Announcers/Open Thread For NHL Network’s Canadiens/Thrashers Broadcast

Montreal vs. Atlanta, 7:00PM
Play by Play:
Judd Sirott
Color: Bill Clement
Inside the Glass: Gary Green 

TSN Draws Huge Numbers on Trade Deadline Day

TSN’s annual NHL Trade Deadline special TRADECENTRE 09 attracted more viewers than all other Canadian sports networks combined.  TSN also drew a record amount of traffic online at TSN.ca and on TSN MOBILE.

Overnight data from BBM Nielsen Media Research confirmed today, TSN delivered an average audience of 182,000 viewers for its critically-acclaimed broadcast of TRADECENTRE 09.

TRADECENTRE 09’s audience levels peaked at 295,000 viewers from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET as the deadline quickly approached.  TSN’s average audience marks a 10% increase over last year’s TRADECENTRE 08 show. More than 1.5 million Canadians tuned in at some point during TSN’s 10 hours of TRADECENTRE 09 coverage.

TSN’s daily news and hockey programming also enjoyed huge audiences yesterday. At 6 p.m. ET, the audience for TSN’s special one-hour edition of SPORTSCENTRE was 115,000.  At 10 p.m. ET, TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE attracted 214,000 viewers. TSN’s MOLSON THAT’S HOCKEY’s audience was up 54% from its season-to-date average. OFF THE RECORD WITH MICHAEL LANDSBERG’s audience yesterday (11:30 p.m. ET) was also up 49% compared to its season-to-date average.

“Our team of NHL insiders and reporters work extremely hard to deliver the best possible trade deadline coverage breaking down all of the transactions with expert analysis and reactions from around the league,” said Phil King, President of TSN. “TRADECENTRE is one of those occasions where the synergy of all the TSN platforms – TSN, TSN.ca, and TSN MOBILE – work wonderfully to deliver sports fans complete information as it happens – no matter where they are.” 

TSN.ca recorded its busiest day of all time yesterday with 15.8 million page views, beating the previous high by 11%. This volume of traffic is more than seven times TSN.ca’s daily average. To date, the top three busiest days in TSN.ca history have been on NHL Trade Deadline Day.

TSN.ca’s live video and audio streaming of TRADECENTRE 09 served up a total of 1.4 million streams.  This includes new Ottawa SenatorPascal Leclaire, who found out he was traded by watching TSN’s TRADECENTRE 09 on his computer.
 
TSN MOBILE attracted a record amount of traffic with 517,000 page views from users with mobile devices.  TSN also sent out close to 500,000 NHL trade text alerts yesterday.

In addition to delivering complete coverage to hockey fans, TSN/TSN.ca was also the go-to source for trade deadline news for media across North America. TSN’s reports and interviews were sourced by dozens of prominent print, broadcast and online outlets throughout Canada and the United States.

Hockey Night in Canada Starts Charitable Fund

As announced on TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA, CBC Sports has launched the Hockey Night in Canada Help Fund to assist in making the sport of hockey available to the most number of Canadians. Established in 2008, the fund will provide financial assistance to eligible individuals and groups across Canada facing financial and geographical barriers an opportunity to participate in our beloved frozen game.

“We are very proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of hockey across Canada,” said Scott Moore, Executive Director, CBC Sports. “Hockey Night in Canada is a significant part of Canada’s culture and a huge source of national pride, and it is imperative for us to give back to Canadians by helping more people get involved in the game of hockey.”

To date, the TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA online auction, which included one-of-a-kind autographed memorabilia graciously donated by Tim Hortons, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), NHL and Canadian NHL teams, raised $10,000 for theHockey Night in Canada Help Fund. Green Shag Bespoke Clothier, creator of Hockey Night in Canada cufflinks, is also generously donating $50 from every sale of these exclusive accessories to the Help Fund. (Please visit greenshag.com for more details).  Plus, CBC’s entire portion of the revenue from the royalties generated by the Hockey Night in Canada anthem will also be donated to the Help Fund.

For more information regarding the Hockey Night in Canada Help Fund, including application process, rules and eligibility requirements, please visit CBCSports.ca/helpfund.

In addition to the Hockey Night in Canada Help Fund, CBC and the NHLPA are also assisting young people to play the game of hockey.  Since 2006, CBC’S HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA, in conjunction with the NHLPA, has raised more than $100,000 for KidSport.

In February 2009,the aforementioned TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA online auction raised a grand total of $20,700 – with half of the money raised going to KidSport New Brunswick to assist with the payment of hockey registration fees across the province. TheNHLPA’s Goals and Dreams fund will match the total monies raised ($20,700) via an equipment donation to KidSport New Brunswick.

Bruins-Rangers is Slightly More Interesting on NBC Now…

NEW YORK – March 5, 2009 – The New York Rangers, fighting for their playoff lives, host the Boston Bruins in the NHL Game of the Week, Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, presented in high definition. Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site at Madison Square Garden. 

“It’s always heated when it’s Boston and New York,” said Milbury. “Whether it’s Yankees-Red Sox, Jets-Pats or Rangers-Bruins, it takes on more meaning. The fans don’t like each other and that often carries over to the players and the teams.” 

MCGUIRE ON RANGERS DEADLINE MOVES: “The jury’s out on these. I hope Derek Morris has more than he showed in Phoenix and [Nik] Antropov has always underachieved. I think [Petr] Prucha and [Nigel] Dawes have tremendous upside but if this helps the Rangers make the playoffs, then I’m all for it.” 

“ORIGINAL SIX” RIVALS: The “Original Six” rivalry between the Bruins and Rangers dates back more than 80 years, with the Rangers trailing in the all-time series, 237-278-97-2. Milbury was front and center for the rivalry when, in 1979, he followed his Bruins teammates into the stands at MSG during a brawl, and hit a fan with his own shoe. 

This is the third meeting of the season between the Rangers and Bruins. Five of the last seven meetings between the teams have gone to a shootout, including a 3-2 Ranger win at MSG in November. The Bruins won the last meeting in Boston 1-0. 

ARCHRIVALS FLYERS-RANGERS FLEXED INTO MARCH 15 “GAME OF THE WEEK”: The Sunday, March 15 contest between the New York Rangers and their longtime nemesis the Philadelphia Flyers has been selected for the “NHL Game of the Week” on NBC. Puck drop at Madison Square Garden is at 12:30 p.m. ET. 

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Your Mid-Day YouTube Compulsory: Doc and JD call Forsberg’s Postage Stamp Goal

Could NBC Be Planning to Show Devils/Bruins After All?

 

 

Jay Bouwmeester

Jay Bouwmeester

From televising the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final to this, could NBC be having a bit of a change of heart?  From George Richards of the Miami Herald:

The teams meet again Tuesday at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, then face each other on April 5 in Sunrise. That game is expected to be televised nationally by NBC. With the Eastern Conference standings stacked so closely — coming into Thursday just four points separated fifth-seeded Montreal from No. 10 Carolina — each game takes on added significance.

That’s interesting.  Could NBC have been planning to spread it’s coverage around after all?  Were they really that brilliant?  No.  Because this means that NBC will make it 7 out of 10 games with only Eastern Conference teams, and the Minnesota Wild will get ignored for a national TV appearance.  Because you cannot make everyone happy.

But were cool if it gets Marty and the boys on National TV.  We’ll know on Sunday.

Al Michaels is Totally Not at the Olympics to Call Hockey. Cause That Would Be Terrible…

 

 

Al Michaels

Al Michaels

You may have notied this news in the general sports blogs yesterday, we’ll offer our take on it shortly.  Al Michaels is back at the Olympic Games, where he made his name calling hockey, as… the daytime host on NBC.  Hooray?  From NBC PR:

EW YORK – March 5, 2009 – Emmy Award winner Al Michaels, one of the most renowned broadcasters of all-time and whose legendary “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” call at the Lake Placid Olympics 30 years ago stands as the most famous call in sports television history, will serve as host of NBC’s live weekend and weekday daytime coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The announcement was made today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. 

So… he’ll have some role in the hockey competition, right?  Wrong.  But why?  Dick Ebersol knows why:

The thought never crossed my mind (for Al to call hockey games in Vancouver), because Al, like all of us, thinks that Doc (Emrick) is the preeminent hockey announcer right now this time. He just went into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was nominated last year for best play-by-play Emmy in a category that Al, in fact, won. I never even have to think about those things with both Al and Bob.” 

Well, okay.  We all know that Doc is the best, but there are games that he simply can’t call!  Dave Strader can’t call every game either, and Chris Cuthbert is working for CTV/Sportsnet.  It all continues this ongoing story of who the hell is calling the Olympics for NBC.  But we know Al Michaels isn’t involved.  Oh well, he leaves us with more on the story of how he got involved with Olympic Hockey, and a great LA Kings joke as a parting shot.  Enjoy:

 “I was the one guy on the ABC staff, and it was a phenomenal staff that started with Jim McKay and Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, Keith Jackson to Chris Schenkel, a lot of very, very high-profile terrific people, and I just happened to be the only guy who had ever done a hockey game. I had beaten everyone on the staff 1-0. When Ken Dryden retired from the Montreal Canadiens after a spectacular and short career, he had gone into New York to talk to the people at ABC about perhaps being the analyst for the 1980 Olympics. I didn’t know Ken, but he had mentioned to somebody in that meeting that ‘hey, you guys have Michaels under contract. I watched him call a game in the ’72 Olympics, what about him?’ That got them to think about me as well. When it came down to the end of it, I was the only guy on the staff who had done one hockey game and I actually knew what icing and offside were, so you put all those things together. The irony is, as a kid I loved hockey. I’ve had Los Angeles Kings season tickets for 20 years, to show you what a sick hockey fan I am. That really tests the limits. All those crazy things happened, and I wound up sitting in that field house at Lake Placid on February 22, 1980.” 

NBC to Broadcast Games 1 & 2, 5-7 of Stanley Cup Finals, VERSUS to Air Games 3 & 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll get to why exactly this is earth-shattering news, to the point where we built it up shortly.  Let’s go at it from the start.  NBC released it’s PR for the Bruins-Rangers game yesterday, which is what they usually do for the NBC Game of the Week.  We took a quick look at it to see if there was anything interesting, and moved on.  We went back to it, quite by accident, by clicking on the wrong link.  So we decided to read it again, and in this PR, it listed something we hadn’t seen before:

NBC will also broadcast weekend games throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and up to five Stanley Cup Final games (Games 1, 2, 5, 6 & 7). 

That certainly captured my attention.  We immediately E-Mailed Brian Walker of NBC Universal’s crack PR team, who confirmed the situation.  Our E-Mail to the NHL hasn’t been answered as of post time, but we will update it once they respond (UPDATE 5:40PM: The NHL has since confirmed the story to Puck the Media as well).  

As you all know, since 2000, games 1 & 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals have aired on cable (ESPN or VERSUS) and games 3-7 have aired on broadcast television (ABC or NBC).  This is the first major shakeup of the Stanley Cup Finals in a decade, since FOX and ESPN used to randomly split the games.  This is a different situation, and we will tell you why we like it.

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