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NHL to Launch Daily Stanley Cup Pre-game Web Series

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The National Hockey League will launch a daily pre-game Web series on NHL.com during the league’s 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, which start this Wednesday (Apr. 13).

The Cisco All Access Pre Game Show will stream each day at 4:30 p.m. EST live from NHL Powered by Reebok Store on 6th Avenue in New York. The playoff news, highlights and analysis-filled series, which fans can also view on demand, is being hosted by NHL Network veteran Rob Simpson and Heidi Androl of NHL.com.

The pre-game show is at the center of an online programming package created specifically for this year’s playoffs which the NHL has dubbed thePORTAL. Content for thePORTAL, which will include game news, statistics and live press conferences, can be accessed at both NHL.com and NHL.tv.

The league is using thePORTAL as part of a larger strategy aimed at encouraging fans to watch playoff games on TV while also logged onto the Web. One tactic being tested to boost such behavior is providing fans a real-time peak into what goes on when questionable goals are being reviewed during games.

During such reviews, NHL.com will provide fans live coverage from the league’s official Video Review Room in Toronto via thePORTAL. In addition, thePORTAL will feature video interviews with NHL senior executives discussing reviewed goals.