VERSUS To Air Four NHL Pre-Season Games

In what may be a first for the United States, NHL pre-season games are coming to network television.

VERSUS, which will become NBC Sports Network on January 2nd, will air four pre-season games starting on September 21st (Toronto vs. Philadelphia), something that I cannot remember any other network doing in the history of hockey on television. The only example of this I can find goes way back to SportsChannel America televising Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames games during a tour of Europe prior to the 1989 season. Prior to this year, only NHL Network aired broadcasts of pre-season games to the rest of the country.

All four of VERSUS’ telecasts will likely be simulcasts of Comcast’s regional sports networks. Three of them are Flyers games, already scheduled to be telecast in the Philadelphia market, which makes it appear that the games will be blacked out in the participating markets if they’re already being televised there. For example, the Rangers-Flyers game on September 26th is already being broadcast to both New York and Philadelphia.

It is not yet known if VERSUS will be using their own studio show for the telecasts, a practice that occurred throughout the 2010-11 season and through every playoff year when VERSUS had used simulcasts.

Around North America, it appears viewers in both countries will be getting a lot of pre-season action. CBC will air five games, including two doubleheaders, and the annual Kraft Hockeyville featuring Winnipeg and Ottawa. TSN will air four games, showcasing five (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal) of the seven Canadian teams. NHL Network will likely pick up some games of its own to broadcast to viewers in the United States, but none have been announced so far.

2011 NHL Pre-Season National TV Schedule

Sept. 21, 7:00 p.m. – Toronto vs. Philadelphia (VERSUS)
Sept. 22, 9:00 p.m. – Vancouver vs. Edmonton (TSN)
Sept. 24, 7:00 p.m. – Buffalo vs. Toronto (CBC)
Sept. 24, 10:00 p.m. –
Anaheim vs. Vancouver (CBC)
Sept. 26, 4:00 p.m. – Winnipeg vs. Ottawa (CBC)
Sept. 26, 7:00 p.m. – NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia (VERSUS)
Sept. 27, 9:00 p.m. – NY Islanders vs. Calgary (TSN)
Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m. – Detroit vs. Chicago (VERSUS)
Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m. – Carolina vs. Winnipeg (TSN)
Sept. 29, 7:00 p.m. – New Jersey vs. Philadelphia (VERSUS)
Sept. 29, 7:00 p.m. – Tampa Bay vs. Montreal (TSN)
Oct. 1, 7:00 p.m. –
Detroit vs. Toronto (CBC)
Oct. 1, 10:00 p.m. –
Edmonton vs. Vancouver (CBC)

(Source: NHL.com)

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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

10 Responses to VERSUS To Air Four NHL Pre-Season Games

  1. Stephen says:

    Wow. Now that’s pretty great in what ESPN didn’t do when they had rights to NHL. Great news for NBC/VERSUS to show ESPN that they are going down.

  2. Paranoidpuck says:

    So, the Hockeyville game is being played in the middle of the afternoon? I’m not sure that’s correct. I know they have moved the game to St. John’s and they seem to be having some logistical issues in planning this. Unless the game is being tape delayed, I don’t see how it’s gonna be aired at 4 PM The Hockeyville game has always been live and at night.
    I think this is the first time that CBC has ever aired the Hockeyville game. TSN has usually aired it with CBC showing highlights of the community events.

  3. Trent says:

    Missed one -
    September 21 7:30PM Boston vs Ottawa TSN

  4. JASON says:

    NYR and STL will be shown on NHL NETWORK this Saturday. Then NYR and Dallas.

  5. JASON says:

    Also there was a pic on google of the NHL Network. Now its removed. Looks like a new studio is set to launch this hockey season this Oct. We know Kathryn Tappen will be there. Hope they hire a Steve Levy or John Buccigross as their host. We know NHL on the Fly will continue from Canada with Brian Duff and gang.

  6. Patrick says:

    They hav no studio built yet. So not sure what u saw but its not it. Perhaps a fraud blog or a suggest blue print. Either way it hasn’t been built yet. Read a few weeks back on some jobs in stamford and it mentioned jobs for the network but said project hasn’t started

  7. Zach says:

    Just a quick note, the Buffalo/Toronto game on the 24th is played in Buffalo not Toronto

  8. Mike B. says:

    I believe the outdoor game in 1991 in Las Vegas (Rangers vs. Kings) was syndicated to any regional sports network that wanted it. So I don’t know if that counts.

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