NHL's Olympics Future In Question

The NHL's participation in the 2002 Winter Olympics will depend on how negotiations go with broadcast rights holder NBC, says league commissioner Gary Bettman.

"The schedule has got to be put together so there is considerable prime-time (TV) exposure for the U.S. and Canadian teams because if we're not going to get substantial exposure for our players ... it doesn't make sense for us to go," Bettman said Monday.

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In Nagano, Japan, CBS relegated hockey to the late-night show, airing at either 11:35 p.m. or 12:35 a.m.

Bettman made the comments while attending the book launch of the NHL-produced Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the NHL. It was held at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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