VERSUS Rings in the New Year with Bob Harwood, Aaron Neville and Dr. John

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 28, 2009)-VERSUS will drop the puck on 2010 with a 90-minute program on New Year’s Eve, titled NHL Winter Classic Eve Special on VERSUS Presented by Bridgestone.  The show, which begins at 11 p.m. ET, will be hosted by VERSUS’ Hockey Central studio team-Bill Patrick, Keith Jones and Brian Engblom-and will air live from a remote studio atop Fenway Park, the location for the third annual NHL Winter Classic game on New Year’s Day featuring an outdoor game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

The NHL Winter Classic Eve Special will provide viewers with a preview of this year’s NHL Winter Classic game, including predictions for the match-up and a behind-the-scenes look at how the historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, was transformed from dirt and grass into a hockey rink.  The show will also include a look back at the 2009/10 NHL regular season to date, including the top games this year, and will give a preview of the rest of the season to come.  The special will also feature an in-depth look at what’s in store for the potential U.S. and Canadian Olympic teams during the 2010 Winter Games.

The Hockey Central crew will also name their top 10 choices for “Player of the Decade” and during the live telecast the top player will be announced and host Bill Patrick will sit down with the player for an exclusive interview.  VERSUS reporter Bob Harwood will also be on-site in Boston to provide practice day interviews from players and coaches to not only get their thoughts on the New Year’s Day match-up, but to also find out what resolutions top their lists for 2010.

“What better way to kick off the new year for hockey and all sports fans than with a live special on New Year’s Eve, giving them a place they can call their own to ring in the start of another year,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS. “The NHL’s Winter Classic game has become a highly anticipated annual event and we’re very excited to be a part of it this year with an in-depth preview of one of the league’s premier events. The live on-site studio show is a great way for VERSUS to super-serve fans with additional NHL programming.”

The special will also feature performances from musical guests, including Aaron Neville, Funky Meters and Dr. John, who will be performing at the NHL’s official Winter Classic New Year’s Eve Party at the House of Blues.  VERSUS reporter Charissa Thompson will be on-site at the House of Blues to serve as the remote host at the party as 2009 comes to an end and 2010 is ushered in.  In addition to VERSUS joining the House of Blues countdown, the network will also ring in the new year with an on-screen video countdown featuring all 30 NHL teams.

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