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Hershey Bears discuss details of new FOX43 broadcast partnership | Sunday Sitdown

V.P. of Hockey Operations Bryan Helmer is the Sunday Sitdown guest and talks about early start times and opportunity for fans to watch the Bears on TV

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Bears have been playing hockey for over 80 years in Chocolatetown. On Saturday, April 3rd,  WPMT FOX43 becomes part of the Bears rich history by broadcasting the first of six games this Spring live from Giant Center. In this week's Sunday Sitdown, we dive in to a few more of the details with the Bears Vice-President of Hockey Operations Bryan Helmer. Here is the transcript from our interview with Bryan that aired on the Sunday Sports Frenzy.

(Todd Sadowski)

"So I'm pleased to be joined by the Vice-President of Hockey Operations and a Calder Cup champion of course Bryan Helmer with the Bears. Ok first up Bryan I'll start here.  When Zack Fisch (Bears play-by-play announcer) comes back to you and says we were working on a deal and he says we might have six games on the main channel, what was your reaction to that amount because I know our GM proposed six games and I was like 'this is fantastic.'"

(Bryan Helmer)

"Yeah, it definitely put a smile on my face that's for sure. I know Fisch and yourself were working really hard to get this done and we're very, very proud to partner with FOX43 to get the Hershey Bears games out to the community. I know it's an interesting year and a weird year and I know there's not a lot of fans in our building and I wish there was, I wish there was 10,500 people every night. But there's not, so let's give these guys a great opportunity if they can't make it to our games to watch it on TV so we're very excited like I said it put a smile on my face and I still got one on there."

(Todd Sadowski)

"You just said it's a unique year and that's an understatement, just everything is different. But for us it gave us the opportunity and then we look at our program schedule, slides in nicely. You know the Saturday at 7pm, the Sunday at 5pm and Friday at 7pm do not work for broadcast as well. Weekend games at one o'clock and three o'clock however, that worked out for the sheer volume to have this number of games on."

(Bryan Helmer)

"Yeah again, we don't normally have those times but I know when we were going over the schedule and you know why not try these these times and if we get some fans back in the stands for these times you know maybe they like it, maybe we get some great feedback and maybe we can put them in for next year too.  You never know, so it's something that you know we're glad that we could do this but also it gives us an opportunity to see how the fans are going to react to those times. I know as a hockey player and as staff that comes to work the games, they love getting home on a Saturday afternoon after a game.  I know there's lots of positives but again we have to look at how things are doing in other spots too."

(Todd Sadowski)

"So your stuck with me as the color commentator on TV with Zack but as we were talking before we got this started, die hard fans obviously are very excited so for this and with TV there are opportunities to bring in others that may not have either experienced Bears hockey in general or just get a chance to sample what's going on. Why is it important for television and how can the visual element help bring that along and translate to someone that's more of a casual fan or someone that's just checking it out?"

(Bryan Helmer)

"Just to watch how fast it looks on the TV and if you think it looks fast on TV, it's much faster live too so you know obviously the entertainment part of it, just to see these guys out there on their skates and hit and make some great plays and the excitement that I know that yourself and Fisch are going to bring to the broadcast, it's just going to be so much excitement. If you like it on TV, I always tell people it's even better live so just again you know we're very proud to partner with you guys to get our game back out there and to let our fans that obviously can't come to the rink, the Giant Center, they are now going to see it on TV and we're looking forward to those six games."