Turner Sports looks to improve NHL viewing experience

Turner Sports' first priority is “not necessarily growing the audience,” as they know devoted hockey fans will tune in, but rather to "expand and improve the experience of watching the sport by using smart technology, showing different points of access and presenting the game more authentically ... similar to how it is presented on television in Canada," according to Jonathan Abrams of the N.Y. TIMES. The network is “aiming for hockey and culture to intersect inside the studio show,” where analysts Anson Carter, Wayne Gretzky, Rick Tocchet and Paul Bissonnette join host Liam McHugh. The NHL staff is "attempting to create a show that can stand on its own with a chemistry felt from the beginning,” thanks in large part to Turner Sports VP/Talent Relations Tara August, who was charged with “putting together the crew in a few short months." Gretzky is “scheduled for a limited number" of on-air appearances. He plans to "return to the show" at the Winter Classic and to be “involved in the playoff run.” Turner Sports is “researching ways to use Gretzky’s expertise with new technology.” Also, the network is hoping that an "eager hockey audience will watch on Wednesday nights and, in the spring, Sunday afternoons" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/4).

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