HBO Sets Dates For Broad Street Bullies Doc

BROAD STREET BULLIES, HBO SPORTS DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE LEGENDARY CHAMPIONSHIP HOCKEY TEAM, DEBUTS MAY 4 DURING THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

The HBO Sports documentary BROAD STREET BULLIES, a look at one of pro sport’s most polarizing teams, the legendary Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup championship squads of the 1970s, debuts TUESDAY, MAY 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) during the Stanley Cup playoffs. This exclusive presentation will tell the backstories of these engaging and colorful athletes, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975 with a bold, aggressive style that sparked controversy and criticism.

Other HBO playdates: May 4 (2:35 a.m.), 8 (11:00 a.m. ET only/10:30 a.m. PT only/3:20 a.m. PT only), 10 (8:30 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 12 (noon), 20 (6:00 p.m., 4:20 a.m.), 23 (9:00 a.m., 11:00 p.m.) and 25 (8:00 p.m.)

“This film explores how a group of characters, who also happened to be an extraordinarily talented collection of hockey players that enjoyed contact on the ice, formed one of the most prominent and controversial teams in pro sports history,” says Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports. “We are going to re-trace the steps that led to the love affair between the city and the team, and show how to this day these players are revered in Philadelphia and despised elsewhere.”

Playing before adoring fans at the Spectrum, the Philadelphia Flyers rose to prominence in the 1970s under the guidance of shrewd coach Freddie Shero. With larger-than-life figures like Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Bill Clement, Rick MacLeish, “Moose” Dupont, Bob Kelly, Joe Watson and Gary Dornhoefer, the team won many games, fought in just about all of them and made numerous enemies. The club’s popularity soared as their physically imposing and sometimes bloody style generated headlines across North America.

Although the franchise did not exist until 1967, the team rose to national prominence in just a few short years, and some NHL teams would see their home attendance double when the Flyers came to town. The club became a favorite of other hardscrabble cities and towns where blue-collar communities were taking an economic beating.

In a bizarre twist, singer Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” became the Flyers’ good luck charm. Eventually, the team that showcased players with gap-toothed grins, funny hair and goofy nicknames evolved into one of the NHL’s elite franchise. In 1976, the Flyers engaged the vaunted Soviet Central Red Army team in the finale of an exhibition series that would do little to ease the cold war tension between the two nations.

BROAD STREET BULLIES includes interviews include former Flyers standouts Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Bill Clement, Gary Dornhoefer, Bob Kelly, Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe and Dave “The Hammer” Schultz.

The executive producers of BROAD STREET BULLIES are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; produced by George Roy.

Interesting Study on the Demos of DC Sports Fans

This isn’t quite media related, but check out this interesting report from Dan Steinberg, with little factoids like this:

The Caps had easily the highest proportion of fans who lived in households with incomes of more than $100,000, at 59 percent. Region-wide, that number is just 41 percent, which means Caps fans are way richer than normal. The Nats were second, at 51 percent.

Now obviously, this lumps the most casual fans in with the die-hards, and it would be interesting to see how the numbers change if you just isolate people who regularly watch games. Still, here’s to making some more idle chatter.

Here’s to it indeed.  Check it out.

HNIC to be Streamed on Yahoo!… in Canada

Sorry, folks looking for a free look at the late HNIC game.  From William Houston:

Yahoo! Canada will begin streaming the CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada on Saturday, March 13.

Yahoo and the CBC this week announced the partnership, which runs through the end of the 2009-10 season including the playoffs.

In a release, Gina Cothey, director, audience, for Yahoo! Canada said: “It’s no secret Canadians love hockey, and as part of the company’s focus on delivering ‘wow’ consumer experiences, Yahoo! Canada wanted to make the experience of watching games even better. Hockey fans can watch their favourite teams in action and catch up on all the news and analysis from the hockey world just by visiting Yahoo! Canada. CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is an important part of Canadian culture, and Yahoo! Canada is excited to partner with the CBC to offer NHL fans this unique online viewing experience.”
Scott Moore, the head of CBC Sports said: “CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is pleased to be working with Yahoo! Canada on this initiative. Yahoo! Canada provides a unique platform for CBC to extend the best in CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada programming to Canadians. In addition to our complete line-up at CBCSports.ca, we’re ensuring that Canadians can experience Canada’s number one weekly sports program whenever and wherever they choose.”

Could Motion Sensor Cameras Be Next in the NHL?

From Honk If You Love Justice (Awesome blog name):

With the struggles of some sports franchises (especially in the NHL), this technology I’m sure will get a long look.  It’s called APIDIS, or Autonomous Production of Images based on Distributed and Intelligent Sensing.  They’ve talked about it at New Scientist.  It’s apparently easy enough to get basic ball tracking, but the system can be programmed to prefer including certain players more often (Bettman can have an across-the-board rule about Sidney Crosby!), and supposedly it can automatically adjust the camera angles to capture more of the action when needed.

ESPN has shown interest, but I could see this being looked at by teams like the Phoenix Coyotes or Tampa Bay Lightning, especially for road games.  A reduction in the amount of crew needed to be sent on trips would be seen as a cost benefit to the more cash-strapped teams, and would be a foot in the door for the technology.  I do believe ESPN has already called some soccer games remotely during the World Cup, this is the next logical step.  You could theoretically send only a couple of guys to set up the cameras (and not even that if they end up as permanent fixtures in arenas).  It’s definitely a technology to keep an eye on in the future.

Next up… the NHL On Chatroulette!

Morning Music Breakdown

Rough day ahead for me.  I may be in and out, but it’s a big technology day on PTM.  A new place to see HNIC up north, and a new way that hockey could be brought to you.