TNT will not waste any time playing the biggest cross-promotional card in its deck in advance of televising its first regular-season NHL games on Wednesday night.
Charles Barkley, a star of the network’s popular NBA pregame show, will appear in studio on "NHL on TNT Face Off" at 7 p.m. for a commercial-free half hour leading up to the Rangers-Capitals game.
Barkley is a hockey fan, but mostly he is an outsized personality, and he will join Wayne Gretzky and the rest of TNT’s new studio team to hype the big event.
One of the NHL’s hopes for its new, seven-year television contracts with Turner and ESPN is that the two media outlets will find creative new ways to promote the sport. Having Barkley on to talk hockey on opening night is an excellent example of that.