DALLAS - B2 Networks, the “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider of the ECHL,” on Thursday announced the launching of B2CableTV.com, a free 24-hour cable-style network dedicated to broadcasting sports and entertainment to viewers worldwide. Just as digital cable offers the choice of multiple channels on home television, the technological innovation of B2CableTV.com will allow fans and consumers to watch hundreds of TV-style programming channels on the internet.
"B2 Networks is proud to debut ECHLTV as the first channel on our new Network," said Greg P. Bell, B2 Networks Founder and CEO. "The technology resulting in B2CableTV is our latest innovation in broadband broadcasting and will allow viewers to watch TV style programming from each of our broadcasting partners. Consumers will now be able to access and watch their favorite and unique Sports and Entertainment programming anywhere in the world 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on B2CableTV."
ECHLTV will feature the biggest games from the previous week as well as live special events and great moments from the past 21 years of the league. In addition to the league and teams, programming will be determined by fans, who have the opportunity to watch games from around the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League.
“B2 Networks were pioneers in first broadcasting the Las Vegas Wranglers and the ECHL in 2004 so it is only fitting that the ECHL be the first Channel broadcast as well,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “B2 Network has been a great partner and innovator and we look forward to working with them in this new endeavor.”
To watch ECHLTV fans can go to B2CableTV.com and click on the “Hockey” tab. Viewers will need a high-speed internet connection and a current version of Microsoft Windows Media Player to watch the Network. All events on ECHLTV are free of charge and available 24 hours a day.
"This is a proud day for our company and a great innovation for hockey fans across the globe," said Bruce LeVine, B2 Networks Senior Vice President. “Sports programming is just the first step for the Network as we plan to launch more channels and viewing options in the very near future."
B2 Networks has broadcast ECHL games around the globe the last six years including the Kelly Cup Finals and the ECHL All-Star Game. The first hockey game broadcast by B2 Networks was the Las Vegas Wranglers in February 2004 and the first hockey championship carried by B2 Networks was the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
B2 Networks is a premier provider of reliable and secure international television and pay-per-view broadcasting systems. B2's installed technologies and worldwide network of arenas, stadiums, local venues and data centers are currently in use to distribute live sports and events to personal computers, television screens, mobile devices and commercial venues around the world. Working with professional sports leagues, teams, NCAA and NAIA conferences and member institutions, B2 Networks has established itself as a leader in innovative global direct to home, mobile and television broadcasting. The B2 Networks Programming Guide and company information can be found at B2TV.com or B2CableTV.com. Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 22 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.
• The Reading Royals, the City of Reading and the Sovereign Center will host the 17th Annual ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 21, 2009 and the 12th Annual All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 20, 2009.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• Affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 382 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
• 126 former ECHL players have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons. • 27 former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Wheeling Nailers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Paul Bissonnette (Pittsburgh on Oct. 4), former Bakersfield Condors center Alexandre Bolduc (Vancouver on Nov. 27), former Florida Everblades defenseman Brett Carson (Carolina on Dec. 7), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Sean Collins (Washington on Dec. 6), former Las Vegas Wranglers and Wheeling Nailers goaltender John Curry (Pittsburgh on Nov. 26), former Greenville Grrrowl goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (Edmonton on Oct. 17), former Johnstown Chiefs center Andre Deveaux (Toronto on Nov. 27), former Dayton Bombers center Philippe Dupuis (Colorado on Dec. 12), former Gwinnett Gladiators right wing Pat Dwyer former Columbus Cottonmouths and Tallahassee Tiger Sharks left wing Mitch Fritz (New York Islanders on Oct. 30), former Charlotte Checkers center Dwight Helminen (Carolina on Oct. 28), former Trenton Devils right wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (New Jersey on Oct. 22), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Steve MacIntyre (Edmonton on Oct. 15), former Florida Everblades left wing Kenndal McArdle (Florida on Dec. 2), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Wheeling Nailers center Cam Paddock (St. Louis on Nov. 14), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Warren Peters (Calgary on Dec. 7), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Corey Potter (New York Rangers on Dec. 7), former Charlotte Checkers, Columbia Inferno and Elmira Jackals defenseman Bryan Rodney (Carolina on Dec. 11), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Jared Ross (Philadelphia on Oct. 11), former Alaska Aces goaltender Marek Schwarz (St. Louis on Oct. 25), former Greenville Grrrowl and Stockton Thunder center Tim Sestito (Edmonton on Nov. 26), former Dayton Bombers and Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Tyler Sloan (Washington on Oct. 21), former Johnstown Chiefs and Mississippi Sea Wolves forward Radek Smolenak (Tampa Bay on Dec. 2), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Brett Skinner (New York Islanders on Oct. 27), former Wheeling Nailers right wing Tim Wallace (Pittsburgh on Dec. 10) and former Idaho Steelheads center Tom Wandell (Dallas on Dec. 10).
• There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.
• Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and the NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).
• Record 47 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.
• ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 by Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings.
• Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
• There are 18 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
• There are 18 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
• ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 19 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.