VERSUS Continues UFC/WEC Partnership

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 28, 2010)-VERSUS today announced it will expand its partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) to feature four UFC events as part of its live programming in 2011, following the announcement that the UFC will be adding championship divisions at bantamweight and featherweight next year.  VERSUS will air two remaining live WEC events this year, scheduled for November 11 and December 16, and the network’s 2011 schedule will include classic WEC fights and other taped programming.

“The WEC on VERSUS has been a hugely successful property since its launch on the network in 2007 and the addition of the two live UFC fights in 2010 really solidified VERSUS as a destination for some of the best MMA action on television,” said Jamie Davis, President of VERSUS.  “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the UFC and take our relationship to the next level.”

The UFC began its relationship with VERSUS in 2010, marking the first time that live UFC events aired on a national sports cable network.  VERSUS’ two UFC fights this year, both featuring Pay-Per-View quality cards, averaged more than 1.1 million viewers and made VERSUS a top cable network in the country among key male demos.

“We have a great relationship with the VERSUS network, and we look forward to working with them to give UFC fans even more free fights in 2011,” said Dana White, President of UFC.

The WEC was founded in 2001 and in 2007, announced a television deal with VERSUS, which has since televised 23 live events.  The WEC on VERSUS has seen viewership growth each year since 2007 and in 2010 alone, 3.7 million viewers have so far tuned in to the five live WEC events on the network.  VERSUS’ two most notable WEC fights, which featured a Urijah Faber/Jens Pulver showdown in June 2008 and championship re-match between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown in June 2009, averaged more than 1.4 million viewers and made VERSUS the top cable network in the country among all key male demos for both telecasts.

VERSUS has also featured other WEC programming, including WEC WrekCAGE, a series featuring an explosive mix of VERSUS’ best live events and the top matches from WEC events never before seen on television, as well as Best-of-Year shows and Greatest Knockouts specials.

Kings Head to LA My Network Affiliate to Televise Entire Schedule

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings in partnership with FOX Sports West will broadcast five games this season on KCOP-TV 13, Kings Vice President, Communications and Content Michael Altieri announced today. With today’s announcement, all 82 Kings regular season games will be broadcast on TV this season. “Along with our partners at FOX, we have been working toward the goal of televising all 82 Kings games this season to our fans locally and this announcement helps fulfill that goal,” said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille. The following Kings games will be broadcast on KCOP-TV 13: Day Date Opponent Start (all times PT) Saturday November 6, 2010 vs. Nashville 7:00 p.m.– no post-game Saturday December 18, 2010 @ Nashville 5:00 p.m. Wednesday December 29, 2010 @ Phoenix 6:00 p.m. Wednesday February 2, 2011 @ Edmonton 6:30 p.m. Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ Detroit 4:30 p.m. Long-time Kings TV broadcasters Bob Miller and Jim Fox will call the action, and Steven Dorfman will serve as the producer while Mike Hassan directs the telecasts. Last month, the Kings and FOX Sports West released their 70-game television schedule on FOX Sports West/PRIME TICKET for the season. At the time, a total of 77 Kings games were slated to be broadcast this season locally or on national television. Today’s announcement brings that total up to 82 games – see below for complete 82-game television broadcast schedule or visit LAKings.com/tv. The Kings (6-2-0) continue their five-game road trip tonight in Chicago against the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks at 5:30 p.m. (PT) before concluding the trip in Dallas on Thursday night. Both games will be broadcast on FS West, KTLK 1150 and along the Kings Radio Network.

NHL Reveals New Mobile Strategy

NEW YORK (October 27, 2010) – The National Hockey League today unveiled its global mobile product portfolio, which this season delivers to fans a complete lineup of mobile NHL GameCenter™ applications developed for the widest range of smartphones, tablets and carriers – many of which are distributed by official League partners Verizon Wireless (USA) and Bell Mobility (Canada). The NHL GameCenter apps are the place to get a vast selection of NHL® video on smartphones or tablets − including live streaming games and in-game highlights (blackout and other restrictions apply). “Hockey fans around the world have an insatiable demand for NHL content, and want a multi-platform experience that includes their wireless handsets and tablets,” said John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer. “Our mobile products put the best NHL content in the hands of our fans − no matter where they live, what time of day it is or what mobile device they own.” A recent study by ABI Research confirms that mobile subscriptions worldwide passed the 5 billion mark. With broadband connections only at an estimated 400 million, mobile has become the most pervasive means of distributing NHL video content globally. According to Scarborough Research, NHL fans are more likely to own smartphones than fans of any other major professional sport. In addition, tablets are providing rich, second-screen experiences to television viewers. In fact, Gartner is predicting tablet sales will reach 19.5 million units in 2010 before jumping 181 percent in 2011 to reach 54.8 million. By 2014, Gartner expects consumers to buy 208 million tablets. The NHL is servicing this growing demand by developing multiple applications on the widest range of smartphones and tablets, creating a mobile front door to the League for every fan. A FIT FOR EVERY FAN Ranging from free to paid, beginning today the NHL is offering three versions of NHL GameCenter apps on a complete array of smartphones and tablets, including Google Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iTouch and Nokia handsets, and the iPad tablet (which, starting this week, will be sold by Verizon Wireless). The apps will be distributed through Android Market (Android smartphones); BlackBerry App World (BlackBerry smartphones); Apple iTunes (iPhone, iTouch and iPad); Ovi Store (Nokia smartphones); and Verizon Wireless VCAST (Android and BlackBerry smartphones on the Verizon Wireless network). With device-optimized apps, and multiple price points, the NHL is providing a mobile content experience to fit every fan, and shortening the distance between the League and its fans all over the world. CHOOSE THE MOBILE PRODUCT THAT’S BEST FOR YOU · NHL GAMECENTER™ – a free mobile application that delivers live scores; live in-game stats for every team and player; a real time Ice Tracker™, which is a feature that shows the locations of goals, hits and saves on a virtual hockey rink; game photos; a full-season schedule; NHL standings; NHL player profiles; archived results and stats for the current season; searchable content; and a personalized experience. · NHL GAMECENTER PREMIUM – a premium upgrade from NHL GAMECENTER offering video highlights, condensed games and live game audio in addition to those features found through NHL GameCenter. · NHL GAMECENTER LIVE™ – available today on BlackBerry and Android smartphones on the Verizon Wireless Network, this best-in-class mobile application gives subscribers access to live streams of NHL games on their mobile device along with all the content available through NHL GameCenter Premium. NHL GameCenter LIVE for iPads is due out later in 2010. NHL GameCenter apps are not all available on all devices, due to territory and rights restrictions. THE NHL COMES TO THE TABLET Tablets are quickly becoming a must-have viewing companion for television and NHL GameCenter for the iPad engrosses fans in scores, stats, player profiles, and stories to create a true immersive hockey experience. NHL GameCenter Premium is available now through the iPad, with live games becoming available via NHL GameCenter LIVE later in 2010. The League will continue to develop its NHL GameCenter apps for devices beyond the iPad such as the Blackberry Playbook and the Samsung Galaxy, which will be available through Verizon Wireless later in the year. All NHL GameCenter applications were co-developed with the NHL’s exclusive technology services provider NeuLion, a leading IPTV company. The NeuLion IPTV Platform provides fan experiences on multiple consumer devices at the same time. For more information on any NHL mobile app, visit http://www.nhl.com/mobile.

Your Announcers and Open Thread For Sabres-Flyers

Buffalo vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 PM ET, VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play:
John Forslund
Color: Billy Jaffe
Reporter: Bob Harwood

FS Arizona to Add 8 Coyotes Telecasts to Air on Alternate Channel

FOX Sports Arizona announced today it has added eight Phoenix Coyotes games to its telecast schedule for the 2010-11 season beginning with this Saturday’s home game against Tampa Bay. Seven of them will be televised live on FOX Sports Arizona Plus while one other will be a tape delay telecast on FOX Sports Arizona.

With the addition of these games, FOX Sports Arizona is now televising an all-time high 68 Phoenix Coyotes games this season. Game channel locations for FOX Sports Arizona Plus telecasts will be announced a couple days before the game. The additions are as follows:

Oct. 30: Tampa Bay @ Phoenix – 6:00 (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

Nov. 3: Nashville @ Phoenix – 7:00 pm (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

Nov. 5: Phoenix @ Dallas – 5:30 pm (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

Nov. 13: St. Louis @ Phoenix – 8:30 pm tape delay (FOX Sports Arizona)

Nov. 27: Anaheim @ Phoenix – 6:00 pm (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

Jan. 20: Phoenix @ Los Angeles – 8:30 pm (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

Feb. 17: Atlanta @ Phoenix – 7:00 pm (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

March 3: Phoenix @ Los Angeles – 8:30 pm (FOX Sports Arizona Plus)

TSN Brings Back Million Dollar Shootout

Toronto, ON (October 25, 2010) – One lucky Canadian could have one million ways to ring in the new year as TSN today announced details of the return of its fifth-annual, award-winning million-dollar giveaway, the Chevrolet Cruze Million Dollar Shootout. On New Year’s Eve, one Canadian contestant will take to the ice at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY, during the 2011 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win $1 million and up to three all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedans. The big event will air live nationally on December 31 during the first intermission of the World Juniors broadcast featuring Canada vs. Sweden (game starts at 4 p.m. ET on TSN). Both the game and the Chevrolet Cruze Million Dollar Shootout will air in High Definition. “For the previous four years, Canadians from coast to coast have supported the Chevrolet Million Dollar Shootout promotion with nearly 30 million total online entries, making it a true testament to the strong partnership between TSN and General Motors,” said Stewart Johnston, President, TSN. “This year will be no different as the stage is set once again for one lucky Canadian fan to step up to the blue line at the World Juniors and potentially change their life forever in front of thousands of screaming hockey fans at the arena and millions more watching on TV at home.” The Chevrolet Cruze Million Dollar Shootout begins today and runs through December 5. Fans are invited to enter online at TSN.ca/Cruze. Those who visit the site can also earn additional entries by playing the Chevrolet Cruze Shootout Game for up to 40 bonus entries per day or by referring friends to the contest. On December 10, one randomly chosen eligible Canadian entrant will be selected to participate in the Chevrolet Cruze Million Dollar Shootout and will receive a trip to Buffalo for them and five friends. On December 31, the participant will head to the ice during the first intermission of the Canada/Sweden game, where they will have 24 seconds to shoot 20 pucks into an open net from the far blue line. If the participant scores 15 or more goals within the allotted time, he/she is eligible to win $1 million in a one-time payout.* In addition, the participant and two friends will each have 15 seconds to shoot 10 pucks at an open net from centre ice (30 pucks in total). Depending on the number of total goals scored as a group, prizes will be awarded as follows: • 5-9 goals – participant wins a new Chevrolet Cruze • 10 goals or more – participant and both friends win a new Chevrolet Cruze “While the Cruze may be new to Canada, it’s already winning customers in over 60 countries through its segment-leading fuel economy, safety features, and standard content,” added Kevin Williams, president and managing director of GM of Canada. “We’re excited to partner with TSN and offer one lucky fan the opportunity to join Cruze and its winning ranks on the global stage.” TSN and Chevrolet are supporting the Chevrolet Cruze Million Dollar Shootout with a multi-platform promotional strategy featuring 15- and 30-second promotion spots airing on TSN and TSN2, along with a national PR/marketing campaign, online creative and in-game mentions during all hockey broadcasts on TSN. In total, the Chevrolet Million Dollar Shootout promotion has won four awards, including a Bronze 2010 PROMO! Award for Best New Product Launch for the Chevrolet Equinox Million Dollar Shootout. In 2008, Darwin Head of Prince Albert, SK, became an overnight sensation when he won it all during the Chevrolet Malibu Million Dollar Shootout, netting four Chevrolet Malibus and $1 million live on TSN. About General Motors Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) employs over 9,000 people across the country and is a recognized leader in green manufacturing. GMCL markets the full range of fuel-efficient Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles and related services through Canada’s largest automotive dealer network, which employs over 23,000 people dedicated to delivering a top customer experience. GMCL also plays a leadership role in automotive design and engineering, engaging in innovative research and development partnerships with leading Canadian universities and research institutes. In addition, through its Canadian Engineering Centres, GMCL conducts development activities ranging from cold weather testing to the advancement of key electric vehicle and green technologies. http://www.gm.ca. About TSN TSN is Canada’s Sports Leader and Canada’s most-watched specialty network. Delivering more sports coverage in High Definition than any other network in Canada, TSN’s comprehensive broadcast schedule features an exciting lineup of sports including NHL, IIHF, CFL, NFL, NBA, MLB, Season of Champions Curling, Golf’s Majors, F1, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Grand Slam Tennis and Championship Boxing events. TSN properties include TSN2, TSN MOBILE and the industry leading sports website TSN.ca. Official broadcaster of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and London 2012 Games of the Olympiad, TSN is a division of CTVglobemedia. *All winners are subject to confirmation of contest eligibility. – TSN -

Wavves Frontman Nathan Williams Would Like to Play in the NHL

That is not a spelling error, in case you were wondering.

In the continuing attempts to chronicle celebrity hockey fans, budding NHL enthusiast Mark Hoppus (he’s tweeted about getting into the Kings) of Blink-182 interviewed stoner-rockers Wavves singer/guitarist Nathan Williams, where the following exchange took place in a Billboard interview:

Hoppus: What are your ultimate ambitions as a band?

Williams: To tour with blink-182. Headlining. You would open for me. My second ultimate ambition is to open for you. My third ultimate ambition is to play on a professional NHL hockey team. I’ve never played hockey before but I’d like to try it out.

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