WCSN inks deal with Int’l Ice Hockey Fed

World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) inked a three-year agreement (2007-2009) to provide exclusive coverage of the IIHF World Championships via WCSN’s broadband and television outlets to fans in the United States. Additionally, WCSN is partnering with EchoStar Communications Corporation’s DISH Network to deliver IIHF content into millions of homes via Pay-Per-View for this year’s world championship to DISH Network subscribers.

Through WCSN’s multiplatform offerings online at www.wcsn.com and on its 24/7 television channel, WCSN will deliver dedicated coverage of the IIHF World Championships for the next three years. The agreement was brokered by the Swiss-based sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, IIHF’s exclusive commercial partner for the marketing of the annual IIHF World Championships.

WCSN will kick off its partnership with coverage of the 2007 IIHF World Championship from Mytischi and Moscow, Russia. From April 27 through May 13, 16 national teams – which include the United States, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, and Sweden to name a few – will compete in the largest tournament of the year. Fans of Team USA will be able to follow every slapshot, check, and miraculous save as WCSN will cover every Team USA match as well as the quarter, semi, and final rounds of the world championship.

WCSN’s partnership with DISH Network offers Pay-Per-View for this year’s world championship tournament exclusively to DISH Network subscribers. Ice hockey fans can buy the all-inclusive package for only $39.95, letting subscribers follow the teams on their television sets. Subscribers to this package will also be able to view the matches via broadband at no additional charge (certain restrictions apply). DISH Network’s offering launches April 27 with Team USA facing off against Team Austria. To order call 1-877-DISH PPV (347-4778) or visit www.dishnetwork.com/hockey. Commercial establishments should call 1-800-454-0843.

“This partnership with IIHF marks a significant step in WCSN’s continued efforts to further provide quality content for our broadening audience. We’re excited the IIHF and Infront have turned to WCSN to deliver major coverage over the next few years,” said WCSN Chairman and CEO Claude Ruibal. “WCSN’s exclusive coverage and online reach, plus DISH Network’s 13.1 million subscribers provide a great opportunity for U.S. ice hockey fans to follow some of the best players from around the world online and on television during the largest ice hockey tournament of the year.”

“We continue to look for new ways to bring DISH Network subscribers the best variety of programming, and are pleased we are able to offer the most complete television coverage of the IIHF World Championship,” said DISH Network Vice President of Programming Andy Karofsky.

“The IIHF is pleased to have the 2007-2009 IIHF World Championships broadcasted on TV and online in the USA. We consider this a great opportunity to expand the audience for our flagship event in one of the biggest ice hockey markets in the world,” said IIHF President Ren Fasel.

“We’re extremely pleased that fans in the U.S. will be able to watch the IIHF World Championship through WCSN’s coverage,” said USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer. “Be it through the DISH Network package or via the Internet, anyone interested will have access every game of the championship, including ours, and that’s certainly positive for the millions of hockey fans in the United States.”

In addition to this year’s world championship, other upcoming events will include the 2008 IIHF World Championship from Canada and the 2009 IIHF World Championship from Switzerland. With this agreement, WCSN expands upon its comprehensive coverage of over 60 different sports disciplines, with live and on-demand coverage across multiple distribution platforms for U.S. fans to enjoy.

Now fans of ice hockey have a variety of choices to access WCSN content anytime and anywhere. Ice hockey enthusiasts can follow their favorite athletes and teams online through complete, live and on-demand video footage via a $4.95 monthly subscription plus free access to results, behind-the-scenes features, and more. Broadcast schedules can be found at WCSN.com and fans can also contact their local cable operator to get more details on the WCSN television channel.

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