SBJ/November 10 - 16, 2003/Media

Rangers games hit airwaves — in Russian

The New York Rangers are the first NHL team to have a Russian-language radio outlet, signing a one-year deal with New York station WKDM.

WKDM, which is owned by the American Russian-language newspaper Novoye Russkoye Slovo, will do a live play-by-play of every Rangers home game, starting with today's match against the Edmonton Oilers.

The New York area has about 800,000 Russian-speaking residents, according to WKDM.

The deal came about after New York Liberty general manager Carol Blazejowski and MSG President/sports team operations Steve Mills reached out to the station because star Russian player Elena Baranova is on the Liberty.

"That didn't result in them carrying the Liberty, but from there it seemed only natural to start talking about hockey," said Mike McCarthy, president of MSG Networks.

The Rangers have three Russian players on their roster: Alexei Kovalev, Vladimir Malakhov and Boris Mironov.

McCarthy would not comment on the financial terms of the deal but said MSG was taking "no risk."

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