I think NBC Sports Network will be very successful in conjunction with their online portals being extremely popular (PFT is enormous).
The NHL will have to carry the network for a little while, but it will grow with the league and as other leagues - like the MLS has - jump on. ESPN as a TV entity will be difficult to crack, but a lot of people are sick of ESPN's crap and have turned to superior options for niches (MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA network, for example). If NBC Sports can have quality programming outside of its game broadcasts - something VS lacked - it can gain some traction. The Super Bowl on NBC will be a big boost, because it'll allow the network to use the channel as well.
It will take at least a couple years to really get it going, though. I'm excited for it.