Still Have Questions About NHL Media?

We’re still taking submissions for tomorrow’s mailbag.  It’s alright, but a couple more would make it more stout.  SMLepore@comcast.net is how you’ll find me.

NHL May No Longer Be Owner of Unfortunate Statistic

Remember two years ago, when we all thought the NHL was on death row as far as ratings on broadcast TV, and the ratings for a Stanley Cup Final game were the lowest in the history of broadcast television?

Well, now we’re just on life support, and that dubious distinction may be taken away from us by Notre Dame football, whom NBC had the good sense to air against better college football on ABC and the World Series on FOX.  Our good Paulsen on Sports Media Watch has the story:

Opposite the World Series on FOX and Saturday Night Football on ABC, Notre Dame’s win over Washington State drew a mere 1.5 overnight rating on NBC Saturday night. There was no comparable primetime telecast last year.

To put that in perspective, Game 3 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals — which finished as the lowest rated primetime program in the history of NBC — also drew a 1.5 overnight.

Well, let’s hope the final numbers are even lower, so we can take that black mark off our record.

VERSUS Could Potentially Air Notre Dame Football as Part of Comcast-Universal Merger

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has a must-read column in today’s edition, in which he talks a lot about what a purchase of NBC Universal would do for Comcast.  Here’s the most interesting potential note:

But Comcast also has its sights set on Notre Dame football. Sources said NBC’s deal with the Fighting Irish has a clause that allows a certain number of games to migrate to cable. Versus would be a natural place to house those games.

Versus also could have the right to re-air NBC’s Notre Dame games. And it could roll out pre- and postgame shows around them. In June 2008, NBC signed a five-year extension for Notre Dame’s home football games, a deal that extends through the 2015 season.

Adding some Notre Dame to the Mountain West and low-level Pac-10/Big 12/Ivy League games VERSUS currently presence would mean big things for the network as a brand in general.

JR to TSN, Dancing with the Stars?

We have a couple of stories on our favorite hockey personality of all time, Jeremy Roenick.  While we wait for him to take over the NHL on TV in America, it appears that once again Canadian networks have beaten VERSUS/NBC to the punch.  Sigh.  Anyway, Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star has our first story, in the notes section of a longer column:

New to the TV scene is former NHLer and current quote machine Jeremy Roenick. He’ll be a regular contributor to TSN’s Off The Record. The irony is that Roenick never is off the record.

Heh.  Well, it isn’t studio work, but it’s a start for JR.  That could lead into the reality TV world for the American-born star, says Lance Hornby of the London Free Press:

Jeremy Roenick tells AM 640 Radio in Toronto that there’s a “strong possibility” he will be performing in next spring’s taping of ABC’s top-rated show Dancing With the Stars.

Roenick says he was on the short list for the autumn portion, but was bumped for U.S. Senator Tom DeLay, an early casualty because of stress fractures in both feet.

As for his potential female partner, Roenick would only quip “I hope she’s hot.”

Really?  JR got bumped for The Hammer?  That’s a shame.  Oh well, honestly we’d finally watch that show just to see how a hockey player translates to the dancefloor.

Movie About Hockey Sounds Awesome

From Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, check out this great movie that former NHLPA head Paul Kelly is advising:

Kelly, meanwhile, has been advising on the casting and production of a movie, “Overtime,’’ to be shot early next year in New Mexico and Toronto. “It’s a sort of ‘Field of Dreams’ drama that puts hockey in a good light,’’ explained Kelly, who attended Thursday’s Devils-Bruins game at the Garden. Sidney Crosby,Alexander Ovechkin, and Don Cherry have agreed to cameos. Kelly invited Mike Emrick to fill a key “play-by-play’’ role. The story centers on mine workers in New Mexico who play the game each night on pools that freeze in and around the mine.

This sounds great.  With “Overtime” and Kevin Smith’s “Hit Somebody”, hockey cinema may be headed towards a rise again.  Well, after that tooth fairy movie with The Rock is over with.

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