NHL Media Notes: Disney Adds Local Game Coverage To NHL.TV Service
Coyotes radio analyst Paul Bissonnette sat for a Q&A with the ARIZONA REPUBLIC's Richard Morin and said his first year as a full-time broadcaster last season was "really fun." Bissonnette said, "I had a lot of things on the table where I was finishing up (a video project) and I had a lot of stressful things in life going on. Now, I feel like this year I can bring a little bit more to my job." He said he still does not "feel very polished" as a traditional radio broadcaster. Bissonnette: "That's probably the most work I need. I guess between that and getting a little bit better on TV with the (FS Arizona) panel with Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh and Jody Jackson. But they are easy to work with and they help tremendously" (AZCENTRAL.com, 10/2).
HABS AND HAB NOTS: In Montreal, Steve Faguy noted TSN2 will "broadcast 50 of the Canadiens' 82 regular-season games, same as last season," with the remaining games going to Sportsnet, CBC or Citytv as national games. The first year of TSN's "five-year deal for Canadiens games wasn't great to say the least." The team's "poor performance throughout the season depressed interest and ratings," leading to an average audience of 123,000, a drop of about 25% from Sportsnet's regional broadcasts the year before. However, TSN VP & Exec Producer/Live Events Paul Graham "hasn't soured" on the net's rights deal for the games. Graham: "I can't see any situation in the immediate future, even when we get past the five years, where we wouldn't be involved" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 10/2).
GOLDEN ISLE: On Long Island, Neil Best noted former Gold Medal-winning U.S. hockey player A.J. Mleczko will "join MSG Networks as a studio analyst for select Islanders games this season." She will "work approximately 20 games" this season, and will "debut at the Islanders' home opener on Saturday against the Predators." Mleczko has "worked as an NBC analyst" since '06 (NEWSDAY, 10/3).
MORE LOCAL PROGRAMMING: Disney Streaming Services is "promoting new and enhanced features" of OTT subscription package NHL.TV, which will add nearly 50% "more local broadcast pre- and postgame shows, as well as the intermission shows, for live games." The programming comes from RSNs that NHL.TV "previously didn't carry." NHL.TV "offers more than 1,500 out-of-market games in the base tier of the service, subject to local blackout." Disney plans to "cross-promote NHL.TV to customers of ESPN+" (VARIETY.com, 10/1).