Sens fans will pay for clash with Leafs

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

The Senators' second crack at pay-per-view will be different than the first.

That is, everybody's actually going to have to pay to watch tonight's game in the comfort of their own home.

A number of Bell ExpressVu subscribers in the Ottawa area took advantage of a technical glitch to see the Dec. 12 pay-per-view in Detroit for free. The Senators are satisfied with the way Bell ExpressVu responded and are confident the error won't be repeated.

Jim Steel, the Senators vice-president of broadcast services, says that other than about 100 bars in the area, he can't be sure how many will order this evening's showdown with the Toronto Maple Leafs -- the first home pay-per-view game.

"The diehards order the package," said Steel, referring to the five-game-for-$49.95 deal that was offered, "but for the most part, it really is a game-day purchase.

"It's a big game, so we're expecting some good numbers, relatively speaking."

The cost of tonight's game is $10.95, just as it is for the three other PPV games -- next Tuesday's visit to New York to play the Rangers, March 18 in Pittsburgh and the April 3 game in New Jersey.

Steel says for their 11 bucks, fans will see "down-to- earth-type, behind-the-scenes interviews with players and coaches that you don't have time to do in a regular broadcast."

As well, Patricia Boal will return from maternity leave to take back her job as the show's host, duties which were performed by Sportsnet's Ian Mendes while she was gone.

"I set the bar so low in the first pay-per-view, it can only get better from here," Mendes joked yesterday.

Boal returns to her duties as a reporter with The Score in September. As of yesterday about 400 tickets were still available for tonight's game, the sixth-last of the regular season at Scotiabank Place.


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