May 3, 2012

Tuesday afternoon NHL COO John Collins confirmed “HBO 24/7: Road To The NHL Winter Classic” will return during the 2012-13 hockey season, featuring Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We’re bringing it back,” Collins told Puck Daddy exclusively on Tuesday, although he said a formal announcement is forthcoming.”

There will be two significant changes this season that will include a more involved behind the scenes effort from HBO.

“We’re going to work a little more closely with HBO on production. We’ve been in partnership with them, but now that we have an original productions group here, we’re going to work a little more closely with them on the production side,” said Collins.

Viewers will see no change in production, and The Winter Classic will have the same look and feel as it has the last two seasons. Ross Greenburg, former HBO sports President is now working with the NHL through his own production company. He will be teaming back up with his HBO counterparts to hopefully create the best production of The Winter Classic that we have seen thus far.

The HBO production team hopes to learn valuable information from Greenburg, who is one of the best at what he does.

“We’ve made a significant investment in content on our side. We have our own production crews in-house, and we’re going to integrate those crews with the NHL crews and get some practical hands-on experience,” said Collins.

The second change this season will be the addition of a Canadian network presenting “24/7”.  With Toronto competing this year, the Canadian networks are showing an increase attention which they have not expressed in years past.

“We’re going to have another partner to announce, who will take the series in Canada,” Collins said. “I think this is one of the benefits of having Toronto in the game.”

At this time there is no word on which Canadian network will pick up the action.

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