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SBD/August 31, 2012/Media
Networks Thinking Of Lockout Contingency Plans As NHL Releases TV Schedule
Published August 31, 2012
BACKUP PLANS: In Toronto, Kevin McGran notes the networks on Thursday "were reluctant to talk about the possibility of a lockout." CBC Head of Media Relations Chuck Thompson in an e-mail said, "CBC has contingency plans in place and, like everyone else, we're hoping the season starts on time." He added that the CBC "won't reveal its contingency plans until a lockout is formally announced." McGran notes during the '04-05 lockout, the CBC filled its "HNIC" slot "with movies and poker increased in prominence on Canada's sports networks." York Univ. Sport Marketing Lecturer Vijay Setlur said, "It could be an opportunity for another sport that would otherwise be relegated to a secondary channel to get prime viewing. It may not be doom and gloom from the point of view of quality programming" (TORONTO STAR, 8/31). Meanwhile, NBC Sports Group President of Programming Jon Miller said, "I'm not a big Twitter follower, but I do follow the NHL on Twitter to find out as much as I can about the situation. It's very important for us for the two sides to come together and for the season to start on time. The NHL is our most important property. To not have a start of the season would be tough on us." Miller added that the net is "examining contingency programming." He said, "There are a lot of things we're looking at. We're having conversations with groups. We're looking in-house. You never know. It's a hard position to be in" (SHERMANREPORT.com, 8/30).