An upstart, Extreme Hockey franchise will take its first TV shot on pay-per-view in May.
AirBlade – a mix between the air hockey arcade game and traditional ice hockey – will look to distribute its May 25 championship game to sports fans via PPV, according to AirBlade brainchild and entrepreneur Mark Sendo. Similar to an air hockey table, extreme hockey is played by on a customized ice rink that features 2.2 million pressurized air holes over which the puck virtually floats. Executives say the air-pressurized surface adds high velocity shots and intense playing speeds to what is already a fast-moving sport.
The extreme hockey franchise even has the blessing of former Detroit Red Wings stars Joey Kocur, Darren McCarty, and Petr Kilma, who will skate in an "Alum Game" prior to the championship telecast.
While it's unclear which PPV distributors will actually carry the event, the sport -- which will feature an eight-team, single elimination tournament held in Detroit on May 23-24 prior to the PPV telecast -- will look to use the PPV platform to build awareness, much like the Ultimate Fighting Championship did some 20 years ago.
The UFC and the mixed martial arts sport was initially born on PPV in the mid-1990s and early 2000s before eventually reaching distribution deals with traditional broadcast and cable networks. Extreme Hockey is hoping PPV is will serve as the ticket into the hearts and minds of young sports afficionados.