Seattle, WA – ROOT SPORTS and the Western Hockey League (WHL) announced today the 8-game broadcast schedule that will bring LIVE WHL action into 3.4 million homes across five U.S. states during the 2013-14 WHL Regular Season. This is the fifth year of partnership between WHL and ROOT SPORTS.

One of the premier development Leagues in the World, the Western Hockey League will showcase the top rated NHL prospects LIVE on ROOT SPORTS. The broadcast schedule will feature all five WHL U.S. based clubs: Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans. WHL on ROOT SPORTS begins Tuesday, January 28 as the Kamloops Blazers will host the Spokane Chiefs at the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops, BC.

“The Western Hockey League is very pleased to continue our broadcast partnership with ROOT SPORTS”, commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robinson. “Our ‘Friday Night Ice’ broadcasts on ROOT SPORTS allow the WHL to showcase the great rivalries in our U.S. Division with hockey fans throughout the Pacific Northwest and other regions of the United States”.

“The WHL has a very loyal and dedicated fan base. We are pleased to continue our partnership and the opportunity to highlight the league’s talent to our viewers across the Northwest,” stated Mark Jorgensen, Senior Vice President/General Manager of ROOT SPORTS.

The WHL on ROOT SPORTS will continue to feature the play-by-play of Ian Furness with analysis provided by former WHL and NHL player Kevin Sawyer.

Please check with your cable or satellite provider regarding ROOT SPORTS channel information in your area.

About the WHL
Western Hockey League (WHL) is the largest major junior hockey league in the world today with 22 member Clubs throughout Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The WHL attracts over 4 million spectators each season to regular season and playoff games and is a world leader in player development and scholarship opportunities. Each season the WHL is one of the top leagues from which players are selected from in the NHL Entry Draft. Currently over 20% of all NHL players are graduates of the WHL. The WHL is also a leading provider of post-secondary scholarships with over 400 scholarships awarded each year to current and graduate WHL players, more than any other league in North America. The WHL is a member of the Canadian Hockey League (together with the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) which consists of 60 member clubs from coast to coast in Canada and the northern United States.

ROOT SPORTS is the home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, Portland Timbers, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Seattle University Redhawks, Big Sky Conference and Mountain West Conference. The network reaches 3.4 million households across five states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, and delivers more than 350 live events each year – all of which are available in high definition.

ROOT SPORTS regional sports networks are operated by DIRECTV Sports Networks LLC in the Northwest, Pittsburgh and Rocky Mountain regions. The three networks combined reach 9 million households across 18 states and own exclusive programming and distribution partnerships with more than 20 teams and conferences. DIRECTV Sports Networks is a subsidiary of DIRECTV, the world’s most popular television service.