P.C. Police Presses Charges vs. Mike Milbury, CBC


NBC/CBC Analyst Mike Milbury

NBC/CBC Analyst Mike Milbury

We’ve been wondering for awhile, in the overly sensitive culture we live in, why Mike Milbury’s use of the terms “pansy” and “pansification” in terms of NHL fighting hasn’t bugged any of the millions of special interest groups that exist across America and Canada.

Well, we have our first horse out of the gate so to speak.  The group is called Eagle Canada, a “gay advocacy organization” according to The Globe & Mail’s William Houston, who has more:

“That’s ridiculous,” said Helen Kennedy, the executive director of Egale Canada. “So it’s okay for people to go around using these slurs — derogatory, stereotypical terms against a group in society? That’s outrageous.”

Network spokesman Jeff Keay said neither Milbury nor Cherry intended to offend homosexuals by using “pansification,” a derivative of the word pansy.

“The point is, it was no way intended to be a reflection on or offensive to gay people,” Keay said. “I think the colloquial use of the term was something they didn’t associate with gay people. The way the language evolves over time, 20 or 30 years ago it would have been seen, reasonably enough, as a direct slur against gay people.

“But I think with usage now, I’m not sure the association is so immediate.”

Kennedy wasn’t buying the explanation.

“Words like pansification just further the stereotype and perpetuate the homophobic stereotype in our society,” she said yesterday.

I don’t think Don Cherry and Mike Milbury were looking to insult homosexuals with their comment, considering I don’t think Milbury or Cherry would ever admit to having spoken to one before.  Either way, I feel that Eagle Canada is taking this the wrong way.  Milbury isn’t right to use the word “pansification”, though, because A. it makes no sense grammatically, and B. it’s calling anyone who dislikes fighting a pansy.

Don’t you love it when everyone’s wrong?  We sure do.

The Return of Bucci to NCAA Hockey Play-by-Play

Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

This comes from the Q & A portion of John Buccigross’ ESPN.com column:


Been able to catch any college hockey yet this year?

Omaha, Neb.


I will start now. I just received word that I will be doing play-by-play of one of the four NCAA hockey regionals, probably the Northeast Regional in New Hampshire. Also, it looks like I will be doing intermission work for the Frozen Four, which is in Washington, D.C., this year. I’m really excited to be part of both assignments.

We asked Bucci this question a little while back during our Q & A, and he seemed hopeful and eager to do it again.  Should be entertaining, the regionals start March 27th, the Frozen Four is April 9th and 11th.

Rangers Move to Games to Local TV, We Need Hockey Historians Help

This comes from Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record:

MSG Network has moved two Rangers games and two Knicks games to FREE TV, which is probably good news to the few of you who don’t have cable television or subscribe to the cable sports packages. WPIX (Channel 11) will carry the four contests.
Rangers: Feb. 28 vs. Colorado; March 21 vs. Buffalo

Fair enough.  Good news for anyone in the New York market that still doesn’t have MSG.  But McMillan asks a more interesting question in his column:

For the life of me, I cannot think of the last time, if ever, the Knicks or Rangers appeared on WPIX. From 1966-89, both teams made their free TV home on WOR (Channel 9), and four games appeared on My9 last season. WNBC (Channel 4) has been assigned a couple late-season games in recent years. Naturally, WNBC, WNYW (Channel 5) and WABC (Channel 7) have carried national or regional telecasts are part of the NBA and NHL packages.

Any of our more elder statesmen reading the blog: Have the Rangers ever aired games on Channel 11?

If You Want To Hear Our Voice That Badly

We appear on “The Rink” with James Gralian and Tom Luongo for what must be a record third time.  It was a fun chat.  Listen here.

VERSUS Scores 1.1 Million Viewers For All-Star Game

VERSUS’ telecast of the All-Star Game was up 28% in viewers, 20% in households.  The Superskills went up 45% in viewers.  Overall, nearly 1.1 Million people watched the game across America.  We’re going to try and get some more detailed market-by-market ratings for you later in the day.  Here’s the VERSUS release:


NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 28, 2009)-VERSUS, the network that celebrates real competition and the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), earned a .9 national household rating which translates in to 697,576 households and 1,086,998 total viewers for its telecast of the 2009 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, January 25. All figures are according to Nielsen Media Research and VERSUS Research and are live+same day numbers.

Compared to the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, this year’s telecast saw a 13-percent increase in household ratings, while household impressions grew 20 percent and total viewership increased 28 percent. The network also saw increases across all key male demographics: Men 18-34 (up 53%), Men 18-49 (up 43%) and Men 25-54 (up 56%). Additionally, the All-Star Game telecast propelled VERSUS to the #2 rated cable network in the country among Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 and made VERSUS the #1 rated cable network overall in several cities including Boston, Buffalo, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.


Read more of this post

French-Language Viewers Raise All-Star Viewing Levels

This comes from William Houston of The Globe & Mail:


Canadians tune in when the NHL all-star game is in a Canadian city.

With Montreal as the host, Sunday’s all-star game drew its largest television audience since 2000, when the game was played in Toronto.

The CBC telecast was watched by 1.516 million viewers, just less than the 1.557 million who tuned in for the 2000 game.

The CBC drew its largest audience ever for Saturday skills competitions, 1.358 million, bettering 1.327 million in 2000.

The French-language Réseau des Sports, with distribution limited mainly to Quebec, drew huge audiences.

It pulled in 1.146 million for the Saturday skills competitions, up 139 per cent from last year.

The game telecast on Sunday was watched by 1.007 million, an increase of 144 per cent from 2008


Counting in VERSUS and CBC viewers, approximate 3.23 Million viewers across North America watched the All-Star Game.  Without VERSUS numbers, it appears 2.507 million watched the Superskills Show across Canada.  Good numbers for the NHL once again.

Hockey Only Beating Hoops on TV in Three Markets

We’re not going to make an enthusiasm gap joke here.  Basketball’s always doing better than hockey on TV, and that’s not what that subject was debated on.  The point here as that it takes a basketball team really blowing chunks to find a hockey team that can beat it in the ratings.

What follows after the jump is a slightly more detailed look at the NBA vs. NHL battle in markets where both teams compete.  We’ll feature the teams in the market’s current average attendance as well.  Enjoy.

Read more of this post

Washington Out-Rates Many Big Markets in All-Star Ratings

In the midst of a report on Capitals TV ratings vs. Wizards TV ratings in the DC market (More on that later today), we get this chestnut from Dan Steinberg of his amazing DC Sports Bog:

Brief interlude: The overnight ratings for Sunday’s NHL All-Star game on Versus came down strong for D.C. Our market ranked seventh in the U.S. with a 1.53 rating, ahead of “hockey-town” towns like Denver, Detroit and Chicago. The overall Versus rating was around 0.7, peaking at 0.95 for the shootout.

And we thought all the Caps fans were too busy complaining about how everyone got snubbed except for the great Alex.  Good news for the NHL that DC is strong as a hockey market, and not just a Caps market.  Though were certain that #8 had something to do with the big numbers.  Also, I’d like to know what the top six markets were if Washington was #7, ahead of Denver, Detroit and Chicago.  Buffalo?  Pittsburgh?  Who else?

Comcast to Offer NHL Network On Demand

NEW YORK / PHILADELPHIA -– Today, Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, and the NHL Network announced an agreement to offer the first On Demand access to NHL and hockey dedicated programming. Under the terms of the agreement, NHL Network subscribers can access in-depth hockey coverage On Demand including NHL game highlights made available only hours after game completion and at no additional charge.

From the latest news and game highlights to classic hockey moments, hockey fans can experience the NHL in a whole new way, anytime of the day, with some content available in high definition. NHL Network On Demand provides in-depth hockey coverage including delivery of condensed NHL games only hours after game completion, player profiles, historical vignettes, daily and weekly wrap-up content, draft coverage and top NHL Network programs including the popular series “NHL On The Fly.” NHL Network On Demand can be found on Channel 1 in “Sports & Fitness” under “NHL.”

Read more of this post

Your Announcers Tonight Are Split 50/50


Bruins-Caps, Tonight at 7PM on VERSUS

Bruins-Caps, Tonight at 7PM on VERSUS


I like it when VERSUS has a play-by-play man from one team and a color man from the other.  Here’s your announcers for tonight Boston-Washington showdown on VERSUS, which we predicted earlier in the day to be one of the top-rated games of the season:

Play by Play: Joe Beninati
Color: Andy Brickley
Reporter: Billy Jaffe
Studio Host: Bill Patrick
Studio Analysts: Keith Jones and Brian Engblom