Thursday, November 14, 2002
AHL announces TV deal with Sportsnet
The American Hockey League announced today a multi-year agreement with Rogers Sportsnet to broadcast AHL games on the Canadian network.
An 11-game schedule for the 2002-03 season begins on Nov. 20, when the St. John's Maple Leafs visit the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Sportsnet schedule will feature the Bulldogs eight times, six Maple Leafs games, the Manitoba Moose four times and the Saint John Flames twice.
Highlighting the 2002-03 broadcast schedule will be Sportsnet's national coverage of the 2003 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic from Portland, Maine. Sportsnet will also carry the league's new weekly magazine program, Inside the AHL, in all four of its broadcast regions.
"This is a great opportunity for Canadian viewers to follow the NHL's top draft picks and prospects in the competitive environment of the AHL," said David Andrews, AHL President and CEO. "It's a great fit for us to be with Rogers Sportsnet and expand our Canadian television presence."
Nine of the 11 games will be broadcast in the Sportsnet East Region (Quebec and Atlantic Provinces), featuring the Maple Leafs, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Flames, the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames. The Bulldogs, who serve as the top development team for the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens, are featured twice on Sportsnet Ontario; while the Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate for the Vancouver Canucks, will have four games broadcast into Winnipeg. The entire Sportsnet schedule is below.
Fans across Canada, even those who are outside of the Sportsnet designated broadcast region, will have an opportunity to see the NHL stars of tomorrow by watching Sportsnet East and Ontario digital feeds.
"We're pleased to add the excitement and quality of the AHL to our hockey lineup," said David Akande, Vice-President of Programming for Sportsnet. "The fact that we will be broadcasting the games on a regional basis is consistent with our mandate to give viewers the most compelling programming available, the home team."