NHL On NBC’s Indoor Debut Even with Last Year in Overnight Ratings

According to Sports Business Daily (Subscription Req.) The NHL On NBC’s regular “Game of the Week” timeslot debut was even with last year’s.  The Rangers/Penguins game scored a 1.1/3 overnight, #2 in non-football programming that week (behind college hoops on ABC).

The matching game from last year, Rangers/Bruins on 1/18/08, also drew a 1.1.  This likely means the final rating will drop below a 1.0.  While it isn’t great considering the triumphant Winter Classic numbers, it’s a good sign that the NHL is staying on pace with it’s last NBC season.  With Penguins/Red Wings, the previous highest-rated game of the regular season (before the Witner Classic), coming up on Feb. 8 with little competition, the NBC Game of the Week is bound to improve.

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Universal Sports to Air World Championships, More European Hockey

It’s good that there’s a network aside from NHL Network that’s willing to go after some non NHL-hockey events, as NBC-owned Universal Sports is.  They are airing some pretty big European hockey events, such as the Champions League.  But it was this announcement that made me step back and think, “well, maybe these guys are for real”.  We should really stop talking to ourselves.  From NBC PR:

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS COMING SOON: Universal Sports will present exclusive live broadcast and webcast coverage of the 73rd Ice Hockey World Championships starting April 24 – May 10 from Zurich and Berne, Switzerland. 

Terrific news for hockey fans.  While the World Championships is never even close to approaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs in interest, some of us nutty puckheads just can’t get enough.  Some of these games will be on in the afternoon during weekdays, and it’ll be a perfect segway into some playoff action.  Here’s Universal Sports entire press release:

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Local TV Ratings Cavalcade: 15 Teams Up Half-Way Through

Thanks to SportsBusinessJournal for all this info, after the jump is the NHL’s local TV ratings “power rankings” of the 22 teams that were measured for the report.  Most of the teams are doing pretty well as far as ratings go, but we’ll rank the teams not by their %change up and down, but just by the numbers as far as ratings go.  Remember that market sizes differ, so an 8.7 in Buffalo might be equal to a 1.0 in New York.

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Puck the Media Interview: Pierre McGuire Talks Coaching, Preparation and Milbury

NBC/TSN Analyst Pierre McGuire

NBC/TSN Analyst Pierre McGuire

This is quite a perfect week to be doing this interview.  The internet and newspapers are buzzing about his intermission arguments with Mike Milbury on NBC.  But we were going to be interviewing the NHL’s top analyst, Pierre McGuire, regardless.  We happened to get very lucky that people are suddenly a little more aware of him in the states.  But really, if you’re a hardcore puckhead and you don’t know his name, where have you been?

We talked to Pierre about a few different topics, including Jaromir Jagr and – of course – those talks with Mike Milbury.  Enjoy

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Al Michaels’ Hockey Resume Pre-1980 Was Less than Impressive

That call still makes the hair stand on the necks of hockey fans who saw it tape delayed on a cold night in 1980, and does the same to dorky kids who had never seen it until they saw “Miracle” or looked it up on YouTube.  It is one of the most memorable moments in the history of Television, and it is thanks to Al Michaels’ call.  Michaels, as it turned out, had called little hockey before this.

How little?  Try one game, as he explained in an interview with HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that will air on Tuesday.  Via Neil Best of Newsday, who has the transcript of the interview:

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