Inside the Glass Coming to the Olympics

The great Richard Sandomir of the NY Times, a building I’ve been in before, has this story:

NBC’s production of Olympic hockey next February in Vancouver will include its “Inside the Glass” feature, with Pierre McGuire analyzing games from between the teams’ benches. It has been a part of the network’s N.H.L. coverage since 2006.

“Pierre makes it work at a level above anyone else,” said David Neal, the executive vice president of NBC Olympics. “He has a vast knowledge of the sport, so he can read and interpret the snippets of conversations that he hears between coaches and players, and their body language. It’s not a reporter’s position, but a third voice in the game. Our viewers have come to expect it.”

Neal said that the addition of the camera position at General Motors Place, the primary Olympic hockey facility, was approved “without a ripple” a while ago by the International Ice Hockey Federation; the Vancouver Organizing Committee and Olympic Broadcasting Services, a part of the International Olympic Committee. Both NBC and CTV, in Canada, will use the camera position.

All the United States men’s and women’s games will be carried live, mostly on MSNBC, with the rest on USA.

Pierre McGuire will work for CTV if it comes into conflict with say, a USA-Canada game.


NBC Hypes Game 5 Coverage

NEW YORK – June 4, 2009 – NBC Sports will broadcast Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. In the first Stanley Cup Final rematch in 25 years, the defending champion Detroit Red Wings lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 in Pittsburgh tonight. NBC Sports, the network home of the National Hockey League, is broadcasting up to five games in the series, all in primetime (see schedule below). 

Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty in the on-location studio show alongside Mike Milbury and former NHL netminder Darren Pang. NBC Sports’ coverage is produced by Sam Flood, the architect of the “Inside the Glass” analyst position. 

The matchup features some of the NHL’s greats, including Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal against Detroit’s Marian Hossa, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom. Hossa skated for Pittsburgh against Detroit last year. Detroit has won 11 Stanley Cup championships in their long history as an NHL “Original Six” franchise and the Penguins, two (1991 & 92). Twenty-one current Red Wings players (total of 40 times) have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup compared with just five for the Penguins. 

MCGUIRE ON THE SERIES: “If the Penguins win tonight, I think it becomes a home ice series and goes the duration.” 

MCGUIRE ON THE PENGUINS: “They are much more mature both mentally and athletically than last year. They have better chemistry. But the X-factor is Jordan Staal. He has to be better.” 

MCGUIRE ON THE RED WINGS: “The problem for Pittsburgh is that Detroit is so poised, so professional, that Pittsburgh has to play an almost perfect game, particularly in goal, to beat them.” 

STANLEY CUP FINAL ON NBC SPORTS DELIVERS HIGHEST VIEWERSHIP IN 7 YEARS: The Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports is off to the best network start to the event in seven years in both viewership and in household ratings according to Nielsen Media Research. Games 1 and 2 on NBC Sports (Saturday and Sunday night) averaged 4.87 million viewers, the best since 2002 (Detroit-Carolina, 5.35 million, Games 3 & 4) and 21 percent ahead of last year (4.04 million, Games 3 & 4, Wednesday and Saturday night). The two-game 2.8 average rating and 5 share was up 17 percent over NBC’s first two games in 2008 (2.4/4), and was again the best network start for the Stanley Cup since 2002 (3.4/7). NBC Sports’ Game 2 coverage of the Stanley Cup Final ranked No. 6 (tied) among all primetime telecasts last week in Adults 18-49. 

Game 4 Thursday, June 4 Detroit at Pittsburgh Versus 8 p.m. ET 
Game 5 Saturday, June 6 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET 
Game 6 * Tuesday, June 9 Detroit at Pittsburgh NBC 8 p.m. ET 
Game 7 * Friday, June 12 Pittsburgh at Detroit NBC 8 p.m. ET 

Puck the Media Interview: Daryl Reaugh on Finding New Words, Sid vs. Alex and The Tragically Hip

It is no secret around these parts that we think Daryl Reaugh is the NHL’s most engrossing analyst.  Never one to be cliche, always willing to be forthright and honest, and a never-ending laundry list of synonyms for the words we puckheads are way too tired of hearing again and again.  We traded paint with the man they call “Razor” and we hope you enjoy it.

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Hey, Maybe Bruce Dowbiggin and Chris Botta Have the Same Source!

Bruce Dowbiggin has done a solid job picking up where William Houston left off at The Globe & Mail.  He has more on the coming NHL/NBC extension:

Now, NBC and the NHL are set to announce an extension to their relationship for another two years, past the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Stanley Cup playoffs.

It will likely be a continuation of the no-money-down/split-revenues-after-costs arrangement that has existed since the two sides fell into each other’s arms after the NHL lockout in 2004-05.

At that time, NBC got an inexpensive property to fill out its sports schedule, while the NHL got the perfume of network respectability after locking out its players and fans for a complete season.

We’ll see if there’s an announcement today.  So far all we’ve got coming up is an NBC hype post.