Earlier today the National Lacrosse League announced a deal with Versus to air nine games this season. Coverage will begin with the All Star Game on February 27 at 1:00 pm (our time).
Versus is owned by Comcast, who purchased controlling interest in NBC Universal yesterday. This acquisition increases Comcast's market presence. Early speculation revolves around Comcast using NBC Universal Sports, Gold Channel, etc. to supplement Versus as the company builds a credible rival to ESPN (owned by Disney). The NHL is currently the foundation for Versus sports programming and Comcast now has exclusive rights for all nationally televised NHL games.
I am hoping that Versus has the foresight to capitalize on lax's growing popularity to strengthen the network. One would think that lax on Versus would outdraw poker and bowling on ESPN...
The 2011 NLL All Star Game will be held at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York and presented by the Oneida Indian Nation.
"We are gratified to be hosting the National Lacrosse League on our Oneida Nation Homelands," said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises. "It's a great opportunity to showcase the modern version of the Creator's game, while reminding everyone of the sport's significant origins."
You read that correctly: rather than being held in an arena already occupied by a current NLL team, the game is being held in its birthplace. I, for one, believe this is an amazing move that shows the uniqueness of lacrosse among all other sports. This move signifies respect for the game itself and its creators.