Hockey is Coming Back to ESPN! (Well, Sort Of)

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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.


The KHL. 

Russian hockey with a few transplanted NHL stars is coming to ESPN 3, the streaming service.

Get. Fucking. Excited.

Or don't.

The detailicals from the KHL press release via Puck Daddy:

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-FuckBut now, ESPN will get to broadcast the game’s biggest stars… while they play in Russia. Fun times.

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13 Responses

  1. Um, KHL games were already on E3 all last season, my kid watched them every now & then. This extension is just hype, not some new programming idea.

  2. Be still, my beating heart. I’d rather watch Poker. Meanwhile, stop me if I’m mistaken, but didn’t that NHL/ESPN divorce happen after the last lockout when the Worldwide Leader decided they could live without hockey, thus the aforementioned token offer? It would be hilarious if NBC Sports Network were to go the same route after this lockout ends. Then where would Gary Bettman take his sport? OWN? Lifetime? Spike TV? Cartoon Network?

  3. the nhl and nbc signed a 10 yr deal, the reason ESPN offered that shit deal was bc the old one ran out

  4. A pity NBC didn’t have some sort of out clause in the contract that would allow them to immediately walk away if the NHL imposed a lockout. The threat of not having a network to broadcast the games might’ve kept Bettman and the owners from going down Stupid Street with their scorched earth strategy. Oh, well. Wishful thinking.

  5. Fuckin stupid fuckin lockout shit. Hammer out a new deal already and start playin games. Fuckin sad nhl has another lockout.

  6. Yea both sides look like smacked asses right now. Conservative estimates of $100 mil in losses from canceling pre & first part of season…wtf is wrong with you idiots? When we all know you’ll be at 50-50 in a few months. Asswipes.
    But that said I’ll enjoy re-pocketing a few grand in season tic cash, gonna re-do my bar. Just start playing the first week of ’13, a nice 3-month season followed by playoffs. Works for me…

  7. They’re both horrendous.
    Buttman is horrible when it comes to money, obviously, 2 lockouts in the past 8 years.
    & Selig is just a total fucking moron.
    01. Making the ASG count, when teams that make it there a lot of times have a better record than said opponent, but don’t have home field advantage, hmm yeah, that makes sense.
    02. Adding the 2nd Wild Card.
    ^^ I don’t even mind that, if there were a 3 game WC round, instead of one game. Makes no sense. Teams work hard all year, say one of those WC teams wins 96 games, they’re gonna rely on the craziness of 1 fucking game, just because of Selig?
    Absolutely stupidity. Not to mention other shit I can’t think of atm, that he’s done wrong.

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