Stanley Cup Final Broadcaster Conference Call Semi-Liveblog

So here goes with this, they’re setting up for a call with Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury to talk some hockey.  Also on the call are NBC’s hockey guru Sam Flood and VERSUS VP Marc Fein.  We’ll keep editing should anything interesting happen.

1:05 PM – The friendly Brian Walker is on the line!  He introduces everyone and lists the schedule for the Finals (still no time for Game 2).

1:07 PM – Sam Flood trumpets NBC’s successes this season (The Winter Classic, inside the glass as the industry standard).  Points out that he wants a 7-game series.  That’s what they’re rooting for, over any teams.  Announces Darren Pang will be with Milbury and Pierre in the studio.  Says everyone on the NBC crew is a hockey fan first and a TV person second.

1:09 PM – Marc Fein has quite a bit to trump as far as ratings, it’s been a terrific year for VERSUS.  Surprised he isn’t rooting for a 4-game series, but he wants a 7-gamer too.  Notes the studio show will be live from Mellon Arena, doesn’t appear to be Messier involvement.

1:11 PM – Doc Emrick tells that old story about John Madden not not feeling pain till the middle of July after the ’03 Cup, and a similar story about Sean O’Donnell after the ’07 Cup.  Gives a funny quote from Pierre Larouche.

1:12 PM – Eddie O, don’t ya know?  We have our first Marian Hossa storyline sighting, as Eddie cites it as the main story he’s following.

1:13 PM – Mike Milbury calls the Wings “the most intelligent team I’ve ever seen”.  He would know…

1:14 PM – Pierre McGuire notes that tempo will be a key factor, and that the Penguins won’t be intimidated by the theater of it.  Says this’ll be Osgood’s “I told you so” year.

1:16 PM – The amazing Neil Best asks about the effect of back-to-back games.  Pierre says players would prefer back-to-backs, Eddie O. thinks the more important factor is 3-in-4 nights.  Milbury thinks this favors the Pens.

1:18 PM – Flood talks about the inside the glass position.  Apparently Pierre used to coach Summer hockey with Flood’s dad.  Pierre discusses Petr Sykora’s guaranteed goal.  Pierre says there’s no editorializing, but there are some things you can’t say.  Players love having them there, because it signifies a big game.  Also notes that Doc and Edzo have allowed it to flourish, by changing the way things are done.

1:21 PM – Flood says that moving up the series is great because of momentum, and thinks VERSUS should get their best ratings ever.  Marc Fein optimistically agrees.  

1:22 PM – Pierre says Ray Shero wrestled with the coaching change idea for a long time.  Says he wrestled to it late in to the night, and calls him a man of honor, integrity and loyalty.  Says Bylsma brought an intelligent approach to the game.  Thinks the players are having more fun.

1:24 PM – Milbury agrees on the fun factor.  Says they were able to find more balance between offense and defense.

1:26 PM – Wyshynski asks about the Hockey Central lasting only 20 minutes last night.  He doesn’t really answer, but mentions the idea of bonus Hockey Centrals.

1:28 PM – Sam Flood defends VERSUS, saying “people like to whine a lot”.  Marc Fein lets the facts speak for themselves.

1:30 PM – Marc Fein believes there’s no negative to having two networks airing the Stanley Cup Finals.  Mike Milbury must be bored.  Flood compares the VERSUS/NBC relationship to the TNT/NBC hoops relationship.

1:31 PM – and that is it.

One Response to Stanley Cup Final Broadcaster Conference Call Semi-Liveblog

  1. Praveen says:

    how dare that guy call Versus critics whiners. Answer this, Versus defenders
    1) Versus execs stated that they are succeeding in getting more hotels to broadcast Versus. Really? Tell that to the many players who are unable to catch hockey games on TV while on the road. Hell, I personally can vouch for that as I travel on business. Then again, going from 0 to 5 hotels may technically qualify as a huge improvement percentagewise.

    2) What excuse does Versus have in not having a slightly earlier studio show so the coverage can focus on the arena festivities 10 minutes before the game starts? Is Versus really that jampacked with high rated programs that they can afford to have the bare minimum of broadcast time during the playoffs? If ABC and TNT can show national anthems or celeb sightings(not saying the NHL should necessarily have to show all of this, but just using them as examples), why can’t Versus show stuff like Cowher sounding the siren live? It makes good tv sense as the viewers would have gotten a kick out of cheering or booing Cowher. Hell, even if you didnt care one way or the other, it would have been fun to see the crowd get revved up by the siren tradition.Showing a soundless clip an hour plus later doesn’t qualify as great coverage.

    3) Why didn’t Versus do a better job of getting simulaneous broadcasting rights when the NJ-Carolina series ended after the NY series? They merely did live lookins instead of immediately going to the NJ game and staying all the way to the end for Game 7. Versus is also guilty of showing useless studio intro segues instead of just showing the freaking start of the Ducks-RedWings game when it overlapped with the intermission prior to the Chicago-Cancucks OT. Versus could have stuck with the Red Wings game until the OT started. Instead, they keep showing studio hosts saying “we will be back after these messages”

    4) Why doesn’t Versus have more games during the regular season especially during the final month?

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