VERSUS’ Big Playoff Get: No More Complete Blackouts, Alternate Games Will Be Televised in Markets That Have Local Exclusivity
April 12, 2010 2 Comments
From Mike Reynolds of Multichannel:
Now, Davis believes Versus, which bolstered its roster by adding 16 non-exclusive games as the regular-season wound down as a means to super-serve NHL fans, is poised for another strong Nielsen run, when the NHL playoffs face-off on April 14.
At a minimum, Versus will televise 50 postseason games, depending on how the series break. The first round is non-exclusive, with Versus picking up two contests exclusively in each of the series during the second round. Then, full exclusivity skates in during the conference finals, before the network again televises Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which averaged 3.2 million viewers in 2009, the most for the championship round on cable since 2002.
A key playoff addition: During the non-exclusive first- and second-round games, Versus will transmit other NHL postseason games into the blacked-out home markets of the participating clubs. Previously, it aired alternative programming in those windows in the local markets. According to Davis, this will provide more in-depth coverage overall and give fans a chance to see who their favorite club could meet in the next round, or afford them a better viewing option if the local game is a blowout.
“This was our first priority after last season. There was a lot of capital investment to ensure the back-up feeds and technology for this expanded playoff suite,” said David, whose not “sure what the Nielsen implications will be. I do know, it’s another way we’re super-serving hockey fans.”