A TV contract for Colorado College’s new conference will be announced within the next three weeks, and the NBC Sports Network, formerly called Versus, as well as Fox Sports regional affiliates have emerged as legitimate competition for CBS Sports Network.
National Collegiate Hockey Conference commissioner Jim Scherr (above) told CC play-by-play man Ken Landau of the timetable for the eight-team league that will begin in the 2013-14 season during Tigers coach Scott Owens’ radio show Tuesday on 103.9 FM RXP. A total of 75 games are being broadcast this season on Fox College Sports, Fox Sports North and Fox Sports stations in Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin; NBC Sports Network has 16 games, including the Hockey East Tournament; and CBS Sports Network has 23 games.
Before Scherr was appointed last week as the NCHC’s first commissioner, an agreement with CBS Sports Network for 16 games was thought of as imminent. Earlier Tuesday, on a USCHO.com radio show, Scherr said the TV deal will offer “uniform exposure across the conference,” adding the NCHC will “have a strong package for the conference and be able to give exposure to all the teams, not just those who have enjoyed it in the past.”
The inaugural NCHC Tournament – rumored to be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., the site of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five in March – no doubt will be carried by the conference’s TV partner. Scherr didn’t confirm St. Paul as the 2014 site with USCHO.com, saying only that the event will be held at a “geographic location that makes sense for the fan bases to get there and support their teams.”
A 24-game league schedule – down from 28 league games in the WCHA – remains likely for the NCHC, but “there’s nothing definitive to announce,” Scherr told Landau. Scherr also told USCHO.com that an officiating director will be among his first hires, in addition to a hockey operations director and a public relations director. “If we don’t make the right hires, it’s all on me,” Scherr said, noting he talked Tuesday with USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean about how “to build relationships with the people in the sport.”
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