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There Will be a 24/7 Show Leading Up To This Year's Winter Classic on a Channel Called Epix



NHL - The NHL will announce later this month they have partnered with emerging premium cable provider Epix to produce and air the popular reality hockey series that precedes the annual Winter Classic outdoor game, multiple sources told Not only will Epix, the cable entity that is a collaboration of heavyweight Hollywood film studios Lionsgate Entertainment, MGM and Paramount Pictures, produce four segments leading up to the Jan. 1 game at Nationals Park between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks, they will produce another four-segment series that will lead into the Stadium Series game Feb. 21 at Levi’s Field between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, a source told The shows will be available on cable and multiple platforms in the United States. It’s expected Rogers Communications, which owns the NHL’s national broadcast partner in Canada Sportsnet, will share the production costs and air the series in Canada. The two series will be available in the United States commercial free and, as in the past with HBO’s popular and critically acclaimed “24/7 Road To The Winter Classic series,” will provide fans an uncensored look at players, coaches and managers during the lead-up to the outdoor events. The details of the new partnership will be revealed at a Sept. 23 press briefing in Washington. The NHL parted company with HBO after three seasons of “24/7 Road To The Winter Classic,” a bold enterprise that helped expose the game to the long sought after casual hockey fan. But with HBO’s parent company Time Warner looking to reduce costs across the board, NHL officials became concerned about whether the same quality would be produced for a product that garnered 15 Emmy nominations and three Emmy awards. Enter Epix, which was exploring producing more original content as opposed to simply airing Hollywood movies. Epix was launched in October 2009. President Mark Greenberg has a long history working for HBO and producer Ross Greenburg is the former HBO senior executive who helped launch the original “24/7″ in 2011 that featured the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Last week we found out HBO wasn’t continuing their 24/7 show leading up to the Winter Classic between the Caps and Blackhawks. Well today brings good news- there will be a 24/7-esque show. The only problem is it will be on a channel called Epix, a channel best known for the time 8 words ago when I said it will be on a channel called Epix. Skeptics would say it’s a big time Gary Bettman move- putting NHL programming on networks nobody has ever heard of, right up there with games on the Outdoor Living Network. But I’m not complaining- the guy who is producing it is the same guy who launched the original 24/7 on HBO, so he knows what he’s doing. And Epix has no reason to not go all out on this. Make a splash. Take it as far as possible. This needs to be the most no holds barred 24/7 ever. Put Epix on the map. I’m fired up for this.


PS: Want to take a guess if Epix is available on Comcast?



Of course not.

(Also, Epix is available in like 15 households in the US, so they better put this for free online. Another also, Netflix would have been the best option for this, and Epix is one of the worst if we’re talking about exposure. I’m sure the program itself will be good, just nobody will see it. But again, it can be salvaged if they put it online.)