SBD/1/Sports Media

FOX RELEASES ITS ALL-AMERICAN NHL SCHEDULE

     Fox Sports announced its NHL regular-season schedule --a
regionalized format starting on April 2 and carrying through the
last five Sundays of the season.  Fox will show a total of 28
games -- none involving any of the eight Canadian clubs.  The
only U.S. team that will not be shown is the Hartford Whalers.
Fox Sports Dir of Media Relations Vince Wladika "makes no
apologies":  "We're rated via U.S. markets.  We have to attract
advertisers."  Wladika said Fox will promote the NHL the same way
it did with the NFL:  "We need to get people who have never
watched hockey before -- men, women and children."  Wladika
promised the network would "take the helmets off" NHL players
(Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 2/1).  Fox Sports Exec VP Tracy
Dolgin denied reports that Fox offered to pay NHL players for
promotional spots to air during Fox's broadcasts.  Dolgin said
Fox will use the spots to highlight players and explain the rules
of the game.  Dolgin:  "We've got to teach people who the players
are, how the game is played.  It's missionary work" (Michael
Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/1).
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