OLN? More Like ORN

Outdoor Living Network?

More like On the Rink Network...

Phil Pilmar over at the NHL is Back reported more than a week ago that it looked like Comcast was going to swoop in and take on the NHL on it's Outdoor Living Network that currently hoasts Survivor re-runs and the Tour De France each year.

More details are coming out now about money Comcast is putting up in their deal, and while the exposure factor is much less than with TNT or Spike TV or USA Network, it's a bit higher than ESPN even if ESPN and it's networks (ESPN 2 - where most NHL games woudl be broadcast) do reach more households.

It's the eexposure factor.

I've brought it up before and again that anyone is better than ESPN simply because ESPN - the Sports and Entertainment network - is far too oversaturated for it's own good. Game Shows? College hoops? College Football? TV Movies? MLB? NFL action? Poker? The NBA? Gymnastics? Golf? Sportscenter and other news-orientated programming? With such a multitude of sports programs on the network, the NHL wasn't gettign the same exposure in 2003-04 as it was getting on ESPN in 1993-94. It's NHL-dedicated news programming was canceled, the playoffs were broadcast almost grudgingly (and porously at that).

To be on a station with a clean slate - such as OLN/Comcast Sports - there isn't an oversaturation on the network of pro sports. The NHL isn't going to be treated as fourth tier filller programming... It's going to be part fo the backbone of a rebuilt network.

The details on this deal are coming to light -- Comcast already has a personal stake in the NHL (the Flyers) and would want to see the league successed for their investment. I just plain hope they don't paint the network as partial tot he Flyers or I will scream.