NHL Network Announces Their Official Plans For All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK (January 26, 2011) – New and exciting are the themes for the upcoming NHL® All-Star Weekend and NHL Network™, NHL.com, NHL Radio™ and NHL Mobile™ will have all angles covered with a full slate of live programming and fan initiatives. First-time players, special on-air guests and renewed competitiveness resulting from a new draft format that can cast regular season teammates as All-Star foes make this All-Star weekend a can’t-miss event on the NHL calendar and the League’s media platforms.

 

After battling through a thrilling, six-game Stanley Cup® Final series last June, it is possible through the new draft format that Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers players might find themselves as All-Star teammates. NHL Network has that possibility covered in the person of former Blackhawks and Flyers player Jeremy Roenick. “JR” joins the NHL Network on-air team throughout the weekend — including challenging colleague Kevin Weekes to take it to the ice for a little one-on-one competition.

 

Below are programming notes for NHL media platforms at the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend:

 

NHL Network

 

NHL Network drops the puck on its All-Star coverage with the NHL Network 2011 All-Star Mock Draft on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 8:00 p.m. Draft architect Brendan Shanahan will take viewers through the selection process and both All-Star team captains — Carolina Hurricanes C Eric Staal and Detroit Red Wings D Nicklas Lidstrom — will offer some last-minute insight and tips. NHL On the Fly™ host Brian Duff might need to play the role of mediator as former NHLers and OTF regulars Kevin Weekes and Mike Johnson go head-to-head to make their fantasy player selections. Who will be the last man left standing?

 

NHL Network’s studio set and panel will make their on-site debut in Raleigh on Friday, Jan, 28, with pre- and post-game coverage live from the NHL Fan Fair™ — a 150,000 square foot hockey party that will occupy the Raleigh Convention Center. The official NHL Network at the 2011 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ show will get underway at 6:00 p.m. with a behind-the-scenes look at the host city, the history of hockey in Carolina and Draft pick tactics. Weekes and Roenick will have an opportunity to talk strategy with Captains Staal and Lidstrom before they put on their GM hats ahead of the first pick for the NHL All-Star Draft powered by Cisco.

 

With the pool of available All-Stars assembled, NHL Network cameras will enter the green room, where Deb Placey and Heidi Androl will speak with players and their families before the Draft begins.

 

The 2011 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft Recap show begins immediately following the draft with exclusive interviews with the first and last picks. Alternate captains from Team Staal and Team Lidstrom will join the panel to discuss their selection approaches and why they think their team will have the definitive advantage over the other going into Sunday’s big game.

 

Saturday’s three hour pre-NHL SuperSkills® coverage starts at 4:00 p.m. with the 2011 NHL All-Star Red Carpet Show. Players, coaches, NHL alumni and entertainers will mingle with fans and broadcast personalities to showcase their personal off-ice fashions on the red carpet. In the second half of the show, NHL Network cameras will bring fans into the locker rooms for the coaches’ pre-NHL SuperSkills address and check out all the action from the NHL’s Fan Fair. NHL Network also will cover Commissioner Gary Bettman’s State of the League news conference at 6:00 p.m.

 

The 2011 Honda NHL SuperSkills Recap begins at 9:00 p.m. with a review of winners, player reaction and surprising outcomes. Will the rookies dominate the night or will the All-Stars exploit their experience, particularly in an event like the Blackberry NHL Breakaway Challenge where creativity is as important as skill?

 

When the big game arrives on Sunday, January 30, NHL Network will be front and center with the 2011 NHL All-Star Pre-Show show beginning at 2:00 p.m. from its set overlooking the RBC Center ice surface. The NHL On The Fly team will take an in-depth look at the some of the most memorable moments from past All-Star competitions, milestones and some of the best players ever to play the game.

 

The League’s mid-season spectacular concludes with the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover. Live television coverage will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada, beginning at 4:00 p.m. The 2011 NHL All-Star post-game show on NHL Network gets underway at 7:00 p.m. with news, analysis and game highlights. Finally, after a weekend of milestones and memories, the Network team will look ahead to when Ottawa hosts the All-Star celebrations in 2012.

 

NHL.com

 

NHL.com will provide extensive coverage from Raleigh with daily reporting by top writers and exclusive, behind-the-scenes features and video. The 2011 NHL All-Star microsite, http://www.nhl.com/allstar is already in full All-Star weekend mode and is loaded with in-depth stories, mock drafts, video highlights and historical notes from past All-Star games. NHL.com’s comprehensive All-Star Draft coverage will include a live blog for U.S. fans and live streaming for Canadian fans and international audiences. The website will also cover the NHL Fan Fair, The Guardian Project™ and entertainment acts set to perform during All-Star weekend.

 

The Blackberry All Access Show — a daily video newscast to which fans have become accustomed during the regular season — will have special programming throughout All-Star weekend. The show will feature All-Star moments, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes videos and a preview of game day coverage.

 

NHL Radio

 

NHL Radio will have a special broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover with Doug Brown fulfilling host duties and John Forslund handling the play-by-play. A special guest analyst – Stanley Cup winner and former Carolina Hurricanes player Aaron Ward — will join the broadcast with EJ Hradek reporting from ice-level.

 

The team will call the play -by -play of the game, feature live intermission shows and post game analysis. The NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover can be heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (XM Channel 204 and Sirius 208 in the US), NHL.com and radio stations around the U.S. and Canada (check your local listing).

 

NHL Mobile & Social Media

 

NHL on Foursquare — the NHL’s mobile application that makes cities easier to and more interesting to explore — will be giving All-Star “tips” throughout the weekend, driving fans to check-in at the various events like NHL Fan Fair.

 

NHL on Twitter will be running a Watch-and-Win contest during NHL All-Star weekend. Throughout the weekend, the contest will encourage fans to follow @NHL#NHLAllStar for their chance to win prizes. Fans following @NHL will be asked to answer questions related to the broadcast and correct answers will have an opportunity to win a prize including a Bauer hockey stick for each of the six Honda NHL SuperSkills®.

 

During Sunday’s broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover, the NHL will also be giving away an opportunity to win two prizes each period and a grand prize — an autographed Sidney Crosby jersey.

 

NHL Mobile will also have several fan initiatives running throughout the weekend. On Saturday during the BlackBerry NHL BreakAway Challenge™ event at the Honda NHL SuperSkills®, fans will be able to vote for their favorite NHL BreakAway Challenge player. Immediately following the sixth skater in the Discover NHL Elimination Shootout™, the voting window will open up to fans. SMS voting will consist of numbers 1-6 (i.e. Text “1″ to vote for Stamkos, Text “2″ for Ovechkin, etc.). Fans will be able to vote for their favorite player by texting in the number that corresponds to the player of their choice to 81812. Voting is open to residents in the United States and Canada.*

 

On Sunday, fans will also have the opportunity to vote for the All-Star Game MVP in the 2011 Honda NHL All-Star MVP Award™ Text-to-Vote Promotion. Voting opens at the beginning of the second period and runs through the end of the game. To vote, fans text the players last name to 81812. Voting is open to residents of the United States and Canada.*

 

NHL GameCenter™ has a complete roster of mobile and tablet applications that will provide fans yet another way to connect to the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend.

 

Mobile applications on Andriod, Blackberry, Nokia and iPhone will provide users with all their NHL All-Star weekend needs including All-Star video highlights, team rosters, news and notes, photo galleries, wallpaper options and a detailed fan guide for spectators and fans in Raleigh. In addition to the above functions, iPad tablet users can also experience an online shopping feature that allows them to purchase 2011 NHL All-Star Game merchandise at shop.nhl.com.

 

 

NHL Network All-Star Special Programming Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 27 NHL Network 2011 All-Star Mock Draft 8pm-9pm

2009 NHL All-Star Game from Montreal, Quebec 10pm-12am

Friday, Jan. 28 Bienvenue a Montreal – 2009 NHL All-Access 12am-1am

NHL Network at the 2011 All-Star Player Fantasy Draft 6pm-8pm

2011 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft Recap 9pm-11pm

Saturday, Jan. 29 2011 NHL All-Star Red Carpet Show 4pm-6pm

NHL Commissioner’s News Conference 6pm-7pm

2011 Honda NHL Superskills Recap 9pm-10pm

Sunday, Jan. 30 2011 NHL All-Star Pre-Game 2pm-4pm

2011 NHL All-Star Post-Game 7pm-8pm

 

Hockey Sixth Among Americans’ Favorite Sports in Harris Poll

It is often thought by many people who follow the NHL in the United States that hockey – for people in this country – is either a sport that you completely immerse yourself into, or follow as an outsider every once in a while. There’s not a lot of in-between, “casual” fans. Well, it seems that the people following hockey devoutly is continually increasing in the US.

According to a Harris poll, the results of which were published by Sports Business Daily (reg. required), hockey is the favorite sport among 5% of U.S. fans, placing sixth. The game finished behind pro football (31%), baseball (17%), college football (12%), auto racing (7%), and men’s pro basketball (6%), all of which are sports you’d probably agree are more popular and have more diehards.

The sport did, however, finish above sports like men’s soccer (4%), men’s college basketball (4%), men’s golf (2%), men’s tennis (2%), boxing (1%) and women’s tennis (1%), all sports which can occasionally, and in college basketball’s case almost exclusively, draw higher television ratings than hockey. Note that there apparently was not an option given for college hockey as there was for basketball and football.

Hockey’s place in the poll is up 1% over 2009, even with 2008, up 2% from when the poll was taken in 1998, and up 3% from the poll’s inaugural year in 1985. Other than football, no sport has shown as much sustained growth in the Harris poll, though basketball was as high as 13% (a 7% growth from it’s spot in the 1985 poll) in the Jordan heyday of 1998. That said, it’s encouraging to see slow, but steady growth for the sport.

Where You Can See the AHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition in NHL (and Non-NHL) Markets

All this info is compiled from the AHL website. This is sorted by NHL markets, and then by non-NHL markets. The skills competition and game will air live on TSN on Sunday, January 30th at 3:00 PM ET and Monday, January 31st at 7:00 PM ET, respectively. NHL Center Ice will be airing the game live and there appear to be plans for NHL Network to air the game as well.

Anaheim/Los Angeles – Time Warner Cable SoCal 101
Skills: LIVE
All-Star Game: January 31, 10:00 PM ET

Atlanta/Nashville – Comcast Sports Southeast
Game: February 1, 12:30 PM ET

Boston  - NESN (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: February 2, 7:00 PM ET

Buffalo: Time Warner Cable SportsNet (HD)
Skills: January 31, 10:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

Carolina – Time Warner Cable Carolina On Demand

Chicago – Comcast Sportsnet Chicago (HD)
Skills: January 31, 4:30 PM ET
Game: Live

Colorado – Altitude 2 (HD) (with additional reruns on Altitude main channel)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Columbus – FSN Ohio
Skills: January 31, 12:00 PM ET
Game: February 1, 12:00 PM ET

Dallas – FSN Southwest/FSN Houston
Game: LIVE

Detroit – FSN Detroit
Game: LIVE

Florida – Sun Sports (HD)
Skills: February 2, Midnight ET

New Jersey/NY Islanders/NY Rangers – MSG Plus (HD)
Skills: January 31, 5:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

Philadelphia – The Comcast Network (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Phoenix – FSN Arizona (HD)
Game: January 31, 10:30 PM ET

Pittsburgh – FSN Pittsburgh (HD)
Skills: January 31, 5:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

San Jose – Comcast Sportsnet California (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

St. Louis – FSN Midwest (HD)
Skills: January 31, 5:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

Tampa Bay – Bright House Sports Network
Skills: February 5, 7:00 PM ET
Game: February 1, 7:00 PM ET

Washington – Comcast Sports Network Mid-Atlantic
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Non-NHL Markets

Rochester – Time Warner Cable Sportsnet (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Syracuse/Binghamton – Time Warner Cable Sports
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Albany – Time Warner Cable Sports
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Maine – Time Warner Cable TWC TV
Game: LIVE

Cleveland – SportsTime Ohio
Game: LIVE

Cincinnati/Dayton – Time Warner Cable Ch. 99
Game: LIVE

Wisconsin – Time Warner Cable Sports 32
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Kansas City – Time Warner Cable Metro Sports
Skills/Game: TBA

Wilkes-Barre – WQMY-TV
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Quarter-Hour Breakdowns For Flyers-Blackhawks

Peak numbers in bold. Courtesy Son of the Bronx:

Time      PHI      CHI

————————————

12:30   1.8/ 4   3.0/ 7

12:45   3.0/ 7  4.1/10

1:00    3.7/ 8   5.3/12

1:15     2.9/ 6   4.7/11

1:30    3.5/ 7   5.5/12

1:45    3.7/ 8   5.8/12

2:00   3.7/ 8   6.1/13

2:15    3.9/ 8   4.9/10

2:30   4.4/ 9    5.1/10

2:45   5.0/10 4.5/ 8

 

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