Women’s professional hockey will be broadcast live for the first time in the United States by major cable networks as the NBC Sports Network broadcasts the semifinals of the National Women’s Hockey League and the finals in early February.
NHWL and NBC Sports will announce a historic agreement later on Tuesday. The February 4 Isobel Cup semi-finals and the February 5 finals will be televised in the United States, providing sports with a platform not found in the country except for the Winter Olympics.
“For me, it’s the biggest part of this, and the biggest factor is not touching the audience only once every four years,” NWHL Commissioner Tyler Tuminia said in a telephone interview. “It’s spectacular for the league, and what it does for our brand, but being able to watch female athletes on television like this, not just once every four years, is very much for young girls and boys. Is important to. “
The Six-Team League will host the season and playoffs in an isolated bubble in Lake Placid, NY, from January 23 to February. 5 The game is being played in the arena, which was the scene of “Miracle on Ice” in 1980. Tumminia said the poetic setting is part of the league’s pitch to NBC Sports, who is the national rights holder of the NHL and soon signed on to these games.
“As home to hockey in the United States, NBC Sports is proud to introduce NWHL to viewers across the country,” said Michael Perman, Vice President of Programming at NBC Sports. “These historic broadcasts on NBCSN facilitate our commitment to showcase the game at all levels.”
Tumminia has put together a 2021 NWHL bubble program and has lost many nights of sleep in the last two months. On Monday, the league announced an agreement with Yale University to provide players and staff with a saliva-based COVID-19 test.
This is the same test used by the NBA in a bubble isolated at Disney World from summer to autumn. NWHL is the first women’s professional sports league to implement them and will work with Yale on the initiative to pair saliva and nasal samples for dual testing purposes.
Signing a test contract with your TV is another step towards achieving the season.
“I’m very excited that it’s all starting to look real,” Tumminia said. “I’m looking forward to it all happening and working … I’m definitely excited about what that means for our athletes.”
Players who already have a contract will be paid in full, even though the schedule has been shortened. According to the league, players can also opt out and pay the full salary. NWHL was unable to finish last spring’s season due to a pandemic.
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NWHL Semifinal, Final Broadcast at NBCSN in February
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