is exploring with the Lightning and the NHL ways to enhance the game telecasts with non-conventional elements such as microphones on players and coaches and additional camera angles. And, for the third consecutive season, Sun Sports and Bright House Networks will offer 10 Lightning games in HD to Bright House Networks' HD customers in Tampa and Central Florida.

Sun Sports is also producing and airing the TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING PRESEASON SPECIAL, hosted by Kennedy. It premieres Tuesday, September 27, at 7pm and replays several times prior to the start of the regular season.
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