And Comcast keeps on working to wrestle events from ESPN:
OLN Nears Goal to Win Lacrosse Package
By John Consoli mediaweek.com
Comcast's OLN is negotiating with the National Lacrosse League for a cable TV rights package that would televise one national game of the week on Saturday or Sunday, beginning with the upcoming season that kicks off in December.
NLL Commissioner Jim Jennings said OLN has an advantage over ESPN because it has available weekend windows to air the games live, while ESPN could only air them on a tape-delayed basis.
Currently, most NLL games are televised region by region on cable sports nets, while NBC owns the rights to televise the NLL All-Star Game and the Champion's Cup Final.
Jennings said a partnership with OLN would work particularly well because in six markets--Philadelphia, Buffalo, N.Y., Minnesota, Colorado, San Jose, Calif., and Arizona--National Hockey League teams and NLL teams play in the same arenas, and in some instances, the same day, so OLN would already have its cameras in some of the locations where the NLL games could be televised.
OLN last week completed a multi-year TV rights deal to televise NHL games. Comcast, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers, also owns the NLL team, the Philadelphia Wings.
Jennings said he had been talking with OLN about doing a deal in the past, but following OLN's deal with the NHL, talks heated up again. The NLL season runs from December to May, and Jennings said he would like to see games begin being televised in January.
Major advertisers expected to allocate TV ad dollars for the telecasts include Reebok, Edge Shaving Gel, and Hummer. "We have some advertisers lined up to sponsor the telecasts once we finalize a deal," Jennings said.