SBD/5/Sports Media


     "Be A Player! The Hockey Show" will kick off its second
season when it premieres on ESPN2 on January 6.  The 13 episodes
of the 30-minute NHLPA-produced program will be hosted by Paul
Romanuk of The Sports Network and co-hosted by former NHL player
Craig Simpson.  The show will air four times weekly on TSN and
twice weekly on ESPN2.  Electronic Arts and Upper Deck are title
sponsors for the show, with Starter and Playoff Corp. as segment
sponsors.  Exec Producer Michael Merhab said it will "continue to
feature the players in a relaxed atmosphere" along with new
segments to "appeal to hockey fans of all ages."  A new
interactive element to the trivia segment allows viewers to
respond through the Net at the NHLPA Web site, with the winner
receiving a EA Video game and a Grand Prize of a game worn
autographed NHLPA authentic jersey (NHLPA).  In Toronto, Rob
Longley writes the union-sponsored show "promises to be upbeat as
well as informative."  Merhab said he wanted the show to "be a
lot like the game itself and have a lot of younger people
watching the show" (TORONTO SUN, 1/5).
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