SBD/8/Sports Media

"NHL ON FOX" DEBUTS ITS PLAYOFF COVERAGE

     In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers examines Fox's first year
coverage of the NHL and the network and league hopes for this
year's playoffs.  Rogers writes, "If playoff numbers show an
increase, and the prime-time telecasts of Games 1, 4, and 7
during the Cup finals aren't totally ignored, then perhaps Fox's
optimistic outlook will be something more than false bravado."
Rogers also notes that the "major task" for the NHL and Fox is to
"generate interest in major cities that do not have franchises"
(ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/6).  In Toronto, Rob Langley writes of
the opening weekend, "Hockey coverage has never been better as
both CBC and TSN pulled out all the stops and apparently spared
no expense in a shining moment for Canadian television."  Longley
calls Fox's coverage "generally heavy on the glitz, light on
substance" (TORONTO SUN, 5/8).  In Edmonton, Jay O'Neill notes
that TSN is adding Lightning coach Terry Crisp and SI's Michael
Farber, while CBC will have a studio playoff show.  Meanwhile,
O'Neill writes, "Fox will do what it does best:  marketing"
(EDMONTON JOURNAL, 5/6).
     FORGET TO SET THAT VCR?  The only mention of Fox's playoff
coverage by USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke is a nod for Fox's graphics
under "Best Production" (USA TODAY, 5/8).
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