Your Announcers and Open Thread for Isles-Flyers

NY Islanders vs. Philadelphia, 7PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Joe Beninati
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

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Reviewing CBC’s Weekend: Habs Centennial Nearly Beats Leafs-Bruins

William Houston with his weekly numbers:

Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Friday, (Canadiens 100th anniversary celebration), 1.203 million; Boston Bruins-Canadiens, 1.101 million.

Hockey Night pre-game, Saturday, 523,000; Toronto Maple Leafs-Bruins, 1.453 million (well below season average, probably because of no regional telecasts with the national game); Game 2, Calgary Flames-San Jose Sharks, 810,000.

It was more festivity drawn, but still, the Habs game didn’t do all that worse on an unfamiliar CBC hockey night than the Leafs did in the usual timeslot.  Your ratings to date for HNIC are after the jump.

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Hawks Score on WGN

From Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business:

The bandwagon keeps getting bigger for the Blackhawks.

Saturday’s Hawks-Pittsburgh game on WGN-Ch. 9 did the highest rating for a regular-season game since 1989, with the exception of last year’s Winter Classic. WGN averaged a 3.2 rating for the entire game; 1 ratings point is worth more than 35,000 homes.

The rating nearly doubled to 5.7, as fans tuned in to watch the dramatic overtime victory. So it continues to be all good for the Hawks.

Right on, Chicago.  The Hawks continue to struggle to compete with the Bulls in the local ratings race, but building an audience takes time.  Intense games like the one in Pittsburgh on Saturday certainly can’t hurt in building the team’s ratings-base.

Broadcast News: It’s Still Not Looking Up For Canadian Networks

(NOTE: This will show up every Monday this week on Tuesday on Puck the Media. It’s something we did a couple of times last season. They were fairly popular, and people liked talking about them, so let’s try it on a more permanent basis this year, now that December is upon us.)

Playoff Matchups (If Season Ended Today):

Eastern Conference:

#8 Tampa Bay vs. #1 Washington
#7 Ottawa vs. #2 New Jersey
#6 Atlanta vs. #3 Boston
#5 Buffalo vs. #4 Pittsburgh

Western Conference

#8 Dallas vs. #1 San Jose
#7 Nashville vs. #2 Colorado
#6 Los Angeles vs. #3 Chicago
#5 Phoenix vs. #4 Calgary

U.S. Networks:

NBC: The Peacock is still in a bit of a tough spot here, with no definitive standout ratings winner of a series to obsess over for two weekends.  Pittsburgh-Buffalo would almost definitely be taken, because of NBC’s love of the Penguins, and the fact that the Sabres are an insane local ratings draw.

The other game is where NBC needs to take a chance.  I’m sorry, Washington fans, but this is not the year to gamble on Washington-Tampa.  The fact is, Ovechkin still isn’t a big enough national attraction, sadly.  So, why not see if Los Angeles-Chicago pushes the needle a bit.  If either game of that series draws over a 1.0 final rating on NBC, they will have sold hockey fans (at least) on another team to follow.  At the very least, establish the Hawks existence outside of the Red Wings.

VERSUS: VERSUS, however, would probably show as much of Pittsburgh-Buffalo and Washington-Tampa on alternating nights as they can.  That’d probably be the Monday-Friday rotation, with Boston-Atlanta or New Jersey-Ottawa sneaking in on weekends.

As for the 10PM games, They’d likely alternate between the four series when each pair were on the west coast.  Kings-Hawks will be shown when that series is out in LA, while Dallas-San Jose will be shown while those games are in the Bay Area.  Phoenix-Calgary can be fairly flexible, and alternate with Nashville-Colorado when those games aren’t in the mountain time zone.

Canadian Networks:

CBC/TSN Draft:

1. (CBC) Ottawa/New Jersey
2. (CBC) Phoenix/Calgary
3. (TSN) Buffalo/Pittsburgh
4. (CBC) Tampa Bay/Washington
5. (TSN) Nashville/Colorado
6/7. (CBC/TSN Alternating) Dallas/San Jose and Los Angeles/Chicago
8. (TSN) Atlanta/Boston

CBC gets the first two picks, and there are only two Canadian teams (Ottawa and Calgary) so there you go.  After that, it becomes a little sketchy, but TSN will bank on Crosby, while CBC pairs Ovechkin vs. Tampa with Phoenix/Calgary for doubleheaders.  To ensure Canadian fans will see all the games (as was done last year), the networks will flip Dallas/San Jose and LA/Chicago at their convenience so they can use the 10PM potential games as doubleheaders.