The Friday and Saturday night Hockey East playoff series between the University of Maine and Providence College at Providence’s Schneider Arena will be televised in the Bangor area thanks to a unique arrangement involving several groups.
The Friday night game will be shown on WFVX Fox 22 of Bangor and the Saturday game will be aired on WVII ABC 7 of Bangor. Both contests are slated for 7 p.m. starts.
If the teams split the first two games of the quarterfinal series, a third and deciding game will be played on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. but it will not be televised.
“We’re very excited,” said Mike Palmer, the general manager at ABC 7 and Fox 22. “There were many parties involved in this. We were able to work out the details late Wednesday night although there were still some final details [Thursday] morning.”
Those parties included Hockey East, Providence College, Cox Sports New England, Rockfleet Broadcasting, the University of Maine and Maine’s multimedia rights partner Learfield Sports.
Palmer would not disclose the financial arrangements.
Rockfleet Broadcasting III LLC/Bangor Communications LLC, which owns ABC 7 and Fox 22, signed a two-year contract with the University of Maine and Learfield Sports this summer to televise Maine games.
Three Black Bear regular season football games and seven Maine hockey games were aired this season.
“The people at the University of Maine have been terrific. They’ve been very thoughtful. And Learfield has been first class all the way. I’m glad everybody was able to work it out,” said Palmer.
He said it “wasn’t possible” to air Sunday’s game.
“We just can’t take every game,” he said.
Cox Sports aired 12 Providence College hockey games this season.
ABC 7 and Fox 22 were unable to air last Saturday’s 2-0 Maine first-round victory over Merrimack College in Orono. At the time, Palmer said “there were too many variables, too many open-ended issues involving networks and the production.”
But this time they will just have to take the satellite feed from Cox.
WABI-TV of Bangor, a CBS affiliate, offered to televise the Merrimack game at its own expense but Maine athletic director Karlton Creech said “we didn’t want to go outside our agreement [with ABC 7/Fox 22].”
Creech said in a press release Thursday that “we’re thankful for the collective effort in bringing Maine hockey to fans in the Bangor viewing area. We also thank our television partner, WVII ABC 7 and Fox 22, for their continued strong support of the Black Bears and willingness to adjust their programming schedule so we can broadcast the Black Bears locally.”