Your Announcers and Open Thread For Jackets-Hawks

Columbus vs. Chicago, 8PM ET, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Joe Beninati
Color: Darren Eliot
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

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BREAKING NEWS: Comcast Purchase of NBC Completed

From CNBC:

The deal between General Electric and Comcast over a majority stake in NBC Universal is complete, and there is nothing left to do but process paper, a source close to the merger told CNBC Tuesday.

A deal is expected to be completed on Thursday morning, as the companies await Vivendi to sign an agreement over the the sale of its 20 percent stake in the entity, which was valued Monday at $5.8 billion, the source said.

Some expect it could take more than a year to close the transaction, as the companies await approval from the Federal Communications Commission. But sources think that ultimately, the deal will be approved by regulators.

Okay, We Lied: CBC Takes Milbury Off Hotstove This Week

This, however is the final word on the subject this week.  This may have been planned, due to what’s being done with him otherwise, but Mike Milbury will not appear on CBC’s Hotstove segment during the 2nd intermission of CBC’s Toronto/Boston broadcast this week.  He will instead be working the Maple Leafs/Bruins game as an analyst, though it is unknown if he is “inside the glass” or in the booth.

Replacing Milbury on the Hotstove panel with Ron MacLean and Pierre Lebrun is fairly regular CBC analyst Glenn Healy.  A spokesperson for the CBC informed us that if any further additions to the panel were made, we would be informed.  So maybe there’ll be one more Hotstove post this week.

We’ll have open threads and announcer listings for CBC’s special Friday night and regular Saturday broadcasts this weekend.

MacLean Not Blameless in Hotstove Mess

I’ve always been a huge fan of Ron MacLean.  To me, he’s what all the pompous American studio talking heads (Costas, Brown, Saunders) should aspire to be.  He’s funny, knows the right questions to ask, and is an excellent moderator.  He also can host just about anything and make it look credible, as his stint with Battle of the Blades proved.  Overall, MacLean does a fantastic job.

That said, it needs to be pointed out, he has a more than minor role in the whole “Hotstove has because raving lunacy and no fun to watch” mini-crisis.  MacLean has not only at times provoked Milbury and Pulver to go on their various diatribes, he has let Milbury be the bully, even allowing him to swear on national TV.  I’m no angel when it comes to language, but shouldn’t we keep the swearing away from the kids who watch Hockey Night?

MacLean’s duty should’ve been to dissolve the spat before it got on to a seemingly endless stream of hatred and fury so thick, it started pouring out of the screen.  He should’ve gone to the levelheaded LeBrun to quiet things down for a little bit, and then gone on to a new topic.  I’m sure Hockey Night feels it’s created some “Great TV” with this stuff, but I assure you, it isn’t.

Those are our final thoughts on this whole thing, and we hope we’ll have nicer things to say about the segment next week.

HNIC Ratings: Down Slightly Without the Leafs Early, Up with Oilers-Canucks Late

William Houston has his clock-like regular post on HNIC’s ratings this week:

The absence of the Toronto Maple Leafs cost Hockey Night In Canada at least 250,000 viewers on Saturday night.

The show’s 7 p.m. ET game, with the Leafs playing, had been averaging more than two million viewers. With Toronto idle on Saturday, a large segment of the southern Ontario market tuned out and the audience dropped to 1.783 million. Hockey Night aired three games: Washington Capitals-Montreal Canadiens went nationally, with Calgary-Columbus and Boston-Ottawa seen regionally.

The pre-game show continues to draw exceptionally well. It had 644,000. The second game of the doubleheader, Vancouver-Edmonton, was watched by a 1.202 million, well above the average.

Honestly, and not to be a Leaf-hater here, I think CBC will gladly take that number, but they have to be annoyed at the fact that they produced three games for the timeslot, including one featuring superstar Alex Ovechkin, and couldn’t match the feeble Leafs numbers.

Hockey Night’s average numbers for the season is after the jump.  The original HNIC ratings post has also been updated.

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