SBD/May 2, 2012/Media

NHL Winter Classic "24/7" Back For Third Season On HBO; Canadian Net To Be Involved

NHL will work more closely with HBO on "24/7" series featuring Red Wings and Maple Leafs
NHL COO John Collins yesterday confirmed that there "will be a Season 3 for 'HBO 24/7: Road To The NHL Winter Classic,'" featuring the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs, and added that a formal announcement "is forthcoming," according to Greg Wyshynski of YAHOO SPORTS. Collins added that there are going to be "two significant changes for next season's production, beginning with the fact the NHL will be more involved behind the scenes." Collins: "We're going to work a little more closely with HBO on production. We've been in partnership with them, but now that we have an original productions group here, we're going to work a little more closely with them on the production side." He added, "I think it's going to be more of a collaboration. To the fan, they won't see any difference in production whatsoever. We're not going to limit access. We're not going to change any approval rights. There won't be anything different about this." Wyshynski noted the other "significant change: The NHL expects to have a Canadian network partner in presenting '24/7' next season." Collins said, "I think this is one of the benefits of having Toronto in the game. They're paying attention to this in ways that, frankly, they haven't previously in the market up there." There is "no word on which Canadian network, or production company, will join the fun" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/1).

ANOTHER ROUND: In Las Vegas, Taylor Bern noted boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. "feels like he’s carrying the entire promotion heading into Saturday night’s fight" against Miguel Cotto, and that is "most evident on HBO Sports’ '24/7' series, which debuted five years ago" for Mayweather's fight against Oscar De La Hoya. Including Mayweather-Cotto, there have been "13 boxing productions of '24/7,' six of them featuring Mayweather." The first episode of this season "opened with Mayweather discussing his own importance in the series’ success and saying he deserved 66 percent of the screen time." Mayweather said, "When it gets to this level, it’s a business. … You’ve got to continue to put (people) in the seats and do creative things to get people to tune in” (LAS VEGAS SUN, 4/30).
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