The initial press release of the new 2011 National Lacrosse League (NLL) and VERSUS television deal left some questions unanswered. Will the TV schedule mostly be playoff games? What franchises will have regular season games televised? Live or tape delay?
While the full broadcast is still being finalized, below are some answers:
“The Versus series will consist of the All-Star Game which is live, six regular season games and two post season games (including the Championship),” says league commissioner George Daniel. “Reebok Lacrosse will be the presenting sponsor of the NLL on Versus.”
The broadcasts kick off with that 2011 All-Star Game (ASG) on February 27 at 2pm ET.
Some question whether the ASG presented by Oneida Indian Nation will be a snorefest, but the game should be a nice introduction to the NLL’s stars. Unfortunately, the next televised game isn’t the following week to take advantage of positive PR, instead falling three weeks later.
“The next airing after the All-Star Game won’t be until March 20 so most of the promotional efforts will be geared to that part of the Versus schedule,” adds Daniel. “The schedule is being finalized and will be released shortly.”
The league earlier announced that one of the first televised NLL games in 2011 will be a live broadcast of the Buffalo Bandits at Minnesota Swarm game on March 27.
“The other regular season games will be on taped delay,” adds Daniel. “For future seasons, we anticipate having our TV deal done much earlier which will allow for more live games airing.”
Of note, Versus is expected to change its name to some variation reflecting the NBC brand, following the joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Interestingly, that same article states that NBC Sports Group Chair Dick Ebersol said that he “expected to bolster Versus by acquiring the rights to more sports for it, though he declined to say which sports.”
Although some Versus executives have been told they no longer have jobs in the new NBC Sports Group, shares Sports Business Daily, the new joint venture is not expected to have any negative impact on the NLL’s current television deal with Versus.
“NBC Comcast has no impact to our deal,” states Daniel.An All-America at Simon Fraser and a decorated Jr. A player for Coquitlam, Kojima began covering lacrosse in 2003 and started working for Inside Lacrosse in 2007. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.laxfuj.com.
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