NHL Live on VERSUS to Co-Exist with NHL Live on NHL Network This Season
August 31, 2011 3 Comments
NBC announced recently that with the re-vamping of their hockey coverage – which includes more games on different nights and more NBC/VERSUS synergy – that the network will re-tool their pre-game and post-game shows, which were known as Hockey Central from 2006-2011 (fun fact: the show was simply The NHL On VERSUS Post-Game Show before the 2006 playoffs, which feels like a 1940′s television show. You know, like The Texaco Hockey Program).
The new show will be titled NHL Live, a nod to NBC Sports’ long history, as the network’s old NFL pre-game show carried the “Live!” moniker from 1987-1994. It also goes along with a complete studio re-brand for the channel, as the VERSUS college football program is now College Football Live (it premieres this Saturday, in case you’re curious). Overall, it is a cleaner name than Hockey Central and gives VERSUS/NBC Sports Network (I will be so happy in January when I get to stop typing that) a fresh start in a post-merger universe, instead of carrying on with the old brand.Like last year’s TV, it is time to upgrade as well as effectively simplify.
It still, however, brings to mind another program currently on the air: NHL Network’s daily talk show NHL Live, which airs every day from October-June at the NHL Store in New York City. I was curious as to whether or not the NHL Network show would change its’ own title in the wake of this announcement. The answer is no, according to an NHL spokesperson. NHL Live on NHL Network will keep it’s name when it returns in late September/early October.
I can’t imagine this will be ideal for either program, unless they find a way to work together. NHL Network’s show has been airing for a few years on television, and even longer on the radio, though it has gone through a lot of changes since April, when more focus was put on making it a TV show, while it was dropped by XM Home Ice on the radio side. NBC Sports Group’s push will give the VERSUS NHL Live it’s own immediate presence, though you can imagine it being awkward maneuvering through both, especially when trying to write a post for your website, like I just did.