Your Open Thread For Penguins/Rangers (Or Bruins/Leafs)

Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers, 7:00 PM
Use of Local Broadcasts
Will Not Air in Pittsburgh and New York area markets

Toronto vs. Boston, 7:00 PM
Use of Local Broadcasts
Will Only air in Pittsburgh and New York area markets

Former Jets In-Game Host to Get Gig on VERSUS

As you may or may not know, I work at the Meadowlands as an usher (I got promoted at the new stadium!  Yay me!) during Giants/Jets games as well as concerts and major soccer events.  One of the things that used to annoy me ceaselessly during Jet games (besides the Jets themselves) was this nonsensical pre-game show that a young lady named Jenn Sterger would host.  Essentially, this pre-game would consist of her interviewing celebrities with very little interest in the game.  Solid breakdown.  She was replaced after one season.

Well, to be fair, the Jets kind of set her up to look bad, as they seemingly had no desire to separate her from the inept cheerleaders that franchise seems to think is a good idea.  Ms. Sterger however, is back, and now she’s taking a gig at VERSUS.  Also, she’s from my neck of the woods, a native of Hoboken (Where they are not akin to jokin’), New Jersey.

Remember that nightly show that was talked about a while back?  It’s come to fruition as something called The DailyLine, and it’ll premiere on April 5th at 6PM.  In case you’re keeping score, that’s right before a Washington-Boston telecast on the network.  No word on the timelength of the show, but one assumes it’ll be a half-hour or hour-long endeavor, and if VERSUS continues to air more pre-game Hockey Central episodes, it’ll likely be thirty.

Michael Hiestand of USA Today has more:

But, says producer Andy Meyer, the show isn’t meant to be any kind of knockoff. “Most shows have the same formula, with hosts in suits in front of a plasma screen showing highlights,” he says. “This show will curate what’s happening all over the Web that day. … And we don’t want to have a lot of people shouting about sports, there’s already too much of that.”

Instead, says Meyer, the show will continually field tweets, texts, calls and emails from viewers and use them on-air. With the show having an “unscripted” feel, he says, “we’re hoping we’ll hear from viewers that take us in new directions during shows. … The only master we’re serving is what fans care about.”

Figuring out exactly what such a master wants could be daunting. But ESPN2’s afternoon SportsNation already takes a stab at that by incorporates lots of viewer feedback and online elements — the show has about 650,000Twitter followers.

Meyer says The Daily Line— which, despite the title, won’t offer betting tips — will “have a huge presence of material from blogs, more than any other show.”

Honestly, this sounds like kind of a mess, but I’m willing to give it a shot before a game.  It’d be nice to have something to watch before the puck drops.  It’d be even nicer if, before every NHL game, we got to see a preview from VERSUS’ NHL talent, either in the studio or at the rink.  Plenty of good ideas can come of it, if the show can find an identity.

Here’s VERSUS’ press release, which gives a little more creedence to the idea that this might be trying to do a few too many things at the same time:

NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 4, 2010)-Do hosts in suits sitting behind a desk re-hashing stats each night sound like something you’d find on VERSUS?  The answer: %&@* no!  That’s why VERSUS is taking the old sports show formula and kicking it to the curb by introducing the network’s first-ever LIVE daily show – The Daily Line.  The one-hour show, hosted by Liam McHugh, Jenn Sterger, Reese Waters and Rob DeAngelis, will air weeknights at 6 p.m. ET, beginning Monday, April 5.

If you’re looking for a straight recap of the stories that have been online and on TV all day or last night’s highlights on an endless loop, you won’t find it here.  From Tiger Woods’ pick-up lines to Las Vegas lines, nothing is off limits for the hosts of The Daily Line.  The New York based show will dig deeper into the more controversial, and often out-of-bounds topics, while serving as a jumping off point to discuss the stories that break within the show’s hour.  Just like a morning show gets you ready for the day, The Daily Line will suit you up for a night of sports action.

“We felt that our first live daily show needed to present a unique voice and point of view, not just another cookie cutter format with hosts calling the highlights off a plasma screen. There’s too much of that, and there’s not enough originality and personality in sports TV,” said Andy Meyer, Vice President of Original Programming for VERSUS.  “The Daily Line will be unscripted and conversational, and most importantly, it will include the viewer in the conversation unlike any other show.”

Since no one likes sitting in their living room being yelled at by sportscasters who treat their opinions as gospel, The Daily Line will also be highly interactive.  Fans will be given the opportunity to join the conversation and discuss the day’s hottest topics by calling, texting, emailing or tweeting the hosts live during the show.

The show will be led by four hosts, all who have something different to offer viewers.  Liam McHugh, a contributor to ESPN the Magazine as well as a writer for Jim Rome is Burning, will serve as the main host for the show and will strive to keep his counterparts in check as best he can.  Jenn Sterger, who has been featured in Maxim and Playboy, is more than just a pretty face.  One of the most popular women in the online sports world, she will utilize her new-media savvy and her sports chops to serve as the main point of contact for viewers who want to voice their opinion live during the show.  And no, it’s not her personal phone number you’ll be calling.

Veteran stand-up comic Reese Waters, who won the annual Caroline’s Comedy Competition in 2009 and is currently on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, will give his unvarnished take on the day’s top stories by turning the headlines into punch lines.  The show will also feature handicapper Rob DeAngelis, a die-hard New York sports fan whose wealth of sports knowledge will increase viewer’s odds of ending up on the winning side of a bet.

VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD).  The network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR).  VERSUS also has partnerships with top sports leagues such as NASCAR, NBA and UFC and airs collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West.  The network is also home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else, including Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau.  VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

Pens-Sabres 2nd Highest Rated Regular Season Game Locally Ever

More Pens news today:

Last night’s Pittsburgh Penguins win over the Buffalo Sabres garnered the second highest NHL regular season rating on FSN Pittsburgh, according to Nielsen Media Research.  The game, which averaged an 11.73 HH rating, was the first for the Pens coming off the Olympic break and was viewed by more than 134,800 households in the Pittsburgh DMA.

“The buzz of the gold medal game no doubt generated a halo effect and prompted not only our core fans, but also many new viewers to watch the Olympic heroes’ return on FSN Pittsburgh.  This is evident by our second highest regular season rating of all time,” said Ted Black, Senior VP/General Manager, FSN Pittsburgh.  “As the Penguins keep winning and as they move closer to the playoffs, I think we will see more and more people tuning in.”

Thirteen of the Top 20 Highest Rated Regular Season NHL Games on the regional sports network have occurred in the current 2009-10 season.  The highest rating of a regular season Penguins game in FSN Pittsburgh history still remains the 15.9 mark for the first game during which Mario Lemieux returned to the team in December 2000.

Sid the Kid Part of Ad Campaign Featuring Nude Viral Videos?

(Yes, this was the most uncomfortable headline I’ve ever had to write in my entire life.  I apologize for you all having to read it.)

There has been a rash (get it?) of nude athletes in recent days.  First, Chuck Liddell and his girlfriend, Heidi Northcott.  Today, Chad Ochocino was spotted.  Could the next in line be… Sidney Crosby?

It appears so, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell on Twitter.  He says it’s part of a viral campaign that will include athletes from various sports to promote Reebok’s new line of shoes:

Other signed to wear Reebok ZigTech shoes (naked ads): Shane Mosley, Thierry Henry, Santonio Holmes, Sidney Crosby

I know, right?  SIDNEY CROSBY?  HIM?!? Now allow me to clarify… Rovell told us later last night that there was no guarantee Crosby would appear nude.  So feel free to correct me if this turns out to not be the case.  I guess I’ll search for some more details on this if I can.  I’ll report on anything new that perks up.  I mean, Puck the Media is all about searching for the naked truth.

Your Morning Music Breakdown

Today will be a big day at the blog.  A real interesting post at 10AM, and another at 2PM.  The stuff in between’s merely informative.  Enjoy the day.  I can hardly sleep.