Versus/NBC Sports Network Nears Deal To Televise College Hockey

Kenny Reiter #35 of the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs stops a shot by Jeff Costello #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Men's Frozen Four on April 7, 2011 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

According to a report in College Hockey News, Versus is close to reaching a deal with all five college hockey conferences to air college hockey games this season:

"The Versus package will not be a national deal, per se. It was not negotiated with College Hockey Inc. or the Hockey Commissioners Association. That is impossible given all of the deals confererences have separate Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) and teams have with other local channels.

But Versus is intending to reach agreement with all five current Division I leagues to air games on Friday or Saturday nights. Some of those deals have already been finalized. Versus is expected to make an announcement of its broadcast package once all of the deals have been completed."

The network, which has been home to the NHL for the past six seasons, will soon be rebranding itself as the NBC Sports Network.

When the deal is announced, it sounds like we'll be able to catch a few Hockey East games on TV either on NESN, CBS College Sports (the network formerly known as CSTV) or Versus on Friday and Saturday nights. ESPNU's previous deal with Hockey East to air Sunday afternoon games will not be renewed, according to the report.

I suppose this begs the question: if NBC/Versus is getting into Friday and Saturday night college hockey broadcasts, just when is NBCUniversal going to air all the Big East football games that they are supposedly paying big bucks to acquire? Tuesday night Big East football on MSNBC? Oh, right.

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