Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 22 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 3 (BOS Leads 2-0), 7:00 PM ET

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD, will air on VERSUS in Boston and Philadelphia)
Play by Play: Joe Beninati
Color: Andy Brickley
Reporter: Bob Harwood

National TV (Canada): TSN (HD)
Play by Play: Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Chicago vs. Vancouver, Game 3 (Series Tied 1-1), 9:30 PM ET

National TV (Canada): CBC (HD)
Play by Play: Jim Hughson
Color: Craig Simpson
Reporter: Scott Oake

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play: John Forslund
Color: Daryl Reaugh
Reporter: Billy Jaffe

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

The Daily Line Shuffles to Post-Hockey Timeslot

With little fanfare and hardly an announcement, VERSUS’ nightly sports show, The Daily Line, has moved to post-hockey recently, airing whenever the Hockey Central gang is done for the night.  For example, tonight, the show will air at 12:30 AM, while tomorrow it will air at 10:30 PM, and so on.  However, next week, the show flips between it’s regular ol’ 6PM timeslot and 12:30 AM according to VERSUS’ schedule.

While one could be pessimistic after the show being messed around with this early into it’s existence, I view it as a positive, as a ton of people are going to be exposed to the show, based on the NHL’s recent ratings surge.  I asked co-host Jenn Sterger about it on Twitter and she told me the post-hockey move is “the plan” for the future for the show.  Should be interesting to see how the show develops into more of a wrap-up show than a preview series.

UPDATE: VERSUS just informed Puck the Media that the show is, indeed, moving to “a late-night timeslot”.  Appears permanent.

VERSUS Beats ESPN This Week in Key Demo

Thanks to Eric Hornick for sending these key breakdowns from Neislen Media Research:

Adults 18-49:
TNT: 1.73 million, USA: 1.15 million, TBS: 903,000, History: 772,000, FX: 682,000, Discovery: 626,000, ESPN: 609,000, A&E: 573,000, Comedy Central: 570,000, VS: 565,000

Adults 25-54:
TNT: 1.67 million, USA: 1.25 million, History: 848,000, TBS: 739,000, Discovery: 641,000, A&E: 621,000, FX: 620,000, VS: 589,000, ESPN: 587,000, Tru: 519,000

It’s good to see the network posting stronger demo numbers than ESPN.

More on Good VERSUS Numbers

From Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek:

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, Versus on May 2 served up its most-watched Conference Semis telecast since it became an NHL partner, as Game 2 of the San Jose Sharks-Detroit Red Wings series drew 1.77 million viewers.

The Sharks on Saturday beat the Central Division runners-up 4-3 to take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series, in a game that delivered the biggest audience for a second-round contest since the Avalanche and Red Wings battled in front of 1.93 million ESPN viewers on May 1, 2000.

Also posting big numbers for Versus was the April 29 Sharks-Wings opener, which drew 1.45 million viewers.

The network’s first-round coverage averaged 595,000 viewers, making it the most-watched Conference Quarterfinals lineup since 2001.

A Somber Morning Breakdown

Ernie Harwell, the legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster, passed away yesterday at the age of 92.  You may be wondering why this is being mentioned on a hockey blog.  Well, so much of what I do is based on the fact that I love the art of broadcasting and play-by-play so much, and it’s something that I hope to do in the future.  It’s my ambition, and guys like Ernie Harwell show that there’s nothing stopping ambition.

I don’t know too much of Harwell’s legendary career, so here’s what NBC/VERSUS play-by-play man Mike Emrick, whom Harwell had a major influence on, wrote about the man back in 2008:

He never broadcast a hockey game, but he has had an untold influence in the lives of so many people, including a handful of us who DO broadcast hockey games.  If you ever met him, you would be impressed that such a man with Hall of Fame credentials would be such a humble, kind, wonderful soul.  Ernie Harwell has just passed 90 and has written another book about baseball and broadcasting.  I first had the pleasure of meeting him when he agreed to serve as an unpaid unadvisor to my doctoral dissertation on baseball broadcasting while I was a graduate student at Bowling Green in 1975.  I visited him at Tiger Stadium over 30 years ago during that time and we spoke in the middle of the afternoon before a night game about his profession, his life, and how the two were intertwined.  I knew that, in addition to his long career in announcing games, he had c0-founded the baseball chapel program.  Seemed as though this might be a real strong human being.  And, in meeting him, I found that he was, in a polite, amiable southern gentleman kind of way.  As I walked around Tiger Stadium 3 hours before a night game, a hockey announcer who had only a fan’s interest in baseball, was introduced to concessionaires, ushers, and a couple of people on the field.  His advice to a college guy just getting into pro sports broadcasting,” you learn that you need to ride the tide of change…because in sports, there is change in ownership or leadership on the field or the players in the lineup…there is often turmoil but you do best to ride the tide.”  I have thought of that so many times in my career, in the career of others, and in even the unblemished career of Harwell who was relieved of his job for a brief time by then-Tigers boss  Bo Schembechler whose credentials in the Wolverine State were nearly as strong as Harwell’s.  But, true to his faith and his life,  Ernie trashed no one, he didn’t grouse, he moved to other opportunities which had him back in the Tigers booth in very short order…not because he exerted himself in internal politics…but because the public willed him back.  He had been wronged.  Everyone knew it.  And, it was righted.  Now in his 90s with malice toward none and charity for all…he is still as loved as anyone in the state is.  Not only for the job he has done.  But, more so for who he is even to this day.   To have met and been influenced by such a man is one of the more fortunate things that has ever happened to me.

Rest in peace, sir.  On with our day now, there’s work to be done.