by Todd Anderson
Ottawa Senators fans will have the opportunity to experience an in-depth look at their team this season with the first pay-per-view games package. The inaugural pay-per-view game will be aired tomorrow when Ottawa visits former teammate Dominik Hasek and the Detroit Red Wings.
The pay-per-view broadcasts will be commercial-free and will include many more features and interviews, as well as additional talent in the form of a host and hockey analyst, in support of the traditional play-by-play and color analyst.
"The commercial-free aspect of pay-per-view will provide a new experience for viewers, the same way ordering a movie or picking up a DVD at the video store is treated differently than watching regular television," says Jim Steel, the Senators' vice-president of broadcasting. "For whatever reason, the popcorn comes out, lights are dimmed and the sound goes up. It's more of an occasion or event."
Highlighting the list of five pay-per-view games is the March 8 match against provincial-rival Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place. It will be the final regular-season game between the clubs this season, and it's also the lone home game that will be included in the pay-per-view package.
Other exciting matchups featured are the New York Rangers on March 13, the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 18 and the New Jersey Devils on April 3.
Games will be shown on:
- Bell ExpressVu Channel 439, call 1-888-SKYDISH (759-3474) to order
- Rogers Television Channel 471, call 1-888-ROGERS1 (764-3771) to order
- Star Choice Channel 238, call 1-866-STARTPPV (782-1778) to order
"For those that don't have digital television, or if you want to watch the game in a more boisterous atmosphere, there are other options," says Steel.
More than 90 bars in Ottawa, Gatineau, Belleville, Pembroke, Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston and several rural towns have signed up to show the Senators in action.
To add to the unique opportunity, all five games will also be shown at the following Cineplex Entertainment theatres: Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas, Bank St., Ottawa; Coliseum Ottawa Cinemas, Carling Ave., Ottawa; SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas, Park Dr., Ottawa; Galaxy Cinemas Brockville, Parkdale Ave.; Cineplex Odeon Gardiners Road Cinemas, Gardiners Rd., Kingston and Galaxy Cinemas Cornwall, Second St. E. Tickets are now available at participating theatre box offices and online at www.cineplex.com.