NHL Net to Move Out of the Broom Closet in September

Lots of great hockey info in Sports Business Journal this week.  There’s an inside look at Paul Kelly and Eric Lindros’ inside battle at the NHLPA.  They also have the scoop that the NHLPA is going to extend the CBA two years at the All-Star break in Montreal.

But the one thing that concerns us here at Puck the Media is their story on NHL Network’s growth.  The channel has some pretty big ambitions for the coming 12 months, according to Tripp Mickle and John Ourand:

“Our plans call for us to be in 30 million homes by the start of next season,” said NHL COO John Collins.

Now, league executives will try to increase distribution by convincing cable and satellite providers to move the channel from sports tiers to better distributed digital tiers. To entice the distributors, the network is offering an equity stake in the channel, Collins said.

“Now we’re following up and continuing those discussions,” he said. “That’s what we think is going to lead to the broader distribution.”

That’s not all for NHL Network, as they are finally improving their much-maligned graphics package and studio set:

The league is working to develop a new studio set and unveil a new graphics package, which it hopes to have ready by mid-September, when it plans a more formal relaunch.

“My hope is by Labor Day we have a look and feel of a network that’s much edgier, brighter and more cohesive in both countries,” Shannon said.

Good for the NHL Network.  Our only hope is that we will actually be able to watch this develop on our cable package by the time the new studio debuts.  Actually, the new studio and graphics should appeal to diehards who have complained of the network’s look.  As we’ve said before, the next step is to make the American version of NHLNet it’s own network, complete with it’s own studio, staff and programming.


3 Responses to NHL Net to Move Out of the Broom Closet in September

  1. Tapeleg says:

    I hope they don’t try to get too edgy. I don’t want them to become the “Sportscenter” of hockey.

    • Leafsfan1967 says:

      There is also no need for the NHL Network to have an exclusive American look and feel. Hockey is an interantional game and the Canaidian content on the Network is first class…

  2. dyhrdmet says:

    We kinda saw this one coming. I still feel that ALL sports-niche networks such as this (and NFL Network and MLB Network) should be on SPORTS tiers. You think every cable operator would buy into the NHL Network? Updated graphics and studio, etc., would make it more appealing. I don’t feel there is a need for separate US & Canada version aside from live games. And I like how they do the highlightes letting the local announcers shine instead of forced narration like all the other shows do. Just get rid of the damn bottom lines (both the one seen in the US and the one below it in Canada). Having a live rink to demonstrate is a good improvement (if it’s in Canada, maybe even outdoors).

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