Official Announcement on New Costas Series

NEW YORK – November 9, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group today announced that 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas will host quarterly live town halls, starting with Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl, and a monthly interview show Costas Tonight beginning Spring 2012 to air on the NBC Sports Network.

The Costas Tonight: Live from… town hall series will tackle the prominent issues that continually emerge in today’s sports arena. The first in the series, Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl, will feature some of the NFL’s biggest stars and newsmakers focusing on the state of the NFL, plus a preview of Super Bowl XLVI and the storylines from the NFL season. Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl will air on the NBC Sports Network in front of a live studio audience from the Indiana Repertory Theater on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, 8-10 p.m. ET. Dates and topics for the remaining Costas Tonight: Live from… in 2012 will be announced later.

“This is the type of show I have always enjoyed doing, with elements of journalism and commentary, but also with segments of pure sports appeal. We produced similar programming at HBO and it was very well received,” said Costas. “As NBC Sports has broadened its reach across numerous platforms, I am looking forward to again being part of this type of programming for the NBC Sports Network.

“Bob is one of the most talented and accomplished broadcasters in television history, and we wanted to find an outlet on the new NBC Sports Network that was uniquely suited for him,” said Sam Flood, executive producer, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Bob is so closely associated with NBC Sports that it was a natural fit to extend his unmatched talents to the NBC Sports Network.”

Costas Tonight is a monthly series featuring Costas, one of America’s preeminent interviewers, conducting in-depth, revealing interviews with leading celebrities and newsmakers in sports and entertainment. This new program builds on Costas’ long and storied career as an interviewer from Later with Bob Costas and Costas Coast-to-Coast to his acclaimed HBO programs, On the Record and CostasNOW.

Costas Tonight will debut on Thursday nights in Spring 2012 on the NBC Sports Network, which will be renamed from VERSUS on Jan. 2, 2012.

NESN Remains the Home for Hockey East

NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, and The Hockey East Association are pleased to jointly announce that they have extended their television rights agreement. Highlights of the new agreement include:

• A four-year term through the 2014/15 season with at least 16 games per season

• NESN to produce every game in high definition

• A new “flex” scheduling plan that will allow Hockey East and NESN to pick the best games during the closing weeks of the regular season

• Four games will air immediately following Bruins Saturday afternoon games

• Five Hockey East Tournament games in 2012, including the Women’s championship game plus exclusive New England rights to the men’s tournament semifinal games and championship game from TD Garden in Boston

• All ten Hockey East teams will appear on NESN each season

• Pre or post-game shows will be produced around all games from NESN’s studios in Watertown, Mass.

“NESN’s affiliation with Hockey East dates back to the network’s beginnings in 1984 and the conference continues to deliver the best hockey action that the college game has to offer,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “As the conference continues to grow in popularity both here in New England and nationally, we are excited to continue to enhance our coverage of Hockey East.”

“This is the final and perhaps most important piece of our television future,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “While our recent announcements on national television remain significant to the growth of the conference, the fact is we play our games here, we sell our tickets here and we still recruit a large number of our hockey players out of New England. NESN allows us to reach the people who care about Hockey East the most.”

Sun Life Frozen Fenway – Jan. 7, 2012

NESN’s Hockey East coverage is set to begin with live and exclusive high definition coverage of the Sun Life Frozen Fenway event on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. This special doubleheader of outdoor games at Fenway Park will begin immediately following NESN’s coverage of the Boston Bruins-Vancouver game at 4:00 p.m. when Massachusetts takes on Vermont followed by Maine versus New Hampshire at 7:30 p.m.

NESN’s 2012 Hockey East Broadcast Schedule

DAY/DATE OPPONENTS TV GAME TIME

Saturday, Jan. 7 Massachusetts vs. Vermont (Fenway Park) 4 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 7 Maine vs. New Hampshire (Fenway Park) 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 13 Boston University at Northeastern 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 20 Providence at Boston University 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 21 Boston College at Maine 4 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 27 New Hampshire at Boston College 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 4 Vermont at UMass-Lowell 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11 New Hampshire at Merrimack 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 18 Flex Game 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 25 Flex Game 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 3 Flex Game 4 p.m.

Sunday, Mar. 4 Women’s Championship Game TBD

Saturday, Mar. 10 Hockey East Quarterfinals 4 p.m.

Friday, Mar. 16 Hockey East Semifinals No. 1 5 p.m.

Friday, Mar. 16 Hockey East Semifinals No. 2 8 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 17 Hockey East Championship 8 p.m.

About NESN

NESN has consistently been one of the top rated regional sports networks in the country with award-winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage. The network is delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and an additional 3.7 million homes nationally as NESN National. NESN.com, the network’s online sports news service, is one of the most visited regional sports network websites in the country. NESN also produces a number of distinctive programs under its umbrella Original NESN Entertainment (ONE). NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and the Boston Bruins.

About Hockey East

The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men’s hockey conference founded in 1984 and an eight-team Division I women’s league which began play in 2002-03. The men’s league has won seven NCAA championships in the past 19 years. Since 1999, Hockey East has won five NCAA championships and have placed 18 teams in the Frozen Four, along with 45 teams in the NCAA tournament.

NHL Overtime Moves to Midnight Wednesdays Starting Tonight

The NFL Network beginning it’s Thursday Nigh Football package this week has set off a couple of dominoes at VERSUS.

The network will – to get out of the way of Thursday Night Football – move it’s NFL Films-produced, Dan Patrick-hosted NFL Turning Point to Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET, immediately following the NHL on VERSUS. This will bump NHL Overtime to Midnight ET, at least through the end of November, a spokesperson for VERSUS told me yesterday. Tonight’s show features guest analyst Tony Amonte along with regulars Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick.

Overtime currently airs roughly 30 minutes after every NHL telecast on the network.

NBC Sports Network To Give Costas Monthly Shows, Quarterly Town Hall Specials

From Michael McCarthy of USA Today:

NBC’s Footall Night in America host Bob Costas will host a monthly interview show with newsmakers and celebrities called Costas Tonight on the renamed NBC Sports Network beginning in Spring, 2012.

He’ll also host a series of live, quarterly town halls, starting with Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2012.

“We produced similar programming at HBO and it was very well received,” says Costas in a statement, referring to his old Costas NOW and On the Record shows for HBO.