Versus (originally known as OLN) was renamed NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012.
The 2013 All-Star Game was to be played on January 27, 2013, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This would have been the Jackets' first-ever hosting of the game. However, the game was cancelled due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout.
NBC's coverage of the 1990 All-Star Game marked the first time in a decade that an American over-the-air television network (as opposed to cable) carried a NHL game nationally (since Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals aired on CBS). To accommodate the altered activities, the game itself was played on a Sunday afternoon instead of a Tuesday night, as was the case in previous years. This allowed NBC to air the game live across the United States – marking (surprisingly) the first time that a national audience would see Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux play. Referees and other officials were also wired with microphones in this game, as well as the two head coaches. Finally, NBC was also allowed to conduct interviews with players during stoppages in play, the NHL rejected Hockey Night in Canada crew repeatedly denied by the league in previous years. (Technically, it was not quite a national broadcast as NBC's affiliates in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Phoenix did not air the game.)
In 1991, NBC broke away from the live telecast of the All-Star Game during 3rd period in favor of Gulf War coverage; SportsChannel America showed the remainder of the game later that day.
The 1996 and 1997 All-Star Games were televised in prime time.
FOX debuted their "FoxTrax" puck during the 1996 All-Star Game.
The Challenge Cup replaced the All-Star Game in 1979. Staged at Madison Square Garden, the Challenge Cup was a best-of three-series between the NHL All-Stars against the Soviet Union national squad. Games 1 and 3 were shown on the NHL Network, while Game 2 was carried, in bizarre fashion, on CBS. First, only the third period was aired on CBS (as part of CBS Sports Spectacular), which had a problem with the dasher board advertising that the NHL sold at Madison Square Garden. The network (after complaints from other CBS sponsors) refused to allow the ads to be shown; as a result, viewers were unable to view the far boards above the yellow kickplate, and could only see players' skates when the play moved to that side of the ice. (Games 1 and 3 were seen in their entirety on the NHL Network, which had no problem with the advertising.)
The 1986 Canadian coverage was to be provided by CTV. However, CTV had a prior commitment to carry a U.S. miniseries. As a result, TSN took over coverage of the game in Hartford.
In 1987, Rendez-vous '87 (a 2 game series between a team of all-stars from the National Hockey League and the Soviet Union) replaced the All-Star Game. While the telecasts in Canada were on CBC as usual, they were not Hockey Night in Canada productions. The games were done as a CBC Sports production as Molson, who owned Hockey Night in Canada's rights at the time, was not allowed access to Le Colisée in Quebec City. Carling O'Keefe Breweries assumed advertising rights for the telecasts and the normal host(s) for Hockey Night in Canada in 1987, rookie Ron MacLean and Dave Hodge (before his late season firing) were replaced by Brian Williams. Even the ice blue blazers normally worn by Hockey Night in Canada commentators were replaced by the orange CBC sport coats. Don Wittman and John Davidson called the action for CBC. The 2 games were shown in the United States on ESPN, with Ken Wilson and Bill Clement in the booth, and Tom Mees as the studio anchor.