Early VERSUS College Football Schedule

This is the perfect topic for late night posting.  Here’s their early schedule of Mountain West and Big 12 games, more will be added later:

Sept. 12 – Texas vs. Wyoming, 2:30 PM ET
Sept. 19 – Duke vs. Kansas, 12:00 PM ET
Sept. 19 – Florida St. vs. BYU, 7:00 PM ET
Sept. 26 – Cornell vs. Yale, 12:00 PM ET 
Sept. 26 – TBD Pac-10 Game, 7:30 PM ET
Oct. 3 – TBD Pac-10 Game, 7:00 PM ET
Oct. 10 – TBD Big 12 Game
Oct. 17 – Princeton vs. Brown, 12:30 PM ET
Oct. 17 – Colorado St. vs. TCU, 4:00 PM ET
Oct. 17 – TBD Pac-10 Game, 7:30 PM ET 
Oct. 24 – Air Force vs. Utah, 4:00 PM ET
Oct. 24 – TCU vs. BYU, 7:30 PM ET
Oct. 31 – UNLV vs. TCU, 4:00 PM ET
Nov. 7 – TCU vs. San Diego St., 4:00 PM ET
Nov. 14 – TBD Pac-10 Game, 7:00 PM ET 
Nov. 21 – Harvard vs. Yale, 12:00 PM ET 
Nov. 21 – San Diego St. vs. Utah, 4:00 PM ET
Nov. 21 – TBD Pac-10 Game, 7:30 PM ET or 10:00 PM ET 

VERSUS will add 3 more Big 12, and 2 Ivy League games to the mix, as well as some possible Division II games.  VERSUS College Football coverage became quite legit last season, so we’ll see how they build on that.  It’d be big if they could land a bowl game.

Sorry We’re Late on This: VERSUS Scores Highest Rated and Most-Watched Telecast Ever. Ever.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 3, 2009)-VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), garnered a 2.6 national HH rating and averaged 2,955,348 viewers for its Game 3 telecast of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday, June 2, with the Pittsburgh Penguin’s 4-2 defeat over the Detroit Red Wings at Mellon Arena.  The game, which peaked at a 3.5 HH rating between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m., was the highest-rated and most-watched Stanley Cup Final game on cable since 2002.  VERSUS, for the 8:00-10:45 p.m. time period, was the most-viewed cable network in the country and the top-rated network overall (broadcast and cable) among all key male demos.                      

The 2.6 national HH rating is the best rating ever in the history of the network, beating both Lance Armstrong’s final ride (7/24/05) and Game 5 between Detroit/Chicago in the Conference Finals (5/27/09) which both earned a 2.1 HH rating.  Among average viewers, the Game 3 telecast topped the network’s previous high set during Game 2 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final (2,608,371).  VERSUS’ Game 3 telecast showed a 37-percent increase in HH rating (2.6 vs 1.9) and 19-percent growth (2,955,348 vs 2,479,977) in average viewership over the average of Games 1 and 2 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final between the Red Wings and Penguins.               

Locally, VERSUS garnered a 15.1 HH rating in Detroit and a 26.1 HH rating in Pittsburgh, making VERSUS the top-rated network (broadcast and cable) for the time period in both markets.  VERSUS was also a top 5 cable network for the time period in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, among others.                 

VERSUS entered the 2009 Stanley Cup Final with tremendous momentum based on ratings and viewership gains in the regular season and through each round of the playoffs.  The network’s coverage of the 2009 Conference Final round was the highest-rated third round on cable since 1998 with HH ratings up 25 percent and average viewership up 30 percent from 2008.  The third-round growth came on the heels of VERSUS airing the highest-rated Conference Semifinals on cable since 1997 and seeing 32-percent viewership growth in that round, 22-percent viewership growth in the Conference Quarterfinals and a 21-percent increase in viewership during the regular season. 

Look, We Just Can’t Muster Up Your Anger


Sports Soup Host Matt Iseman

Sports Soup Host Matt Iseman

Look, we feel a little responsible for not telling you about the fact that VERSUS aired Sports Soup after Game 3 of the Penguins-Red Wings (By the way, Eddie Olczyk would like you to know THERE WERE SIX PLAYERS ON THE ICE FOR THE PENGUINS!), then Hockey Central at 11.  Because we totally knew, and just kinda’ dropped the ball on it.  We figured you guys would find out anyway and then all would be well.  Maybe a few complaints, but in the end, nothing crazy.

Well I was wrong.  Turns out you are mostly really annoyed about this.  Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times-Union leads the angry parade:

As if hockey fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Versus, the network with the corny name gave them another tonight.

After the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Versus crew told viewers that they would be back in a half hour with “Hockey Central,” its postgame show.

A half hour? Why? Apparently the network savors its “Sports Soup” program so much that it’s willing to lose its hockey audience to air this week’s episode. Hockey fans were left looking for the NHL Network, which did provide postgame coverage.

You can read all 11 (mostly pissed) comments here.  But after the jump, we’ll tell you why this isn’t the massive deal that you think it is.  Cause don’t you all love being told you’re wrong?

Read more of this post

CBC Names Hockey Day Host for 2010. Yes, We’re Going to Talk About Sports Soup Later

Mark your calendars, Canadian hockey fans! As announced tonight on CBC Television during Game Three of the 2009 Stanley Cup FinalTIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will be heading to Stratford, Ontario, for its tenth annual broadcast on Saturday, January 30, at 12 noon ET. Host Ron MacLean will be front and centre at Allman Arena in Stratford for the 13.5-hour broadcast, paying tribute to Canada’s great frozen game, alongside the legendary Don Cherry. 

Headlining the wall-to-wall hockey celebration is the traditional big-ticket all-Canadian NHL tripleheader (match ups and times to be announced at a later date).TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA will also be available live and on-demand at CBCSports.ca.

“Stratford will provide a beautiful backdrop for our 10th edition of TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA,” said Joel Darling, director of production for CBC Sports.  “Stratford’s history of hockey and their vibrant community will help celebrate what has become a Canadian tradition over the past decade.”


“We could not be prouder,” said Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford and co-chair of the Stratford organizing committee. “TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA has become such a great Canadian tradition and to be chosen as the host community is such an honour and privilege. It builds on our world-class reputation for theatre and enables us to showcase all the elements of our community that make it such a great place to live.”

Stratford, ON is a charming Victorian city nestled in the countryside in Southwestern Ontario. With a vibrant cultural scene, including a famous theatre company, celebrated music and renowned restaurants the city has become a popular tourist destination.

Home to the world famous Stratford Festival, the picturesque city is also known for its rich hockey history. Chris Pronger, Ed Olczyk and Rob Blake got their start playing for the OHA Midwestern Junior B hockey team, the Stratford Cullitonsand the legendary, Howie Morenz (known as the Stratford Streak) also suited up in Stratford before the climbing the NHL ranks. Stratford born, Tim Taylor also donned a Cullitons jersey before going on to play more than a decade in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and another with the Tampa Bay Lightening in 2004.

Taylor is co-chair of the Stratford organizing committee in their bid to land TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA.  “Playing in the NHL you saw everyday the impact and influence that small towns have on the greatest game in the world,” said Taylor. “It’s just great that Stratford has been chosen because it is places like this where the game’s roots are deepest.”

Throughout the TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA broadcast NHL alumni will make guest appearances in the various communities across the country. Leading up to the game there will be a week of festivities planned in Stratford, including an NHL alumni game. More details on the events and players will be announced in the coming months.

TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA tenth annual broadcast on January 30 marks the continuation of an important Canadian hockey tradition. Winner of three Gemini Awards, TIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA was recognized for Best Sports Program (2004) and Best Host in a Sports Program (Ron MacLean in 2004 and 2006). Previous host locations forTIM HORTONS HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA include Campbellton, N.B. (2009); Winkler, Man. (2008); Nelson, B.C. (2007); Stephenville, Nfld. (2006); Shaunavon, Sask. (2004); Iqualuit, Nunavut (2003); Windsor, N.S. (2002); Red Deer, Alta. (2001); and Toronto, Ont. (2000).