SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced that the telecast of the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will reach nearly 100 million households on Sportsnet in Canada and on a comprehensive network of television partners in the United States.
Produced in high definition by Service Electric TV Sports, live broadcasts of the event from the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. — home of the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms — will air Sunday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET for the AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan, and Monday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET for the AHL All-Star Challenge.
Three alumni of the AHL’s broadcasting and playing ranks will be on the call of the event. John Bartlett, play-by-play announcer for the Montreal Canadiens on Sportsnet, will handle play-by-play duties; former NHL and AHL forward Alan May, now an analyst for Washington Capitals games on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, will provide color commentary; and Brendan Burke, the TV voice of the New York Islanders on MSG Networks, will be rinkside.
National coverage of the AHL All-Star Classic across Canada will see the Skills Competition on Sportsnet live in all four regions (East, Ontario, West, Pacific) and the All-Star Challenge coast-to-coast on Sportsnet ONE. The All-Star Classic represents the beginning of a multi-year extension of the agreement between the AHL and Sportsnet that continues to give the Canadian network broadcast rights to the annual AHL All-Star Classic, as well as rights to regular-season and Calder Cup Playoff games.
In the United States, the league’s showcase event will be seen on more than 20 regional networks, including Comcast SportsNet’s Mid-Atlantic, Chicago, California and Northwest affiliates as well as The Comcast Network in Philadelphia; MSG Networks, serving the New York City metro area and upstate New York; the New England Sports Network; Root Sports Pittsburgh; Fox Sports affiliates SportsTime Ohio, FS Detroit, FS Florida, FS Sun, FS North, FS Midwest, FS Southwest and Prime Ticket; and Altitude Sports and Entertainment, which reaches viewers across 10 states in and around the Rocky Mountains.
AHL fans can also the event on Service Electric TV2 Sports in the Lehigh Valley; Time Warner Cable/Spectrum customers in New York state, the Carolinas and Kansas City will get to see the AHL All-Star Classic on their local Spectrum Sports channels; and My Network TV in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (WQMY-TV), Antenna TV in Rockford, Ill. (WIFR-TV 23.3) and Mediacom in Des Moines, Iowa (MC22) will also air the event for local AHL fans.
In addition, the two-day event will be streamed worldwide to subscribers via AHL Live (ahllive.com).
Starting at just $26 each, single-event tickets are now on sale for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, featuring the AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan and the AHL All-Star Challenge. To purchase event tickets, please visit phantomshockey.com, call 610-347-TIXX or visit the PPL Center box office.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will be preceded by a Phan Fest on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a Tailgate Party beginning at 6 p.m. Both events will take place at the PPL Center and tickets for both the Phan Fest ($5) and Tailgate Party ($10) are also available now at phantomshockey.com.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 93 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Artem Anisimov, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Chris Kunitz, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello, as well as former Lehigh Valley Phantoms representatives Nick Cousins, Brandon Manning and Anthony Stolarz.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, trainers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of NHL players last season were AHL graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.