Hockey is Coming Back to ESPN! (Well, Sort Of)
Get the duck whistle! Get Gary Thorne! Get that sweet circa 1997 graphics package! Get excited, bitch! Because hockey is back and it’s coming to ESPN.
Russian hockey with a few transplanted NHL stars is coming to ESPN 3, the streaming service.
Get. Fucking. Excited.
The Kontinental Hockey League has reached an agreement with the US sports TV channel ESPN to broadcast games in the 2012/2013 KHL Championship. The games will be shown on the ESPN3 channel in the United States, Territories of the United States, and also in Great Britain.
ESPN3 reaches 73 million American households and devotes most of its output to live broadcasts of events, including college football, college basketball, the NBA, MLB, ICC (International Cricket Council) competitions and qualifying matches of FIFA tournaments.
During the first ten days of October, the channel will broadcast five KHL games. The planned schedule includes:
Dynamo Moscow vs Ak Bars on Oct. 3rd;
Lev vs SKA on Oct. 6th;
Slovan vs Dynamo Moscow on Oct. 7th;
CSKA vs SKA on Oct. 8th;
Lev vs Dynamo Moscow on Oct. 9th.
Picking of nit: ESPN 3 is not a TV channel in the US, translating Russian PR folks. It’s actually an online-only option. Still, though, this is kind of neat. CSKA is Bryz’s team, so we can watch him do whatever it is he does over there. What is he doing? I never know what he's doing over there.
I imagine that this announcement is a nice kick in that spot where Gary Bettman would like to think he has junk. For those of you who read James Andrew Miller’s outstanding ESPN book, you’ll know that the league and the network had a bit of a bitter divorce, as Bettman was butt-hurt over ESPN making what he thought was a token offer to broadcast hockey. So, Bettman turned to Versus, which has turned into NBC Sports Network-Conglomerate-CSN-Xfinity-Live!-Whatever-The-Fuck. But now, ESPN will get to broadcast the game’s biggest stars… while they play in Russia. Fun times.