How an NHL On FOX Would Look in 2010

We’re gonna’ guess that FOX isn’t going to release series of hockey cards in anticipation of it’s return to broadcasting hockey, if the reports are to be believed.  But we imagine that FOX would attempt to do some heavy promotion and give the games their stamp.  FOX never does anything less than 100%, so it’d be interesting to see.  Of all the networks, we’ve always thought the one who would have the most interesting take on TV hockey in 2009 would be FOX.  So let’s take a look at what The NHL On FOX might look like in 2010.

Announcers: Any network aside from ABC/ESPN to take over NHL telecasts is hiring Mike Emrick to be their lead play-by-play announcer.  Unless FOX decides to throw perennial second banana Kenny Albert a bone, it’s Emrick, Sam Rosen and Kenny Albert along with a cast of regional announcers, perhaps Dave Strader, as he’s in the FOX Sports realm (working for FSN Arizona).  

As far as color men go, I wouldn’t be shocked if Pierre McGuire came over to FOX with Emrick, unless he wanted to lessen his slate of work.  Add Joe Micheletti, Brian Hayward to that list as well.  Networks love Joe Micheletti for some reason, and he worked with FOX as their #2 man in the previous stint of the NHL On FOX.  Everyone loves Brian Hayward for some reason too, and he has a job with FSN Prime Ticket and would give the network a more West Coast Focus.  Daryl Reaugh would be someone to be on the lookout for getting a job as well.

Studio Show: It’s hard to say.  FOX is dumping it’s MLB studio show and Curt Menefee doesn’t seem likely to host NHL coverage, but then again, who thought James Brown was?  The most likely angle FOX would take is to beg Friend-of-Doug Weight and current everything announcer Joe Buck to host the Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Classic.  Perhaps MLB host Jeannie Zelasko or NASCAR host Chris Meyers gets tossed into a weekly rotation.

Remember, hockey needs some sort of studio show because it has naturally implemented 17-minute intermissions, which is why FOX would even bother doing one when it won’t do one with baseball coverage this season.

As for studio analysts, a guy like Darren Pang, who’s with FOX Sports Arizona, or Jim Fox – with FOX Sports West – seem like naturals for studio work and live close to FOX’s headquarters in LA.  There’s always semi-free agent analyst Bill Clement for the gig as well, currently toiling away doing backup work on CSN Philadelphia.  Of course, never count FOX out to make the big move and hire one of Canada’s top analysts (Craig Simpson, Ray Ferraro) when they did the same with Greg Millen in the late 90′s.

Production:

The games would likely look like a combo of FSN’s current hockey productions and other Fox Sports broadcasts, with reference to graphics.  FOX guinea pigs a lot of it’s hockey experiments on FSN West and Prime Ticket.  Look for innovations such as Slow-mo cams, and a possible “Rinkside View” now and then, though we all know how that ended up with the Ducks.

Promotion:

Fox has quite a few promotional outlets.  A player or commentator could visit FOX News, or possibly Talk Show with Spike Ferestein.  FX, FSN, FOX News, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Business News and other networks could provide ample promotion for regional action on the big network.  Fox also did the best job of involving regional affiliates when it came to advertising hockey games.  An affiliate in St. Louis would air “The Mike Keenan Show” prior to NHL games. 

 

Now, as we’ve said, we kinda doubt the NHL is coming back to FOX.  But we think they’d certainly do a good job if they came back.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

8 Responses to How an NHL On FOX Would Look in 2010

  1. dyhrdmet says:

    where have i heard that play-by-play lineup before? they could always use a rotation of FSN analysts who would otherwise have the day off for some games (assuming regional coverage). i wonder if FOX would try to get an additional cable package for FX or out of market or streaming rights of FSN local broadcasts like Comcast did in the Versus deal.

  2. Wayne says:

    Will someone bring back Gary Thorne??? Is anyone else as sick and tired of Mike Emrick as I am? As long as they don’t hire Darren Eliot (Thrashers)…

    I think hockey would be better on FX rather than over-the-air FOX.

  3. dyhrdmet says:

    wow. 3 points that don’t seem to make any sense.

    How would FX be better than FOX? More tolerance for swearing and nuditiy?

  4. Kyle The Sports Fanatic says:

    I can dig the NHL returning to Fox, ABC won’t make a run for the NHL unless ESPN picks up the NHL package (they shouldn’t anyway, they were like a neglectful parent to the NHL), NBC probably focus on getting the NBA or MLB back when their respected contracts expire, and CBS, well they’re too focused on college basketball and NFL they’ll probably pass.

    Also, just a proposal of personalities for this gig

    Studio: Joe Buck (why not include Buck, he pretty much does everything with fox) and Bill Clement

    Announcers
    Mike Emrick (of course)
    Sam Rosen
    Kenny Albert
    Dave Strader

    Maybe mix in some of the FSN announcers, or even announcers from the MLB/NFL on fox like Dick Stockton.

    Just a thought.

  5. Sleepy T says:

    “Everyone loves Brian Hayward for some reason”

    Are you out of your mind? This guy is the biggest jacka@@ in NHL announcing. You obviously don’t live in L.A. or watch many Ducks games. This guy is truly a one sided-homer, egotistical idiot. The best thing Avery ever did was call this guy out.

  6. anonymous contact says:

    The NHl will be on ESPN next year according to an anonymous contact deep inside between the NHL and ESPN, read below to see the contract information and who is broadcasting what.

    ESPN:

    The new deal will consist of a Game of the Week on ESPN2 early in the season (most likely on Fridays) , ESPN will take over the Saturday and Sunday Afternoon schedules from NBC after the Pro Bowl, as well as the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals. The source went onto say, “There is a lot of ego in this world and ESPN wants a MAJOR trophy to be won on their channel. That may be the overall driving force here.”

    Versus:

    Versus will continue its solid coverage with Games on Monday and Tuesday and the All-Star Weekend. ESPN back on the scene will be good for Versus in many ways. I hate the flack that Versus always gets for their hockey coverage. Maybe it’s just because I remember a time before there was ANY hockey on in the states, but I firmly appreciate the work that Versus does in getting me extra coverage. The production value is really fine for me and most hockey fans who don’t require all the bells and whistles.

    In my opinion had ESPN kept their deal and Versus come on board as a network that just televised MORE games and not been a replacement for ESPN everyone would have just praised the Network’s coverage. Instead we spent two years complaining about the millions of Americans who apparently go on vacation in order to watch hockey from their hotel rooms. Does it really matter if the local Holiday Inn has Versus? All we do know is that Versus is in millions of homes now.

    NBC:

    When NBC gave the NHL a National deal in which they essentially were paid to put on the sport there was no Winter Classic. Now NBC was rumored to have only kept the NHL deal going this year BECAUSE of the Winter Classic. I am told that NBC and the NHL are working a deal that will separate the Winter Classic out of the National Package and that NBC will televise ONLY the New Years Game which has become known in the industry as one of the best and fastest success stories in sports TV History…”The fastest a sport’s event has become a tradition ever.”

  7. Kyle The Sports Fanatic says:

    Here’s my idea for Commentator Pairings

    1) Mike Emrick (PxP)/Ed Olczyk (Color Commentatory)/Chris Myers (Ice Reporter)
    2) Kenny Albert/Darren Pang/Peter McNabb (Or vice versa for Pang and McNabb)
    3) Sam Rosen/Joe Michelleti
    4) Dave Strader/????? (don’t know who to put here)
    5) Dick Stockton (should he still be with Fox)/???????? (don’t know who to put here)

    They’ll probably also use announcers from the NFL/MLB on Fox for relieve work.

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