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Nashville Predators announce 4-year extension with Fox Sports Tennessee

From the Nashville Predators:

The National Hockey League's Nashville Predators, the team's television broadcast partner FOX Sports Tennessee and its sister station SportSouth announced today a new four-year broadcast deal that will see the networks televise 60 Nashville Predators regular-season games this season (2010-11), 65 regular-season games during years two (2011-12) and three (2012-13) and 70 games in the fourth year (2013-14) of the deal. The goal in year one of the agreement is to broadcast a minimum of 45 games in high definition, with increases each year thereafter.

"We had two primary goals as we entered negotiations for this new broadcast deal," Nashville Predators Executive Vice President Chris Parker said. "We wanted to increase the number of games and we also wanted to increase the rights fee paid to the Predators for those games. We are excited to say that we accomplished both goals.  For the first time in franchise history we will broadcast more than 55 games in a regular season, starting with 60 this year and up to 70 in the final year of the deal.  Additionally, we increased our overall rights fee substantially. FOX has been a tremendous partner since Day One and they continue to see increased value in the Predators, their fans and the NHL as a broadcast product."

Sixty Predators games will be broadcast between FOX Sports Tennessee and SportSouth this season, reaching cable and satellite households across Tennessee, Kentucky and northern portions of Alabama and Mississippi. Additionally, the Predators deal was an integral component in helping FOX Sports Tennessee get SportSouth added to the channel lineup on Comcast Cable in Nashville.

The FOX Sports Tennessee broadcast duo of play-by-play announcer Pete Weber and color analyst Terry Crisp enter their thirteenth season calling Predators action.  In addition to game telecasts, Weber and Crisp will continue to co-host Predators LIVE, an expended postgame-coverage program on FOX Sports Tennessee featuring highlights, analysis and postgame interviews. Predators players and personnel will also be featured in FOX Sports Tennessee original programs Predators Snapshot and Under the Lights.

FOX Sports Tennessee has been a Predators broadcast partner since the inaugural season. Look for the full 2010-2011 Nashville Predators broadcast schedule to be released in the coming months.

FS-TN's been a good partner for the Predators, the biggest complaint I'd have is that for casual fans, finding the games can be a challenge as the satellite providers like DirecTV and Dish Network bounce them around to various channels occasionally.

The big thing to keep an eye on this fall is to what extent HD broadcasts increase. The overall commitment to increase the number of games covered overall (from 55 last year, and 30 of those were HD) is excellent, however. Slowly but surely, we're inching closer to 100% HD coverage of the Preds!