SBD/17/Sports Media

NHLPA SKATES INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM

     The NHLPA has launched a TV show that will give players
exposure to both American and Canadian audiences.  "Be a Player,"
will be a 30-minute show aimed at both youth and adult audiences
featuring tips from players, skills competitions between NHL
stars, NHL trivia and an in-depth interview with a marquee
player.  The show, to be hosted by TSN's Paul Romanuk, will air
in the U.S. on ESPN2.  The production will reportedly attempt to
mimic the NBA's "Inside Stuff."  Similar to the NBA's effort, "it
will be filled with promotional fluff ... an easy, breezy watch
for hockey fans" (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN, 1/15).
     HOCKEY TUBE NOTES:  Fox will not increase its NHL schedule
beyond the final two regular-season Sundays.  But Fox could
receive a rebate due to the cancellation of the All Star Game
(Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 1/17).  News Corp. Chair Rupert
Murdoch: "There is clearly a growing interest in hockey in this
country.  We're going to work closely with hockey in making it a
better TV sport" (Bob Keisser, KNIGHT RIDDER, 1/15). ....DirecTV
viewers can expect an NHL package similar to NBA's "League Pass"
by next October, according to DirecTV VP Tom Bracken (VANCOUVER
PROVINCE, 1/13).
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