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PLAYOFF NOTES: NBA, NHL HEAD TO THE FINALS
Published June 3, 1996
In Denver, Dusty Saunders previews the schedules of NHL Stanley Cup Finals coverage from Fox and ESPN and reports that both networks "are voicing enthusiasm -- at least publicly -- about having Colorado [in the finals]." Fox Sports' Vince Wladika: "It's good to have new blood in the championship series, particularly since the hockey world knows the Avalanche has been playing so well." ESPN's Bob Clement noted the team's "aggressive" style and "recognizable stars" -- saying that will add up to strong "viewership value" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/2). The CBC's John Shannon, Exec Producer of "Hockey Night in Canada," said before Florida's Game 7 win that it was 50-50 on which team would be a better match with the Avalanche. Shannon did note that the enthusiasm in Denver and Miami has been "tremendous" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/1). NEWS & NOTES: SportsChannel Pacific will carry Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in the Bay Area tomorrow since San Francisco's Fox affiliate, KTVU, has a programming conflict (SportsChannel Pacific)....The NHL and CBC are teaming up for a "cybercast" of finals' games at the CBC's Web site at http://www.nhl.com/cbc/cup (CBC)....Prior to yesterday's Jazz- Sonics game, NBC's Ed Markey compared the eventual winner to Houston in '94. Markey, on the Rockets: "They were talented, but not a big marquee-type team. Then people discovered Hakeem Olajuwon, and Houston got a bit of a national following" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/1). OFF-THE-COURT ACTION: In Chicago, Fred Mitchell notes that, before the Bulls start their series Wednesday, oral arguments will be heard in the antitrust case between team ownership and WGN against the NBA. The NBA has appealed both the January '95 and August '95 decisions allowing the Bulls to show 25 games on WGN-TV. The league wants to reduce superstation broadcasts to 20 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/3).