NBC Sports Net Preps NHL Replacement Fare

Soccer, Boxing To Fill In Lost Games Due To Lockout

NBC Sports Network will be forced to ice nine regular-season National Hockey League telecasts as a result of the ongoing NHL lockout, the network said Thursday.

The NHL announced Thursday the cancellation of regular season games through Oct. 24 due to the 19-day lockout. The lockout marks the fourth work stoppage for the league since 1992, including the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.

NBC Sports Network, which has 100 live NHL telecasts scheduled for the upcoming season, will use a combination of boxing, soccer college football and college basketball games as replacement programming for nine NHL telecasts erased by the lockout, according to a network official.

“It’s unfortunate that the lockout is causing the cancellation of games from our schedule,” said an NBC spokesman. “We look forward to presenting the NHL to its fans as soon as the labor situation is resolved.”

The NHL lockout also leaves a number of regional sports networks around the country scrambling to find replacement programming to fill in for lost NHL games. In a statement Fox Sports – which owns and/or operates 12 regionals telecsating NHL games, said it is “still hoping for a full season or something close to it.  In the end, we believe that some very smart people on both sides will figure out a way to reach an agreement that works for everyone with minimal loss of games.”