NHL's 'Winter Classic' Coverage to Include Historic Broadband Firsts

by , Dec 24, 2007, 7:00 AM
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Some media buyers might not immediately grasp the historic significance of the National Hockey League's first regular-season outdoor game in the United States.

Its weight, however, is clear by the on- and off-line coverage planned for the event, which is scheduled for January 1.

The NHL plans to offer hockey fans broad coverage of the so-called "Winter Classic," featuring the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins and sponsored by Pepsi Co.'s AMP Energy carbonated energy drink.

For the first time, the NHL is creating two live broadband shows, which will be available exclusively on NHL.com.

The first program will be a live preview show from the XM Radio Studio within the NHL Powered by Reebok store in Manhattan. Hosts Don La Greca and E.J. Hradek will cover topics such as outdoor games of years past, game analysis and the decision process behind the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic.

The second show, hosted by Bill Clement and Sam Rosen, will broadcast live from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, and will attempt to capture the experience of being on-site at the event, giving a behind-the-scenes look at creating an outdoor ice rink.

Buffalo natives William Fichtner of the Fox television series "Prison Break" and Chad Michael Murray, star of The CW's "One Tree Hill," are scheduled to participate in the NHL.com's blogging community.

Les Stroud, host of Discovery Channel's "Survivorman," will share tips on how to brave the elements of the game. The Mimico, Ontario native and long-time hockey fan plans to test his own survival skills as he attends the Winter Classic with his son.

Bob Blumer, host of The Food Network's "Glutton for Punishment," will offer food ideas and recipes for fans tailgating at Ralph Wilson Stadium and viewers tuning in to the broadcast from home.

More than 70,000 fans are expected to attend the New Year's Day game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.

NBC will be providing live broadcast coverage of the game in the U.S., and CBC and RDS will provide coverage throughout Canada.

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