Lights Camera Action

This past week the EIHL and Freesport released their TV schedule for the coming season. I have to say it is pretty good. Finally we have EIHL on TV, its free and most crucially its at the same time every week.

Getting the EIHL back on TV has had to be a priority for the league and sport as a whole in the UK. Look around and with more sport channels than ever before there isn’t a major sport in this country that doesn’t have some kind of TV coverage. Netball, speedway and domestic cycling have been flourishing on TV in recent years whilst the EIHL rights played around on different formats.

The importance is simple it is a great way to showcase the sport to a new audience. However the way in which we watch TV has changed considerably in recent years. On demand services are rising and the choice a viewer has no longer means we channel surf in the same way. Simply having games on TV is no longer enough.

This schedule will put the sport on at the same time every week with a live game every other week and highlights in between. This makes it easy for the viewer to find. In the past the schedule has been too inconsistent with games on Friday or Saturday  and weeks apart meaning a view has to remember it is on. It can be compared to Monday Night Football or Friday night Superleague. The viewer just knows that if it is certain day of the week that sport is on the TV. So to borrow from NBC’s announcement regarding the NHL games this season, Wednesday Night Hockey anyone.

The Wednesday element is also a plus. It means those games won’t clash with most other games letting fans across the league watch and it is not going up against the likes of X Factor and Strictly on prime time Saturday night. So perhaps even Mrs Blueliner will watch with me.

Is it perfect? maybe not quite. No Coventry Blaze games are on the schedule which is a bit unusual. I understand that there is a need to show the league champions and what could be the most important games but perhaps an early season game could have been scheduled. Also the Challenge Cup Final is not pencilled in to be shown. In recent years this has been on the BBC Red Button so perhaps it will be again or perhaps there will be a announcement to come with Freesport closer to the time. As a showcase event for the EIHL it should be.

There has been some negativity surrounding it but I know I am excited for it and it is great to have the sport back on TV and free and on a channel that is growing in stature all the time with its diverse sporting offering.


Full TV Schedule

Sunday 16th September –

Cardiff Devils vs Milton Keynes Lightning (6pm)

Wednesday 26th September –

Nottingham Panthers vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Wednesday 10th October –

Belfast Giants vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm)

Wednesday 31st October –

Glasgow Clan vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Wednesday 14th November –

Milton Keynes Lightning vs Glasgow Clan (7.30pm)

Wednesday 21st November –

Cardiff Devils vs Fife Flyers (7.30pm)

Wednesday 5th December –

Dundee Stars vs Belfast Giants (7.30pm)

Thursday 27th December –

Sheffield Steelers vs Nottingham Panthers (TBC)

Wednesday 16th January –

Manchester Storm vs Guildford Flames (7.30pm)

Wednesday 30th January –

Guildford Flames vs Sheffield Steelers (7.30pm)

Wednesday 13th February –

Challenge Cup Semi Final

Wednesday 27th February –

Fife Flyers vs Belfast Giants (7.30pm)

Wednesday 20th March –

Glasgow Clan vs Cardiff Devils (7.30pm)

Saturday 6th April –

PredictorBet Playoff Quarter Final

Sunday 7th April –

PredictorBet Playoff Quarter Final

Sunday 14th April –

PredictorBet Playoff Final

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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