Here We Go…

NEW YORK (April 26, 2010) – The starting time has been assigned to Game #7 of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Quarter-Final between the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. The starting time of the game, previously listed as “to be determined,” is as follows:

Game #7 Series A (Wed., Apr. 28 – Montreal at Washington) — 7:00p local/7:00p eastern.


Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 13 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Washington vs. Montreal, Game 6 (WSH Leads 3-2), 7:00 PM ET

National TV (Canada): TSN (HD)
Play by Play: Gord Miller
Color: Pierre McGuire

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play: Sam Rosen
Color: Billy Jaffe
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

Regional TV (Washington): CSN Mid-Atlantic
Play by Play: Joe Beninati
Color: Craig Laughlin
Reporter: Al Koken

Buffalo vs. Boston, Game 6 (BOS Leads 3-2), 7:00 PM ET

National TV (Canada): CBC (HD)
Play by Play: Dean Brown
Color: Greg Millen
Reporter: Cassie Campbell

Regional TV (Buffalo): MSG (HD)
Play by Play: Rick Jeanneret
Color: Harry Neale

Regional TV (Boston): NESN (HD)
Play by Play: Jack Edwards
Color: Andy Brickley
Reporter: Naoko Funayama

Chicago vs. Nashville, Game 6 (CHI Leads 3-2), 9:00 PM ET

National TV (Canada): TSN 2 (HD)

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD) Joined in Progress

Regional TV (Chicago): CSN Chicago (HD)
Play by Play: Pat Foley
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Sarah Kustok

Regional TV (Nashville): FS Tennessee (HD)
Play by Play: Pete Weber
Color: Terry Crisp

The NHL is a Bunch of Showoffs

NEW YORK (April 26, 2010) – yesterday set a single-day high-water mark for both unique visitors and video starts as fans flocked to the site Sunday to get all the details on two exciting overtime games Saturday (Pittsburgh-Ottawa & Nashville-Chicago), and to preview/review a pair of Sunday games (Detroit-Phoenix & Vancouver-Los Angeles). With five days still remaining in April, Sunday’s record-breaking totals added to the most-trafficked month in the site’s history. Overall through the first 12 days of the playoffs, unique visitors to have increased by 33 percent, video starts by 141 percent and mobile page views by 167 percent.

“By continuing to break records at and with all of our digital products, we are demonstrating that NHL fans are more tech savvy and educated than fans of the other major sports,” said NHL COO John Collins. “And by creating a deeper lineup of programming, we have been able to engage more people across more platforms and deliver impressive results to our advertisers.”

The positive news for the League’s digital platforms was matched by ratings increases for the NHL’s U.S. national broadcast partner NBC. Both weekend games on NBC earned a 1.3 overnight rating with Saturday’s Chicago-Nashville game up eight percent over last year (Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, 1.2) and Sunday’s Phoenix-Detroit matchup up 30 percent over 2009 (Washington-NY Rangers, 1.0). Through two weekends (four games) of the NHL Stanley Cup Quarterfinal Playoffs on NBC, overnight ratings are up eight percent (1.3 vs. 1.2) over the first four games of 2009.

Through the first 12 days of the NHL postseason, the League has experienced gains in all areas of the business: in-arena, on television (for all of its partners) and via its digital platforms. This continued growth highlights the NHL’s business momentum, further validating the NHL’s strategy of engaging its fans through the creation of an ever-expanding hockey marketplace with multiple touch points.



· Corporate sponsorship was up 20 percent

· New League partners this season include Geico, Starwood Hotels, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, LG Electronics and Hershey’s Canada

· Ad spending on NHL® media increased by 37 percent over last season

· ad revenue is up 50 percent over last year

· Revenue from big event platforms, led by the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, are up 22 percent over last season

· Unique visitors to surpassed last year’s record by 32 percent

· NHL Game Center Live™ subscriptions were up 25 percent

· NHL Network subscribers have increased by 104 percent

· Sales at were up 12 percent from last year’s record

· Viewership for NBC’s Game of the Week telecasts were up 13 percent

· Ratings for exclusive telecasts on Versus were up 20 percent

· NHL Mobile™ reached 1.6 million page views, an increase of 233 percent over last season

BREAKING: NBC Scores Matching 1.3’s For Weekend Playoff Coverage

All this info comes straight from NBC Sports:

Through two weekends (four games) of NHL Stanley Cup Quarter-Final Playoffs on NBC, overnight ratings are up eight percent vs. the first four games of 2009. This year’s games are averaging a 1.3, up from last year’s 1.2.

Overnight ratings for both games of NBC Sports’ second weekend of coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Quarter-Final Playoffs increased compared to last year. Chicago-Nashville registered a 1.3 on Saturday, up from a 1.2 for Pittsburgh-Philadelphia in 2009. On Sunday, Detroit-Phoenix scored a 1.3, up from a 1.0 for Washington-New York Rangers last year.

The local-market ratings for the first four games are:

  • Buffalo (4/17) 20.7
  • Detroit (4/25) 14.0
  • Detroit (4/18) 13.4
  • Chicago (4/24) 7.8
  • Nashville (4/24) 6.9
  • Phoenix (4/18) 5.3
  • Boston (4/17) 5.3
  • Phoenix (4/25) 3.8

Another “Will They? Won’t They?” NHL/ESPN Article

From John Consoli of Mediaweek:

“There is a good, healthy buzz about the NHL,” said Christine Merrifield, senior vp and director of video investment at MediaVest. “From an advertiser perspective, it’s priced fairly. and being able to combine broadcast and cable buys is good.” Scale may be the only factor working against the NHL. “The one downside is that it doesn’t have a mass reach that the other major TV sports have,” she said.

The uptick in hockey comes at a crucial time for the current rights holders. With Versus and NBC contracts set to expire in 2011, John Skipper, evp of content at ESPN, has indicated he’d like hockey to return to ESPN and ABC.

Jamie Davis, president of Versus, aims to hold on to the asset. “We took over the telecasts in 2005, the year after the lockout, and together with the NHL, as true partners, we have worked to bring the viewers back,” Davis said.

At least one media buyer is rooting for Versus. “If the NHL goes back to ESPN, it is going to get lost on a network that shows so many different sports,” said one national TV buyer. “On Versus, it stands out.”

The buyer added that the completion of the proposed Comcast-NBC deal would make a joint NBC/Versus hockey buy just as potent as an ABC/ESPN buy. 

NBC Affiliates Cut Hockey This Weekend Due to Tornados, Soccer

Sometimes there have been weird happenings around the world that have caused hockey to take a backseat.  The Pope’s visit to Yankee Stadium last year caused a playoff game to be shown on a hard-to-find channel in my neck of the woods.  Telethons, college hoops, baseball and other various things in various markets have caused hockey to find somewhere else to play.

Well, there were two examples of that this weekend.  First was a serious matter, as tornados ravaged the American Southeast over the weekend, coverage of the storms in many markets, including Washington and Nashville, a team playing in one of the games, pre-empted hockey for various lengths of time.  I was told that NBC in Nashville missed over 10+ minutes of coverage, including the Predators’ 4th goal in the game.

The other example this weekend is a little less… important seeming.  From reader Greg:

…for a previously scheduled Sounders soccer game. After the game ended, they joined the NBC broadcast in progress during the 2nd intermission.

In the past they have run NBC’s weeknight prime-time coverage of the Stanley Cup on sister station KONG 16, but for some reason this didn’t happen today.

Just an FYI since you are the specialist on this stuff …. AFAIK they have run all the NBC games this season live and in their regular dial position.

Greg’s right, NBC Seattle often just out and out places Stanley Cup Final games on another station in the market and airs local news coverage instead of hockey.  This is stupid.  I get that airing a local team is more important than a playoff hockey game, but find that other channel and place the important Game 6 somewhere in a market close to Vancouver, which is an NHL market.  What’s your take, readers?

Your Morning Music Breakdown

Lots of stuff to get to.  Happy Monday, all.  Ratings, NBC controversies, and other junk to pass the time.  It should be good.

It’s Bamboozle week again, so it’ll be songs from the festival performers again like last year.

Game 7 Detroit/Phoenix, 9PM Tuesday

NEW YORK (April 26, 2010) – The starting time has been assigned to Game #7 of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Quarter-Final between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings. The starting time of the game, previously listed as “to be determined,” is as follows:

Game #7 Series H (Tues., Apr. 27 – Detroit at Phoenix) — 6:00p local/9:00p eastern.