Published on Friday, 31 December 2010 10:50
Fans of the television broadcasting team of Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk have reasons to be happy. The Chicago Blackhawks have given play-by-play broadcaster Pat Foley and color analyst Eddie Olczyk each three year contract extensions. The popular Chicago television duo will now be calling Blackhawks games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV through the 2013-14 season.
Chicago Blackhawks Executive Vice President Jay Blunk said in a statement yesterday: "Today is a proud moment for us as an organization to extend Pat and Eddie through the 2013-14 season. Blackhawks fans connect in a very special way with each and every broadcast, helping to advance our brand throughout the Midwest. We are fortunate to have one of the premiere broadcast tandems in all of professional sports."
This season is Pat Foley's 28th with the Blackhawks organization. He called Blackhawks games from 1981 to 2006, and returned to the television broadcast booth in 2008, partnering up with Olczyk. Foley received an Emmy Award in 1991 and was inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Foley is a home-grown talent, having been born in Glenview, IL in 1954. He graduated from Loyola Academy in Wilmette and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in telecommunications. Foley first joined the Blackhawks' broadcasting crew when he was only 26 years old.
This season is the fifth one as a television analyst for the Blackhawks for Ed Olczyk. Another home-groan talent, Olczyk was born in Chicago in 1966. A veteran of 16 years in the National Hockey League, he began his long career by being drafted by his hometown Blackhawks in 1984 at the age of 18. He was the third overall selection in that 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Blackhawks for five seasons (1984-87 and 1998-00), as well as playing for five other franchises and the 1984 U.S. Olympic Hockey team. In addition to his work with the Blackhawks on Comcast SportsNet and WGN-TV, he also works as the lead television analyst for NHL games broadcast nationally on NBC and Versus.
Local television ratings for Blackhawks games broadcast on Comcast SportsNet have increased over 130%, and games broadcast on WGN-TV have increased over 85% since Foley and Olczyk were first paired together at the start of the 2008-09 regular-season.
Foley & Olczyk together won an Emmy Award in 2009 for "Outstanding Achievement In Play-By-Play."