In all the digging for clues over the NHL Euro rights debacle, I’ve fallen behind on a couple of other stories so let’s play catch up.
NBC OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES IT WILL CARRY ND HOCKEY GAMES
Notre Dame made their move to Hockey East official this afternoon, and with it came confirmation that the new NBC Sports Network will be showing Notre Dame hockey beginning in 2013-14 to go along with the Irish’s move to HE. From a press conference transcript –
JOHN MILLER: I think the question is how much hockey, how much Notre Dame? The exciting thing is we’re working with Tom Nevala and the Notre Dame team as we lay that out starting the year after next.
Our hope is to get a very robust schedule on our air of Notre Dame games, and, obviously, when the opportunity arises, Hockey East games as well.
That quote is from the president of programming at Versus. I fail to see how Notre Dame hockey has earned a deal like this. While ND has improved the last 5 years or so, it is hardly an elite hockey program. NBC is promoting this the opposite of how it should be. Hockey East should be the priority, not ND hockey. Apparently the HE members were willing to take this deal if it meant they would gain some TV time and another status school in the conference.
While rumors have been swirling for months that Versus will be airing college hockey this season, that is yet to be confirmed. This is an interesting move for NBC as college hockey does not draw many viewers and even the most diehard NHL fans are often unfamiliar with it.
OIL CHANGE SET TO RETURN FOR A SECOND SEASON
The terrific documentary style series that follows the Edmonton Oilers, Oil Change, is returning for a second season beginning on October 21. The biggest change is what channel will be carrying it. The series will move from TSN to Edmonton’s Citytv and will also air throughout Canada on Sportsnet. The second season will have six episodes. The full press release and schedule can be found here. The series is also available on demand at oilers.com. Last season, the NHL Network aired the show in the United States but there is yet to be an announcement on whether they will show it this year.