NESN will deliver live and exclusive high definition coverage of up to 72 Boston Bruins games during the 2010/11 season, the network's 26th season covering Bruins hockey. The season gets started in historic fashion as the Bruins travel to Prague in the Czech Republic with two games against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday, October 9th and Sunday, October 10th. NESN's coverage will begin with WB Mason Bruins Face-Off Live at 11:30 AM on Saturday and at 9:30 AM on Sunday.
"Over 25,000 Bruins fans showed up at TD Garden in September to get an early glimpse of Tyler Seguin and the Bruins rookies," said Joel Feld, NESN's executive vice president of programming and executive producer. "NESN knows there is a level of fan passion and excitement this year that will make our coverage more exciting than ever. With the return of our veteran broadcast team and the debut of The Big Bad Bruins Show with Kathryn Tappen, NESN is the definitive source for all Bruins action, news and information."
Former ESPN anchor Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley return for their sixth season together in the NESN broadcast booth. They will be joined by reporter Naoko Funayama who enters her third season with the network. Kathryn Tappen will once again lead NESN’s studio team as host of WB Mason Bruins Face-Off Live, NESN’s intermission coverage and Bruins Overtime Live presented by Ace Ticket. She will once again be joined by former Bruins favorites Mike Milbury, Barry Pederson, and Gord Kluzak.
In a financially motivated decision, Edwards and Brickley will not be in Prague with the Bruins for their season opening games with the Coyotes, calling both games from NESN's studios to save on expenses. However, Funayama will be on-site in Prague. Edwards told Chad Finn of the Boston Globe that the decision, while disappointing is understandable.
Brickley will set the stage for the regular season on Thursday, October 14 at 7:00 PM with The Bricks: 2010/11 Bruins Season Preview; a half-hour special that will look ahead to the coming season and introduce Bruins fans to the team’s exciting off-season additions. Brickley will also make his pre-season predictions about the Bruins and the rest of the league and look back at the team’s season opening trip to Prague.
NESN will launch a new weekly show called The Big Bad Bruins Show on Saturday, October 23 at 6:00 PM. Hosted by Kathryn Tappen, the Original NESN Entertainment production will feature in-depth one-on-one conversations with Bruins players, a regular segment with Bruins President Cam Neely, and weekly reports from reporter Funayama.
The Instigators with Milbury will return for its third season on Thursday, October 28 at 10:30 PM. Milbury holds back nothing when sharing his opinions on the hottest issues and latest controversies in the NHL. Edwards and Brickley will once again mix it up with Milbury on a regular basis along with other special guest commentators including another episode this winter featuring former Bruins coach and hockey icon Don Cherry.
NESN’s in-depth coverage of the Bruins also extends online with NESN.com’s Bruins beat writer Doug Flynn providing daily Bruins news and analysis along with a live blog during every game. Edwards, Brickley, Tappen and Funayama will also contribute regularly over the course of the season. NESN.com offers the network’s best Bruins highlights and interviews in addition to interactive fan forums, polls, photo galleries, quizzes and Top 10 Bruins prospect lists.
NESN’s Bruins coverage also extends to fans outside New England who subscribe to a sports package that includes NESN National, the network’s national television service. NESN’s pre and post-game shows, Bruins in 2 replays, Bruins Classic games, The Bricks, The Big Bad Bruins Show and The Instigators are all available to NESN National subscribers throughout the season. NESN’s Bruins game broadcasts can also be enjoyed outside New England by purchasing the NHL Center Ice package.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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