SBD/Issue 177/Sports Media

Versus To Air Postgame Show After NBC's Stanley Cup Final Games

Versus plans to telecast "Hockey Central" following NBC's Stanley Cup Final games, marking the first time the network will produce a postgame show around an event on another network. The show will be produced from Versus' Stamford, Conn., studio. "Hockey Central" will be on location at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center following Games Three and Four, which are being carried by Versus. Bill Patrick hosts the show, with Keith Jones and Brian Engblom as analysts (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

Cubs Agree To Allow WGN-AM To Air
Entire Flyers-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals

CUBS BOUNCED FOR BLACKHAWKS: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal reports the Cubs have agreed to allow WGN-AM to air the entire Flyers-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals, "including three games in the best-of-seven playoff that conflict with scheduled ballgames." The Blackhawks games typically would have aired on the "weaker signal of WIND-AM," but the Cubs are waving their "power-play status on the 50,000-watt flagship station they share." The June 2 Cubs-Pirates and June 4 Cubs-Astros games will air on WIND, enabling Games Three and Four of the Flyers-Blackhawks series to air on WGN, "which will produce Cubs broadcasts as usual." If the series "must return to Philadelphia" for a Game Six, the June 9 Cubs-Brewers game "will go to WIND, allowing the potentially decisive game to air on WGN" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/26).

WILL SERIES CAPTURE CASUAL FANS? Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said the Flyers-Blackhawks matchup will be a “great series,” and the Flyers “have a strong fan base (and) the Blackhawks have revived their fans who had lost it for awhile.” But Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "Outside of Chicago and Philadelphia, no interest at all, no superstars, no sizzle." FanHouse.com's Kevin Blackistone: "It's all about star power … and unfortunately, the NHL stars are not in this final. … It's not going to have that much sizzle nationwide" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/25).

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