Old school NHL fans (like me) will remember when NBC and CBC ran a cartoon feature in-between periods explaining the nuances of hockey. It was a short called “Peter Puck” and intermission host Brian McFarlane would introduce the cartoons. Peter taught us about icing, offsides, tripping, checking, etc. The idea of Peter Puck was for NBC to introduce hockey to a Southern U.S. audience. Now, there are teams in the Southeast, but in the 1970′s, NBC affiliates in the South were wary of small audiences so they pre-empted the NHL in favor of other programming. Thus, Peter Puck was born in 1973.
The features ended in 1980 and have been barely seen since. But McFarlane did a smart thing, he bought the rights for Peter Puck from Hanna Barbera and has been working to bring the cartoon back. McFarlane is working to have Peter make his re-emergence in DVD’s, clothing and possibly, a new TV show. There’s even talk of having Peter Puck come back on Hockey Night in Canada next season.
As a kid in the 1970′s living in Rhode Island, I liked having Peter Puck around. I know purists hated Peter Puck, but it helped me understand the game.
Toronto Maple Leafs fans will have to deal with more games on Leafs TV and less on TSN and Rogers Sportsnet. They’ll also have to pay more to see the Leafs in person.
Today begins the Players Championship at the TPC in Sawgrass and the Golf Channel will broadcast the first two rounds. Kelly Tilghman will be in the 18th tower with Nick Faldo for TGC. This feature by her hometown Myrtle Beach Sun describes her typical day as she prepares to cover a tournament. She’s the first woman to have a premier play-by-play position for a major sport.
NBC’s coverage of the Players Championship will include shorter and fewer commercial breaks similar to the Masters on CBS.
And with Fox airing Super Bowl XLII in February, the network is giving advertisers an opportunity to widen their audience by providing them a presence on MySpace.
Finally, thanks to 38 Cliches for referencing this blog today.