CBC Has Best Round 1 Since 2004

HIGHEST ROUND ONE AUDIENCE IN SIX SEASONS FOR

2010 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ON CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

The results are in and Canadian hockey fans love what they see on CBC. According to BBM overnight data the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA resulted in the program’s highest overall average audience for Round One since 2004. Audiences to Round One in 2010 averaged 1.422 million*. In 2009, Round One on CBC had an average audience of 951,000. Round One in 2004 featured five of the six Canadian teams and had an average audience of 1.989 million.

Individually:

The Ottawa/Pittsburgh series averaged 2 million over six games

The Vancouver/Los Angeles series averaged 2.031 million over six games

The Buffalo/Boston series averaged 736,000 over six games

The Colorado/San Jose series averaged 825,000 over six games

The highest average audience to a single game was 2.948 million* for game six between Ottawa and Pittsburgh on April 24, followed closely by the 2.826 million average audience for game six between Vancouver and Los Angeles on April 25.

Live Streaming views totaled 712,144 for Round One on CBCSports.ca/stanleycup, with a single game high of 73,767 streaming views for game five between Ottawa and Pittsburgh on April 22. Game six between Vancouver and Los Angeles had 57,916 streaming views. Total streaming views in 2009 for Round One were 267,543.

*Source: 2010 television audiences are BBM overnight, A2+ (PPM measurement). Streaming numbers: CBC Research – Omniture HBX (2009) and Omniture Site Catalyst (2010)

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.

Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 14 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Detroit vs. Phoenix, Game 7, 9:00 PM ET

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play: Rick Peckham
Color: Daryl Reaugh
Reporter: Lindsay Soto

National TV (Canada): TSN (HD)
Play by Play: Chris Cuthbert
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Regional TV (Detroit): FS Detroit (HD)
Play by Play: Ken Daniels
Color: Mickey Redmond
Reporter: Trevor Thompson

Regional TV (Phoenix): FS Arizona (HD)
Play by Play: Dave Strader
Color: Tyson Nash
Reporter: Todd Walsh

And Here’s Chicago’s Record Numbers

Chicago, IL (April 27, 2010) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most comprehensive Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage in HD, delivered its highest Blackhawks rating ever last evening (April 26) — a 9.24 household rating for its live coverage of the Blackhawks Game 6 first round clinching victory over the Nashville Predators.

For last night’s thrilling Game 6 playoff win by the Blackhawks, Comcast SportsNet attracted approx. 323,492 households for the entire game and scored a 12.63 peak rating during the 10:30 PM quarter-hour (over 442,000 households). The 9.24 single game ratings record on Comcast SportsNet shatters the previous all-time record set on May 11, 2009 for the Blackhawks second round Game 6 clinching win vs. Vancouver (7.82). During the 2009-10 “regular season,” Comcast SportsNet set an all-time single game ratings record on six occasions with the latest “regular season” record being a 4.35 household rating for a home game vs. Vancouver on March 5.

For its live coverage of five Stanley Cup Playoffs telecasts thus far, Comcast SportsNet has garnered over ONE MILLION Chicago TV households (1,054,151) tuning in for the network’s first round game coverage. Plus – Comcast SportsNet attracted an additional 584,317 households tuning in to Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live and Smirnoff Vodka Blackhawks Post Game Live throughout the first round.

The Blackhawks-Nashville first round Stanley Cup Playoff series FINAL household average on Comcast SportsNet was a 6.02 (4.84 avg. for Adults 25-54). In comparison to the first round series vs. Calgary last season, household ratings increased 33% (6.02 vs. 4.52) and Adults 25-54 ratings increased 42% (4.84 vs. 3.41). Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research.

“It has been a true honor and privilege for us to be the television home of this amazing NHL franchise led by Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Jay Blunk, Stan Bowman and the entire Blackhawks staff,” said James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “Our record-setting television ratings are also a solid statement about the hard work and dedication from our entire staff at Comcast SportsNet and we look forward to bringing fans even more exciting second round coverage beginning later this week.”

Comcast SportsNet was also the #1-highest rated television network in the Chicago market last night for the key advertising demo of Adults 25-54 for the entire length of the game (8:00-10:45 PM), a feat Comcast SportsNet also accomplished for two other playoff telecasts in the first round. In addition, for the entire length of games, Comcast SportsNet was #1 overall in the market for Men 18-49 & Men 25-54 in all five of its first round playoff game telecasts.

The Blackhawks will next take on the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference semifinals. Comcast SportsNet will be announcing its game and surrounding on-air/online coverage shortly.

Game 6 Sets CSN Capitals Record

Game 6 Delivers Highest-Rated Capitals Playoff Game in Comcast SportsNet History

  • Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of Game 6 of the Capitals first-round playoff series against Montreal on Monday, April 26, earned an average 5.6 household rating in the Washington market,surpassing Game 7 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Pittsburgh (5.5) as the highest-rated Capitals playoff game in network history.
  • In the Washington market, the record-setting 5.6 average household rating represents approximately 131,000 households. When combined with the average household rating in the Baltimore market (2.7) for Game 6, the broadcast earned an average audience of approximately 164,000 households.
  • The game attracted peak viewership between 8:30 and 8:45pm, delivering a 7.1 household rating in Washington and a 3.7 household rating in Baltimore during that quarter-hour, equating to approximately 210,000 combined households.
  • In the key Men 25-54 demographic, Comcast SportsNet delivered an average 7.1 rating in the Washington market and earned a 9.3 peak rating in that category during the mid-point of the game. The 7.1 rating is a 10 percent increase on the previous all-time high in that demographic, which was set in both Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Pittsburgh (6.5).
  • During their coverage of Game 6, Comcast SportsNet was the most-watched television station in the Washington market in several key demographics, including Men 18-49 and Men 25-54.
  • With the record ratings posted for Game 6, five of the ten highest-rated Capitals playoff games in Comcast SportsNet history have occurred during this year’s first-round match-up versus Montreal.
  • Through the first six games of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Comcast SportsNet has earned an average household rating of 4.9 in the Washington market, which is an increase of more than 63 percent compared to the first six games of the network’s coverage of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs (3.0). This season’s first round currently stands as the highest-rated Capitals playoff series in network history.
  • CSNwashington.com’s coverage of the Capitals has also earned increased viewers since the beginning of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Since Game 1 (April 15) of the first-round series against the Canadiens, the site has earned an increase of nearly 40 percent in unique visitors, with overall visitors and page-views up more than 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively, compared to the previous 13 day-period (April 2 to 14). Compared to the same time-period last year, the network’s website has generated a 264 percent growth in unique visitors and a 210 percent jump in page-views.

CAPITALS 2010 PLAYOFFS – ROUND ONE (MTL)

Game                  WSH HH              PEAK              M 25-54             A 25-54          BAL HH             PEAK

Game 1                     5.1                    7.4                   5.9                    4.1                  2.1                  3.2

Game 2                     4.4                    6.1                   4.7                    3.4                  2.3                  3.2

Game 3                     5.1                    6.4                   5.3                    4.3                  1.7                  2.9

Game 4                     5.3                    7.0                   6.2                    4.4                  1.8                  2.7

Game 5                     3.8                    6.2                   4.1                    2.5                  1.6                  2.4

Game 6                     5.6                    7.1                   7.1                    5.1                  2.7                  3.5

AVG.                        4.9                      -                     5.6                    4.0                  2.0

Remember, Less Than a Week Until This

BROAD STREET BULLIES, THE HBO SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

ABOUT THE LEGENDARY CHAMPIONSHIP HOCKEY TEAM,

DEBUTS MAY 4 DURING THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

The HBO Sports documentary BROAD STREET BULLIES, a look at one of pro sport’s most polarizing teams, the legendary Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup championship squads of the 1970s, debuts TUESDAY, MAY 4 (10:00 p.m. ET/PT & 9:00 p.m. CT) during the Stanley Cup playoffs.  This exclusive presentation tells the backstories of these engaging and colorful athletes, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975 with a bold, aggressive style that sparked controversy and criticism.

Other HBO playdates:  May 4 (2:35 a.m.), 8 (11:00 a.m. ET only/10:30 a.m. PT only/3:20 a.m. PT only), 10 (8:30 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 12 (noon), 20 (6:00 p.m., 4:20 a.m.), 23 (9:00 a.m., 11:00 p.m.) and 25 (8:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates:  May 13 (8:30 a.m., 10:00 p.m.), 15 (3:30 p.m.), 17 (4:00 p.m.), 26 (1:10 a.m.) and 30 (11:30 p.m.)

HBO On Demand availability:  May 5-June 7

“This film explores how a group of characters, who also happened to be an extraordinarily talented collection of hockey players that enjoyed contact on the ice, formed one of the most prominent and controversial teams in pro sports history,” says Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports.  “We are going to re-trace the steps that led to the love affair between the city and the team, and show how to this day these players are revered in Philadelphia and despised elsewhere.”

Playing before adoring fans at the Spectrum, the Philadelphia Flyers rose to prominence in the 1970s under the guidance of shrewd coach Freddie Shero.  With larger-than-life figures like Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber,Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Bill Clement, Rick MacLeish, “Moose” Dupont, Bob Kelly, Joe Watson and Gary Dornhoefer, the team won many games, fought in just about all of them and made numerous enemies.  The club’s popularity soared as their physically imposing and sometimes bloody style generated headlines across North America.

Although the franchise did not exist until 1967, the team rose to national prominence in just a few short years, and some NHL teams would see their home attendance double when the Flyers came to town.  The club became a favorite of other hardscrabble cities and towns where blue-collar communities were taking an economic beating.

In a bizarre twist, singer Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” became the Flyers’ good luck charm.  Eventually, the team that showcased players with gap-toothed grins, funny hair and goofy nicknames evolved into one of the NHL’s elite franchise.  In 1976, the Flyers engaged the vaunted Soviet Central Red Army team in the finale of an exhibition series that would do little to ease the cold war tension between the two nations.

BROAD STREET BULLIES interviews include former Flyers standouts Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Bill Clement, Gary Dornhoefer, Bob Kelly, Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Don Saleksi, Orest Kindrachuk, Bobby Taylor, Joe Watson and Dave “The Hammer” Schultz; team founder and chairman Ed Snider; former NHL stars Phil Esposito, Terry O’Reilly and Larry Robinson; radio personalities Howard Eskin and Anthony Gargano; former NHL director of broadcasting Stu Hackel; journalists Jay Greenberg, Frank Orr, Jack Chevalier and Mark Mulvoy; Flyers historian Bruce Cooper; and former director of NHL officiating Bryan Lewis.

The executive producers of BROAD STREET BULLIES are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; senior producer is Joe Lavine; produced by George Roy; Erik Kesten is the writer; Brian Keane scored the music; Liev Schreiber is the narrator.

Highlights of BROAD STREET BULLIES:

The Flyers’ Bob Kelly, nicknamed “Machine Gun Kelly”:  “I always had a lot of energy, so I like to expand it, and there’s nothing like driving somebody’s head through the boards to make you feel good.”

The Flyers’ Gary Dornhoefer on joining the Philadelphia expansion team: “First of all, I had to take a good look at a map to see where the heck Philadelphia was.”

Philadelphia Evening Bulletin writer Jay Greenberg on the team’s birth:  “They had a reception at city hall for them, and they put them in open convertibles for a ride down Broad Street.  There were no more than 20 people on the parade route.”

Flyers founder and chairman Ed Snider on the team’s growing pains:  “We realized that we would have to become tougher, stronger and bigger.  And we may not be able to win a lot of games as we’re growing but we certainly didn’t have to get beat up.  So we decided that no team would ever intimidate us, ever again.  And we conducted our drafts, and we conducted our philosophy in that direction.”

The Flyers’ Bill Clement:  “When Schultzie [Dave “The Hammer” Schultz] got to the Flyers, it all changed.  He became the hunter.  We had the baddest animal in the hockey jungle.  And never even had a fight before he turned pro.”

Sports Illustrated writer Mark Mulvoy:  “It was all part of the game plan, it was all part of the strategy, which is to go out and just annihilate people, and by annihilating them, we’re going to render them ineffective, and that’s how we’re going to win.  And it worked.”

The Flyers’ Bobby Taylor on goaltender Bernie Parent’s eccentricities:  “He always had to have his nap in the afternoon with his German Shepherd dog.  He loved to smell things.  If you bought a new pair of shoes, oh my god, he was all over you.  ‘Ah, I love the smell of new leather.’  I mean he had his nose in your shoes…what?”

Flyers goalie Bernie Parent:  “I’m a firm believer in life that if you’re happy, happy things will happen to you.”

Philadelphia sports radio personality Howard Eskin:  “These guys not only were fun, they were a part of the community.  They were part of the people.”

Flyers historian Bruce Cooper on Flyers head coach Fred Shero:  “Freddy was a mystery.  He basically didn’t talk to the players.  The way he communicated with them is he left little notes in their locker, wrote things on the blackboard.”

Radio personality Anthony Gargano:  “That team personified the city so well.  The little side streets of Philadelphia.  All the kids on each street had their own team.  Sure enough, there’d be a fight – two kids are going at it.”

Ed Snider on winning the Stanley Cup:  “Who could have thought that a hockey team would draw over two million people to a parade?”

The Flyers’ Don Saleksi on Bobby Clarke, the heart and soul of the Bullies:  “An ultimate warrior.  He would leave it all out there.  Every minute of every game.”

Former NHL director of broadcasting Stu Hackel:  “Bobby Clarke was one of the most inspirational players ever.  He’s also one of the filthiest players ever.”

Bill Clement:  “We were just ultimate fighters without the cage around us.”

Former director of NHL officiating Bryan Lewis on the expanded NHL rulebook:  “I can’t give the Philadelphia Flyers total credit for making the book be this thick versus what it used to be, but I can say this and guarantee it…they definitely played a part in some of it.”

Stu Hackel:  “Every team would go out and try to find a couple of guys who’d stand up for their team against the Flyers.  So this arms race began.”

Journalist Frank Orr:  “To the purists they represented everything evil about the game.  They were a disgrace.”

Flyer forward Bill Clement:  “Our legacy now is exactly what it was then…loved in one part of the world, and hated everywhere else.  And there isn’t an apologetic bone in my body or anybody else’s body on our team.”

VERSUS Scores Best April Ever

NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 27, 2010)-VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, is averaging a .6 HH rating and 552,000 viewers for its 12 days of Conference Quarterfinal round coverage-through Sunday, April 25.  The HH rating and average viewership is up 50 percent and 25, respectively, compared to the same time period of last year’s postseason (.4 HH rating and 442,000 viewers).  Additionally, the network is also seeing viewership increases across all key male demos over last year: Men 18-34 (up 5%), Men 18-49 (up 10%) and Men 25-54 (up 23%).  Due to the momentum of NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, VERSUS garnered its most-watched April in primetime in network history.

VERSUS’ Conference Quarterfinal round coverage continues tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET with Hockey Central followed by Game 7 in the Detroit Red Wings/Phoenix Coyotes series at 9 p.m. ET.  The network’s first-round coverage culminates tomorrow with Game 7 between the Washington Capitals/Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. ET.

VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD).  Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR).  VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming.  The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else, including The Daily Line, Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau.  VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

Canadian Weekend Hockey Audiences

From William Houston:

For Game 6, in the CBC’s traditional Saturday 7 p.m. ET time slot, an audience of almost three million watched Pittsburgh’s series clincher – 2.948 million.

TSN, meanwhile, saw it’s Habs-Caps numbers drop after drawing its strong 2.1 million for Game 2.

Game 3 drew only 1.25 million and Game 4 1.42 million.

The audience for Game 5 on Friday, won by Montreal, jumped to 1.629 million. But, for comparative purposes, it was well below the CBC’s 2.117 for Game 5 of the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series.

The CBC, as broadcast network, reaches more households than TSN – about 13 million to nine million – but traditionally the Canadiens outdraw the Senators nationally.

Friday, Boston-Buffalo, CBC, 593,000.

Friday, Detroit-Phoenix, TSN, 521,000.

Friday, Los Angeles-Vancouver, CBC, 1.953 million.

Saturday, Nashville-Chicago, TSN, 747,000

Saturday, San Jose-Colorado, CBC, 1.359 million.

Sunday, Phoenix-Detroit, TSN, 715,000.

Sunday, Vancouver-Los Angeles, CBC, 2.826 million.

Canadiens and Coyotes Game Seven Wins Could Equal Several Problems For NHL, TV Partners

Let’s give credit to the Montreal Canadiens.  I’m not going to tell you anything someone else can’t tell you when I say this, but that was a masterfully played Game 6 against the Capitals last night.  The greatest stage the sport has – Montreal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs – and a Habs team that needed to beat Ovechkin’s mighty Capitals one more time to force Game 7 in The District on Wednesday, and man, did they ever rise to the occasion.  Jaroslav Halak put on one of the greatest goaltending displays I’ve ever seen, stopping over 50 shots en route to victory.

Similarly, longtime play-by-play man Sam Rosen and analyst Billy Jaffe were up to the occasion.  Rosen acted as more spectator than announcer, simply marveling and reveling in every save Halak made.  Jaffe tread lightly, but effectively pointed out that Halak could be writing his own Montreal goaltending legend right before our very eyes.  If the Canadiens were to come back and win this series, it would be a marvelous achievement by a team no one truly gave a shot in Round 1, left for dead after Game 4.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Coyotes are riding Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage to a very good chance at taking down the team with the most fans in this country, the two-time defending Western Conference champion Red Wings.  They’ve created interest out in the long playoff hockey-barren desert in Arizona, though the ratings dipped a bit for Game 6, they figure to be potentially record-setting for Game 7.  VERSUS is televising that game tonight, and even going with a half-hour Hockey Central lead-in show beforehand.  The Coyotes winning would also be huge for NHL parity, and give the second round some new blood.

It would also be a total public relations nightmare for the National Hockey League, and for two reasons.

Let’s control the Habs side first.  Aside from preventing a potential Sid/Ovie Conference Final, one is that it would prevent the NHL from being able to hawk Ovechkin and the Caps, becoming ever-so much more TV friendly, on national TV during this post-season.  They were relegated to all-VERSUS during the Quarterfinals, but it’d just seem wrong to keep Washington off NBC for an entire post-season, and one would think their potential 2nd-round date with Philadelphia would be awesomely TV friendly.

The second reason is that it would cause a Pittsburgh-Montreal 2nd round series.  Believe me, I have to suspect NBC wants Crosby and his television tested Penguins on for what little coverage they do of the Conference Semifinals (Only airing games this Saturday & Sunday and then off next week for golf) and they want people hooking onto the team early.  They also want to be evil and keep Pens fans from watching the games outside Mellon Arena.

That said, CBC could end up the huge winner in round two if the Canadiens are in it, as they’d have two massive television draws in Canucks-Hawks and Pens-Habs, combining two series with devoutly followed Canadian teams and American squads with massive amounts of firepower.  A seven-game series for either could potentially draw up to four million viewers in Canada, as Game 6 of the Canucks-Kings first round set drew 2.9 million.  It also keeps a 1-in-4 shot that a Canadian team makes the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since Ottawa in 2007.

Herein lies the problem.  If were stuck with a 2nd round of Phoenix-San Jose, Vancouver-Chicago in the West and Philadelphia-Boston, Montreal-Pittsburgh in the East, where does NBC go?  Certainly, Flyers-Bruins in a rematch of the Winter Classic would be an easy call, but what other game?  Does NBC have the stones to go all the way out to San Jose?  The Game of the Week has only aired one game West of Chicago since the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, and that was in Dallas.  Will they take their entire production out to Arizona or Northern California?  They certainly haven’t shown a desire to do that in the past.

Which leaves us the two series featuring Canadian teams… hmmmm.  Anyone happen to remember a certain conflict we all dealt with back in the 2007 playoffs?  NBC wanted Senators-Penguins in the first round, to show Sidney Crosby’s first playoff series on national TV.  CBC was… less than enthused about that, and a media war that sort of made everyone look bad ensued.  NBC won, and the network aired exactly one game from that series, and it got no higher rating than any other NHL game at the time.

But now, Crosby’s Pens hold a clear effect in getting the needle up there that perhaps NBC can’t afford not to show Penguins-Canadiens Saturday or Sunday.  With only one game for sure needed for the afternoon, and it being a likely Pens home game anyway, would CBC be more willing to accomodate?  Or would we all have to go over this annoying debate for the second time in four seasons?  Will each network fire shots at one another?  Will NBC try to bargain and get Vancouver-Chicago?

Regardless, there will be a ton of talk about it towards the end of the week, and it won’t make the NHL, NBC or CBC look good.

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