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SBD/Issue 29/Sports Media
"NHL On The Fly" A Fast-Paced, Action-Packed Studio Show
Published October 24, 2008
CONTROL TOWER: Pollard and Button control this chaos calmly. In between the mayhem of the live games, they offer viewers a variety of other interesting options such as between period interviews and postgame press conferences. But some of the best segments of the show happen when Pollard and Button go live to games that have gone into overtime or are in a shootout. Using only a brief lead-in, the two hosts are able to condense a three-hour game for their viewers down to the tense and dramatic final five minutes where victory or defeat hangs in the balance. Also unique to the show is that viewers during the live look-ins are able to hear the voices of the local game announcers in both Canada and the U.S., a treat for the U.S. audience, who rarely get a chance to hear such a variety of broadcast styles and distinctive goal calls.
FLY ON THE WALL: In the end, the success of this program is the NHL Network’s desire to showcase all aspects of hockey in it own local settings -- the pre- and post-game shows, period breaks, live action and broadcasters. Pollard and Button have the freedom to choose what is interesting and what is hot, making sure the viewer gets the best coverage of all the games offered. It truly is what keeps “NHL On the Fly,” in a word, flying.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Sports Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer who lives in Baltimore. He will be reviewing sports programming occasionally for SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.