Bettman Says Winter Classic Teams Must Participate In "24/7"
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said NHL teams hoping to play in the Winter Classic must also agree to participate in HBO’s “24/7” documentary series. During a taping of YES Network’s "CenterStage" show, Bettman told host Michael Kay, “HBO Sports has told us they would like to do (‘24/7’) again and again and again.” Kay asked Bettman how he would handle a Winter Classic team that refused to allow film crews into the locker room. “If you’re not going to allow (‘24/7’), then you’re not going to be in the Winter Classic,” Bettman said.
Kay later asked Bettman about whether the NHL was talking with ESPN for a cable television deal. Bettman: “We just concluded an explosive negotiating period that was impacted by the (Comcast/NBC) merger. I am very loyal to partners.” After the taping, Bettman said the recent reshuffling of execs at Versus had not changed the league’s relationship with the channel. “The prospects are very exciting for us because Dick Ebersol is now running both NBC Sports and Versus,” Bettman said.