SBJ/April 11-17, 2011/Media

Radio’s ‘NHL Live’ to get some TV time

In an effort to boost its prime-time hockey coverage, the NHL Network is transforming the league’s popular “NHL Live” radio show into a live two-hour television program for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Starting Wednesday, “NHL Live” will run from 4 until 6 p.m. ET on weeknights and will precede the “NHL on the Fly” pregame show, which previews each evening’s games.

“The network will now be live from 4 p.m. until whenever the last game of the night finishes,” said Mark Preisler, executive producer for the NHL Network.

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Deb Placey will become part of the show’s permanent on-air talent.
“NHL Live” now runs on SiriusXM Radio from noon until 2 p.m. on weekdays, and a televised simulcast of the show runs on the NHL Network at that time. As part of the transition, Deb Placey and E.J. Hradek — two of the show’s part-time hosts — will become the show’s permanent on-air talent. “NHL Live” will continue to feature current and retired NHL players to discuss action from around the league.

The show will also receive a major bump in infrastructure, including a new temporary set and revamped graphics package. “[“NHL Live”] is going to look more like a real television show, not a radio show that is on TV,” Preisler said.

The NHL will design a permanent set for the show at the NHL Store in midtown Manhattan for the 2011-12 season. Preisler said the show will stay in the 4 to 6 p.m. time slot through the 2011-12 season.

The changes to “NHL Live” come after a season of new hires for the NHL Network. Preisler joined the league in January, just weeks after the league hired David Proper as the executive vice president of media strategies and distribution. In September, the league hired former NFL Network executive Charles Coplin as executive vice president of content and brought on Bob Chesterman as vice president of programming.

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