Details Emerge About NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Coverage

The NHL and NBC are crossing multiple platforms to bring every game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to viewers every night.

NBC, the NBC Sports Network, CNBC and the NHL Network will bring as many as 105 Stanley Cup Playoff games (approximately 262 hours of coverage) during 2012 chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup. NBCSports.com and Comcast Sportsnet will also assist in coverage online and on a local level, with numerous exclusive features. The networks will also use numerous social media tools to bring fans closer to the game.

“The NBC Sports Group is proud to employ all of its assets – broadcast, cable, regional and digital – to surround the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and provide fans and viewers with more live-event and news coverage than any previous post-season in NHL history,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group.

Starting next Wednesday, April 11th, all four networks will televise the Conference Quarterfinal round. NHL Live will air every night, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET, and NHL Post-Game will wrap things up when all action is done. NBC hops on for exclusive coverage April 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd, with doubleheaders on the 15th and 22nd. All other games are subject to local blackouts, though in recent years, some markets have bypassed local coverage here and there and allowed then-VERSUS to go exclusively in that market.

Exclusivity will begin starting with the Conference Semifinals. In the past, VERSUS was only allowed two games per second round series. Starting this year, NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL Network (to a lesser extent than in Round 1) have exclusive coverage of the entire second round. NBC will be on the air April 28-29 and May 5-6.

NBC Sports Network will air all but two games of the Conference Finals, with NBC televising a game from each series on May 19th and 20th. NBCSN’s coverage will be exclusive. The Stanley Cup Final will go by the same broadcast format as in years past, with NBC televising games one and two, and 5-7 if necessary. NBC Sports Network will air games three and four.

NBCSports.com will provide online coverage. it will include “second screen” online streaming of every game on NBC, with a companion screen that provides live, in game highlights, “Star Cams”, chats with ProHockeyTalk, and a “Spotlight Cam”, that provides a look from above center ice.

Meanwhile, social media will be prevalent, as NBC Sports utilizes Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the post-season.

Rangers-Red Wings Leads the Way For NBCSN in March

As has been the case for VERSUS/NBC Sports Network most of this season, Sundays, Wednesdays, and big markets led the way for the NHL in March. Here are some notes:

  • The most watched game in March? March 21st’s Detroit-Rangers OT thriller, which attracted 518,000 viewers, 10th-most on the network this season.
  • The least-watched game? Bonus coverage of a Sharks-Kings game on March 20th, which drew just 134,000 viewers. The game did not air exclusively in either local market. Only VERSUS’ broadcasts of the two NHL Premiere games from Europe in the middle of the afternoon were lower.
  • The least-watched exclusive games of the month were Minnesota/Colorado (3/6/12) and Phoenix/Dallas (3/20/12), which tied with 167,000 viewers.
  • Overall, viewers remain disinterested in everything west of Minnesota. None of the network’s bonus telecasts from the west coast drew more than 200,000 viewers, with the highest coming in for March 19th’s Ducks-Sharks tilt, which drew 182,000 viewers.
  • The five most-watched telecasts in March happened on either Wednesdays or Sundays, continuing the trend of those being the two most-watched nights.
  • A bit of a surprise? A March 5th Sabres-Jets game. The former Thrashers and Buffalo drew 333,000 viewers. For comparison, a March 28th Red Wings-Blue Jackets contest scored just 4,000 more viewers.

(Source: Son of the Bronx)

Ratings for the NHL on NBC Sports Network, 2011-12 regular season

October 6
7:00 
Boston vs. Philadelphia – 874,000
10:00 
Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver – 342,000

October 7
1:00 
NY Rangers vs. Los Angeles – 101,000

October 8
1:00 
NY Rangers vs. Anaheim – 124,000

October 10
7:00 
Tampa Bay vs. Washington – 162,000

October 11
7:30 
Florida vs. Pittsburgh – 216,000

October 12
7:30 
Boston vs. Carolina – 312,000

October 17
7:30 
Colorado vs. Toronto – 218,000

October 18
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota – 286,000

October 25
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo – 338,000

October 31
7:00 
San Jose vs. NY Rangers – 169,000

November 1
7:30 
Anaheim vs. Washington – 258,000

November 2
7:30 
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo – 558,000

November 7
7:30 NY Islanders vs. Boston - 195,000

November 8
7:30 Carolina vs. New Jersey - 241,000

November 9
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay - 411,000

November 14
7:00 
Buffalo vs. Montreal – 323,000

November 15
7:30 
Colorado vs. Pittsburgh – 392,000

November 16
7:30 New Jersey vs. Buffalo - 285,000

November 21
7:30 
NY Islanders vs. Pittsburgh – 198,000

November 22
7:30 
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis – 245,000

November 28
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota – 232,000

November 29
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers – 394,000

November 30
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Detroit – 393,000

December 5
8:00 
Phoenix vs. Chicago – 302,000 viewers

December 6
7:30 
Detroit vs. St. Louis – 259,000

December 7
7:30 
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo – 585,000

December 12
7:30 
New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay – 201,000

December 13
9:00 
San Jose vs. Colorado – 193,000

December 14
7:30 
Chicago vs. Minnesota – 540,000

December 19
7:30 Anaheim vs. Dallas - 149,000

December 20
7:30 Chicago vs. Pittsburgh - 634,000

December 21
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Dallas - 462,000

December 26
7:30 Dallas vs. St. Louis - 270,000

December 27
7:30 St. Louis vs. Detroit - 195,000

December 28
7:30 NY Rangers vs. Washington - 327,000

January 2
8:00 
San Jose vs. Vancouver – 267,000

January 3
8:00 
Detroit vs. Dallas – 188,000

January 4
7:30 
Boston vs. New Jersey – 435,000

January 8
7:30 
Detroit vs. Chicago – 587,000 

January 10
7:30 
San Jose vs. Minnesota – 237,000 

January 11
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Washington – 526,000

January 15
7:30 
NY Rangers vs. Montreal – 202,000

January 16
7:30 
Dallas vs. St. Louis - 238,000

January 17
7:30 
Nashville vs. NY Rangers - 224,000

January 18
7:30 Buffalo vs. Chicago - 466,000 

January 23
7:30 
St. Louis vs. Detroit – 429,000 

January 24
9:00 Minnesota vs. Colorado - 190,000

January 25
7:30 Detroit vs. Montreal - 241,000

January 28
7:00 Super-Skills Competition - 1.1 million

January 29
4:00 All-Star Game - 1.3 million

January 31
7:30 Washington vs. Tampa Bay - 264,000

February 1
7:30 NY Rangers vs. Buffalo - 478,000

February 5
12:30 Boston vs. Washington - 455,000

February 6
8:00 Detroit vs. Phoenix - 263,000

February 7
7:30 Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay - 155,000

February 8
7:30 Boston vs. Buffalo - 455,000

February 12
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Detroit - 600,000

February 13
7:30 San Jose vs. Washington - 351,000

February 14
7:30 Anaheim vs. Minnesota - 173,000

February 15
7:30 Boston vs. Montreal - 417,000 

February 19
6:00 New Jersey vs. Montreal - 203,000

February 20
7:30 Washington vs. Carolina - 171,000

February 21
8:00 Detroit vs. Chicago - 228,000 

February 22
9:00 Los Angeles vs. Colorado - 166,000 

February 26
7:00 Chicago vs. Anaheim - 370,000 

February 27
7:30 New Jersey vs. NY Rangers - 287,000

February 28
7:30 Los Angeles vs. Minnesota - 156,000 

February 29
7:30 Pittsburgh vs. Dallas - 456,000 

March 4
7:00 Philadelphia vs. Washington - 469,000

March 5
8:00 Buffalo vs. Winnipeg - 333,000

March 6
9:00 Minnesota vs. Colorado - 167,000

March 7
7:30 Toronto vs. Pittsburgh - 461,000

March 11
8:00 Los Angeles vs. Chicago – 397,000

March 12
9:00 Anaheim vs. Colorado - 180,000

March 13
7:30 Carolina vs. NY Rangers - 292,000

March 14
7:30 Colorado vs. Buffalo - 366,000

March 15
7:00 Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers - 195,000

March 18
7:00 Washington vs. Chicago - 411,000 

March 19
7:30 New Jersey vs. NY Rangers - 347,000
10:15
 Anaheim vs. San Jose - 182,000

March 20
8:00
 Phoenix vs. Dallas - 182,000
10:57 San Jose vs. Los Angeles - 134,000 

March 21
7:30
 Detroit vs. NY Rangers - 518,000

March 25
5:00
Minnesota vs. Washington – 202,000
7:30
 Nashville vs. Chicago - 319,000 

March 26
7:30 Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia - 411,000

March 27
7:30 Tampa Bay vs. Boston - 188,000

March 28
7:30 Detroit vs. Columbus - 337,000

April 1
7:00
 Boston vs. NY Rangers - 664,000 

April 4
7:30 Detroit vs. St. Louis - 572,000

10 Most-watched Games on NBCSN This Season
1. Boston vs. Philadelphia (10/6/11) - 874,000
2. Boston vs. NY Rangers (4/1/12) - 664,000
3. Chicago vs. Pittsburgh (12/20/11) - 634,000
4. Philadelphia vs. Detroit (2/12/12) - 600,000
5. Detroit vs. Chicago (1/8/12) - 587,000
6. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (12/7/11) - 585,000
7. Detroit vs. St. Louis (4/4/12) - 572,000
8. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (11/2/11) – 558,000
9. Chicago vs. Minnesota (12/14/11) – 540,000
10. Pittsburgh vs. Washington (1/11/12) – 526,000

10 Least-watched Games on NBCSN this Season

1. NY Rangers vs. Los Angeles (10/7/11)* – 101,000
2. NY Rangers vs. Anaheim (10/8/11)* – 124,000
3. San Jose vs. Los Angeles (3/20/12)* - 134,000
3. Anaheim vs. Dallas (12/19/11) – 149,000 
4. Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay (2/7/12) – 155,000
5. Los Angeles vs. Minnesota (2/28/12) - 156,000 
6. Tampa Bay vs. Washington* (10/10/11) – 162,000
7. Los Angeles vs. Colorado (2/22/12) - 166,000
t8. Minnesota vs. Colorado (3/6/12) - 167,000
t8. Phoenix vs. Dallas (3/20/12) - 167,000
10. San Jose vs. NY Rangers* (10/31/11) – 
169,000

*-was blacked out in one or both of the home markets.

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