NBC and VERSUS Have You Covered for the Conference Finals

NEW YORK (May 12, 2011)– The NBC Sports Group continues its wall-to-wall coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs as NBC, VERSUS and Comcast SportsNet showcase the Conference Finals, set to begin this Saturday. Before any third-round game can be played though, the last Conference Semifinal series will be decided with a highly-anticipated Game 7 on VERSUS tonight between Detroit and San Jose at 9 p.m. ET. Prior to the game, VERSUS will televise an extended, one-hour version of Hockey Central at 8 p.m. ET.

VERSUS will begin airing the Conference Finals with Game 1 of the Tampa Bay-Boston series this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Western Conference Final action continues Sunday on VERSUS with the winner of the San Jose-Detroit series facing Vancouver at 8 p.m. ET. NBC’s coverage will begin on May 21, at 1:30 p.m. ET, with Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final when Tampa Bay hosts Boston.

VERSUS’ coverage of the Conference Finals is exclusive and not subject to any local blackouts. VERSUS will air all Conference Finals games for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals with the exception of Games 4 for each series, which will air on NBC. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2011 NHL Playoffs will culminate with exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final in primetime in June with NBC broadcasting Games 1-2 and 5-7 (if necessary), and VERSUS presenting exclusive coverage of Games 3 and 4.

Emmy-award winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) will anchor NBC and VERSUS’ coverage of the Tampa Bay-Boston series with Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass) for Game 1 and possibly Games 5-7. Joe Micheletti will serve as the “inside-the-glass” analyst for Games 2-4. Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (analyst) will be in the booth for all the Western Conference Final action along with Darren Pang inside-the-glass. NBC’s studio show will feature host Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury.

Each night the network televises a playoff game, VERSUS will kick off the broadcast with a Hockey Central pregame show 30 minutes prior to puck-drop. Hosted by either Bill Patrick or Liam McHugh with Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick, Hockey Central will preview the night’s action in the Conference Finals. To wrap up each night, the Hockey Central postgame show will have the latest highlights, news, analysis, and player interviews. Throughout the Conference Finals, Hockey Central will continue to feature guest analysts, including Mike Keenan.

COMCAST SPORTSNET: Comcast SportsNet New England (CSN NE) will offer comprehensive local on-air and online coverage of the Bruins-Lightning series every night with Chevrolet SportsNet Central at 6 p.m. ET as well as Chevrolet SportsNet Central Extra on days/nights leading into VERSUS and NBC’s game coverage. Additionally, following each national telecast during the series, CSN NE will host a post-game show featuring in-depth analysis and player interviews.

If San Jose advances with a win tonight in Game 7, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and California will have extensive on-air and online analysis of the Sharks during the Western Conference Final.

NBC/VERSUS hockey analysts will make periodic appearances on Comcast SportsNet’s expansive coverage throughout the Conference Finals.

DIGITAL: NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com have combined forces to create a single, robust destination for hockey fans during the NHL Playoffs. The NBC Sports Group consolidated NHL content from both the NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com’s hockey sections onto the rapidly-growing NBCSports.com site. One of the key content areas is ProHockeyTalk, one of NBCSports.com’s popular “Sports Talk” platforms that also include ProFootballTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, HardBallTalk, ProBasketballTalk and ProGolfTalk.

During the playoffs on NBCSports.com, fans can follow all the NHL Playoffs action with live streaming of NBC games, NHL videos, cross-platform promotions, social media and more. Some of the features on NBCSports.com include:

Online-only videos featuring VERSUS and NBC Sports hockey commentators previewing upcoming playoff games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day.

“Star-Cam,” which follows marquee players in NBC games, and “Net-Cam,” which provides a unique perspective from behind the goalie.

ProHockeyTalk, which recently had its most-trafficked month ever, will update NHL Playoff news around the clock.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can also keep up with the NHL playoffs through a variety of NBC Sports and VERSUS social media platforms throughout the postseason. Content will include:

Behind the Scenes: Through the joint “NHL on NBC and VERSUS” Facebook page and @NHLonNBC_VS on Twitter, fans receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video.

Commentator Tweets: Various NBC and VERSUS commentators will provide Twitter content throughout the playoffs, including occasional in-game Tweets.

Fan Questions: Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to NBC and VERSUS commentators via Facebook and Twitter.

Team Tabs: Fans who “Like” the joint NBC and VERSUS Facebook page will have the opportunity to play a variety of games and upload fan photos based around each of their favorite teams who made the playoffs. As teams advance in the playoffs, new and more difficult games will challenge fans.

News: Fans can follow NBC and VERSUS Facebook and Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.

NBC SPORTS CONFERENCE FINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)

Saturday, May 21

1:30 p.m. Boston at Tampa Bay, Game 4

Sunday, May 22

3 p.m. Western Conference, Game 4

VERSUS CONFERENCE FINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)

Saturday, May 14

8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 1

Sunday, May 15

8 p.m. Western Conference, Game 1

Tuesday, May 17

8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 2

Wednesday, May 18

9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 2

Thursday, May 19

8 p.m. Boston at Tampa Bay, Game 3

Friday, May 20

9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 3

Monday, May 23

8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 5*

Tuesday, May 24

9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 5*

Wednesday, May 25

8 p.m. Boston at Tampa Bay, Game 6*

Thursday, May 26

9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 6*

Friday, May 27

8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 7*

Saturday, May 28

8 p.m. Western Conference, Game 7*

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

5 Responses to NBC and VERSUS Have You Covered for the Conference Finals

  1. Stephen says:

    With Strader-Engblom-Panger, that’s a great second team announce crew.

  2. marv935 says:

    Does everyone like the inside the glass reporter? Although the interviews with the coaches are good, I hate when the inside the glass reporter gets into an analytical discussion of a play that interrupts the flow of the play by play commentator and, as a result, the broadcast could sound more like an intermission discussion with the analysts than a traditional play by play broadcast with the analyst speaking only wne play has stopped.
    I find the inside the glass reporter’s role as a second analyst interrupting the flow of the game, especially when the two anlaysts disagree. Pierre McGuire in particular always chimes in with anlaysis when there is a play that is forming which the play by play man can’t describe because of Pierr’s need to talk.
    I prefer the old fashionewd way of broadcasting the game with a play by play man and one analyst. Leave the discussion of who is the hero and who is the goat of the moment to the intermission feature.

    • Mike in Idaho says:

      I like the inside the glass reporter as they can report on yelling between the benches, how bad someone looks if they get injured, crowd atmposphere and things like that. I do agree that they should confine themselves to those things and stay out of the analysis (unless there is no other analyst). McGuire in particular is bad at this.

    • KevinS says:

      I like the “Inside the Glass” reporter/analyst. They know the game more than a Bob Harwood or Clarissa Thompson or Christine Simpson. They also can see the flow of the game and hear the benches. They also have views of the puck and players that the guys in the booth don’t. I see your point, but I like them.

  3. TonySCV says:

    They need a little more Daryl Reaugh and a little less Darren Pang.

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