NHL Network, AHL announce regular-season package

nhlnetwork_200.jpgThe NHL Network today announced it has reached an agreement for broadcast rights to games of the American Hockey League (AHL), the NHL’s top development league. The broadcast package provides the NHL Network in both Canada and the U.S. with six live match-ups over the rest of the 2008-09 regular season.

Coverage begins with Binghamton @ Rochester this Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2:00 p.m. ET (see complete broadcast schedule below). This is the fifth consecutive season that NHL Network has televised games from the AHL, most recently having provided live coverage of the entire 2008 Calder Cup Finals last spring.

“The AHL offers exciting on-ice competition filled with young talent that offers viewers a sneak peak at the future stars of the NHL,” said John Shannon, Executive In Charge of Programming and Production for the NHL Network. “Offering AHL games is a great addition to our current programming, which gives fans the most complete hockey coverage available anywhere.”

NHL Network’s 2009 AHL broadcast schedule is as follows:

• Saturday, Feb. 7 – Binghamton @ Rochester at 2:00 p.m. ET
• Saturday, Mar. 7 – Rochester @ Lake Erie at 1:00 p.m. ET
• Friday, Mar. 13 – Toronto @ Rochester at 7:30 p.m. ET
• Sunday, Mar. 22 – Grand Rapids @ Lake Erie at 5:00 p.m. ET
• Friday, Mar. 27 – Springfield @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET
• Friday, Apr. 10 – Manchester @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET

Founded in 1936 and now in its 73rd season of operation, the American Hockey League (theahl.com) serves as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today’s NHL players are AHL graduates, and the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

As the definitive hockey destination, NHL Network offers viewers a 24-hour all-access pass to complete hockey coverage both on and off the ice, including live NHL games featuring stars such as Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Patrick Kane. The network’s daily signature show – NHL On The Fly – offers fans exclusive live look-ins to NHL games, including goals, shootouts, extended highlights, stellar saves, features, interviews, pre- and post-game reports, team press conferences, expert analysis from a variety of hockey insiders and former players, plus special event coverage from the NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Stanley Cup Final and NHL Entry Draft. Additional NHL Network programming includes international and amateur hockey, player profiles, interview shows and youth-oriented programs. NHL Network is available in the United States and Canada by contacting digital cable or satellite providers. For more information on NHL Network, log on to nhlnetwork.com.