TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning and Sun Sports unveiled the team’s 70-game regional television schedule for the 2012-13 regular season today. Sun Sports, the regional television home of the Lightning, will broadcast 70 of the Lightning’s 82 regular season games all in high definition.
Sun Sports is scheduled to air the majority of the Lightning’s matchups, beginning with the season opener at the Florida Panthers on October 13 at 7:30 p.m. The network will then air the Lightning’s home opener against the New York Islanders on October 16 at 7:30 p.m. Sun Sports will air all six matchups between the intra-state rival Bolts and Panthers.
“As we look towards our 20th Anniversary season, Sun Sports is going above and beyond the terms of our partnership this year to over-deliver for Lightning fans with a 70-game broadcast schedule and extended pre- and post-games shows for those broadcasts,” said Lightning Chief Operating Officer Steve Griggs. “Additionally, with the introduction of a full broadcast studio, Lightning fans will be the beneficiaries of improved production quality and content each time they sit down to cheer on their favorite team.”
Of the Lightning’s first 33 games of the regular season, 32 will be broadcast on Sun Sports. They will also show 17 of the final 19 games on Tampa Bay’s schedule to close out the season.
“The Lightning games on television are spectacular and we are happy this year to bring more games to our viewers,” said Steve Tello, Sr. VP/GM of FOX Sports Florida and Sun Sports. “With the improvements to the Tampa Bay Times Forum and some technical advances, we’re looking forward to an exciting 20th Anniversary season of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sun Sports.”
Play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham and color analyst Bobby “The Chief” Taylor will provide viewers with expert commentary throughout the season. Lightning analysts Paul Kennedy, Dave Andreychuk and Chris Dingman will also return to join the broadcasts as the hosts of LIGHTNING LIVE, Sun Sports’ pregame show for home games, and extended postgame show for all telecasts.
Sun Sports’ Lightning telecasts this season will feature some exciting new additions for viewers. Laura McKeeman will join the broadcast team as social media reporter for select Lightning home games and for the first time ever, all Lightning pre-and post-game shows for away games will originate from the FOX Sports Studio in Fort Lauderdale.
The popular INSIDE THE LIGHTNING series returns and will feature player profiles and 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. There are seven new episodes scheduled to air throughout the upcoming season.
Eighty-one of the Lightning’s 82 games will be available in the Tampa Bay market, on either local or national broadcasts.