Your Announcers and Open Thread For Wild-Blackhawks

Minnesota vs. Chicago, 8PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
John Forslund
Color: Andy Brickley
Reporter: Bob Harwood

NHL Hypes Increased Attendance, TV Ratings (and For the Devils!)

NEW YORK (October 26, 2009) – The National Hockey League’s® strong business momentum from last season’s record-setting year continued through the first 100 games of the 2009-10 NHL® regular season. Fans are experiencing the NHL across League platforms in impressive numbers, with the League on-pace to set records in a number of areas.

· Through Oct. 21, attendance increased or remained even for 18 NHL teams compared to the same number of home games last season.

Teams with the largest gains in attendance included the Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets.
· VERSUS’ NHL ratings through Oct. 19 were up 33% and viewership was up 10% from the same point last season.
· In Canada, all NHL national and local rightsholders are reporting significant viewership increases under the new viewership-measurement system.
· For the week of Oct. 5-11, NHL games were four of the top six most-watched sports programs on English-language television in Canada. CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada early regional coverage Saturday, Oct. 10, was the most-watched sports program with over 1.68 million viewers.
· For the week of Oct. 5-11, NHL programming comprised the top six most-watched sports programs on French-language television in Canada.
· Television ratings for 19 of the 24 U.S. NHL teams through Oct. 18 were up or even compared to last season.
· The Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils reported triple-digit percentage increases in local ratings through the first two weeks of the season. One-third of the U.S. teams had a 50% increase or more.
· Comcast SportsNet Chicago delivered its highest Blackhawks regular-season rating ever on Wednesday, Oct. 14, for the Blackhawks’ home game against the Edmonton Oilers.

· Unique Visitors to NHL.com for the 2009-10 NHL regular season through Oct. 17 rose 25% compared to the same number of regular-season game days in 2008-09.
· Through the first 17 days of October, monthly Unique Visitors to NHL.com were up 36% compared to the same number of days of October in 2008.

· Video starts for NHL.com rose an incredible 139% during the first 17 days of October compared to the same number of the days of October 2008.

· The NHL has been successful in securing new corporate partnerships for the 2009-10 season, including deals with Compuware and Enterprise.

· Sales for Shop.NHL.com are up 32% in FY ’10 compared to the same point in FY ’09.

· Sales at the NHL Powered By Reebok store in New York City are up over 11% in
FY ’10 compared to the same point in FY ’09.

· Orders for NHL GameCenter LIVE™ are up 50% this season compared to the same the same point last season.

· Seven of the top 10 most-trafficked days all-time for NHL Mobile™, including the top three, have occurred during the 2009-10 season.
· Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, is now the all-time top traffic day for NHL Mobile.
· The Pittsburgh Penguins this season launched an exclusive HD radio channel and are attracting record local radio audiences. The Penguins are one of the first major professional sports teams to launch such a channel.

Caps to Debut New Internet Show

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will launch Caps on the Fly tonight, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m., as WashingtonCaps.com gives Caps fans an opportunity to watch this new podcast live on location. The monthly, hour-long video podcast will broadcast live from the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington, D.C., on WashingtonCaps.com.

The first Caps on the Fly will be hosted by WashingtonCaps.com senior writer Mike Vogel, who will be joined by special guests vice president and general manager George McPhee and captain Chris Clark to discuss the state of the Capitals and the upcoming games. Fans at the Hilton Garden Inn or listening online will be able to submit questions for the hosts or guests.

WashingtonCaps.com, in particular its audio and video segments, has proven to be extremely popular with fans looking for more Caps content. The site saw its monthly visits increase by 95% in 2008-09 and its audio and/or video podcasts routinely draw audiences in the thousands (live and downloaded).

WashingtonCaps.com currently offers three audio and/or video shows that stream live and are available for download or viewing on the site: Capitals Report presented by Subway, a weekly show that airs Wednesday afternoon, PreCap presented by Scenic America, which airs at 2 p.m. on gamedays, and Two-Man Advantage, which airs at 5:45 p.m. on the evenings of home games at Verizon Center.

The Hilton Garden Inn is located in the vibrant heart of downtown Washington, D.C., at 815 14th Street. The 14-story Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown hotel delivers a refreshing blend of urban luxury and friendly hospitality. Spacious accommodations, a convenient downtown Washington, D.C., location, an array of lifestyle amenities and exceptional service make the Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown hotel a relaxing oasis from a busy day at the office or touring the historic and inspiring sights of Washington, D.C. To book a room log on to http://www.washingtondcdowntown.stayhgi.com.

Your Belated College Hockey TV Schedule For 2009-10 Season

Let’s be honest here.  We weren’t aware college hockey season had started until noticing Ryan Lambert’s (Two-Line Pass) column on Notre Dame in Puck Daddy last week.

Inside College Hockey features regional TV games as well, but we’ll try to generalize it down to national networks (ESPNU, CBS College Sports, Fox College Sports, Big Ten, NHL Network) after the jump.  Enjoy.

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