Puck the Media Conference Final Superschedule

American

May 16
3:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1 (NBC)
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 1 (VERSUS)

May 18
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (VERSUS)
10:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 2 (VERSUS)

May 20
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 3 (VERSUS)

May 21
8:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 3 (VERSUS)

May 22
3:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 4 (NBC)

May 23
3:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 4 (NBC)

May 24
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 (VERSUS)

May 25
9:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 5 (VERSUS)

May 26
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 6 (VERSUS)

May 27
8:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 6 (VERSUS)

May 28
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 7 (VERSUS)

May 29
8:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 7 (VERSUS)

Canadian

May 16
3:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1 (TSN)
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 1 (CBC)

May 18
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (CBC)
10:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 2 (TSN)

May 20
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 3 (CBC)

May 21
8:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 3 (TSN)

May 22
3:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 4 (CBC)

May 23
3:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 4 (TSN)

May 24
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 (CBC)

May 25
9:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 5 (TSN)

May 26
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 6 (CBC)

May 27
8:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 6 (TSN)

May 28
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 7 (CBC)

May 29
8:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 7 (TSN)

Night-by-Night

May 16
3:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1 (NBC/TSN)
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 1 (VERSUS/CBC)

May 18
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (VERSUS/CBC)
10:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 2 (VERSUS/TSN)

May 20
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 3 (VERSUS/CBC)

May 21
8:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 3 (VERSUS/TSN)

May 22
3:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 4 (NBC/CBC)

May 23
3:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 4 (NBC/TSN)

May 24
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 (VERSUS/CBC)

May 25
9:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 5 (VERSUS/TSN)

May 26
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 6 (VERSUS/CBC)

May 27
8:00
San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 6 (VERSUS/TSN)

May 28
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 7 (VERSUS/CBC)

May 29
8:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 7 (VERSUS/TSN)

TSN Apparently Only Televising Games 1-3 of West Final, Choosing Cuthbert Over Miller

Huh.  This contradicts the NHL release:

TSN will have live coverage of the opening three games of the  San Jose-Chicago series as the network today announced its broadcast schedule for the Third Round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Featuring some of the NHL’s biggest stars – Jonathan Toews, Joe Thornton,Patrick Kane and Dany Heatley – TSN’s coverage of the Western Conference Final gets underway on Sunday, May 16 with Game 1: Chicago @ San Jose at 2:30 p.m. ET (complete broadcast schedule to be confirmed later tonight).

All games are available in High Definition and on-demand at TSN.ca.

TSN’s coverage of the Western Conference Final has play-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert and game analyst Pierre McGuire calling action from the broadcast booth.  NHL ON TSN host James Duthie will be joined in studio for pre-games and intermissions by Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger along with analyst Ray Ferraro.

On Saturday, May 15 at 7 p.m. ET, TSN tees up the Conference Finals with That’s Hockey Playoff edition: Conference finals preview. Gino Reda hosts the 60-minute show featuring TSN’s team of experts and Insiders, as they preview both Conference Final match-ups.

TSN’s flagship news program, SPORTSCENTRE, covers both playoff series with daily highlights, reports and in-depth analysis from TSN’s correspondents and hockey experts during the Conference Finals.

TSN.ca continues to be the definitive online destination for hockey fans in Canada, as Canada’s leading sports website features all the latest news, analysis, interviews and game highlights, plus insightful hockey articles and live blogs from TSN’s hockey experts.  Fans can also keep up with all the post-season action during the NHL Playoffs with up-to-the-minute news on TSN Mobile and the TSN App for iPhone, and daily playoff discussions on TSN’s popular Fan Page on Facebook.

TSN’s NHL Playoffs Broadcast Schedule
Western Conference Final: San Jose vs. Chicago
• Game 1: Chicago @ San Jose – Sunday,  May 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET
• Game 2: Chicago @ San Jose –  To be confirmed
• Game 3: San Jose @ Chicago –  To be confirmed

NBC Promotes Weekend Coverage

NEW YORK – May, 14, 2010 – The No. 1 seed San Jose Sharks will host the No. 2 seed Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.

Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action . McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury.

The Sharks finished the regular season first in the Western Conference with 113 points, but Chicago was only one point behind with 112 and registered more wins (52) than San Jose (51). The Blackhawks won the season series, 3-1. The teams have never met in the playoffs.

MC GUIRE: “There is so much skill and speed involved in this series. It’s going to be a spectacular watch. There’s some serious firepower on both sides. It’s going to be like a come-to-the-skills party. But most of these skills players also play physical. It’s really going to be something special to watch.”

This is San Jose’s first appearance on NBC Sports this season. Chicago is 2-2, including three games that went into overtime.

NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSPORTS.COM’s “Star-cam” continues in the playoffs. “Star-cam” tracks a player(s) from both teams throughout each of their shifts. Following the game, NBCSPORTS.COM will present bonus material, including “Star-cam” and “Net-cam” and bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators.

Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 30 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 7, 7:00 PM ET

Special NOTE: Join me in Puck Daddy’s Livechat for the game for some humor and legitimate discussion… mostly the former.

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play: Joe Beninati
Color: Billy Jaffe
Reporter: Bob Harwood

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

Regional TV (Philadelphia): CSN Philadelphia (HD)
Play by Play: Jim Jackson
Color: Bill Clement
Reporter: Steve Coates

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

Enjoy Your Conf. Final Schedule, We’ll Post Superschedule After the Game

Here.

Viewer Levels Big For Game 7 on CBC, RDS, VERSUS, FS Pittsburgh

NEW YORK (May 14, 2010) – Canadians were glued to CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Wednesday night as Game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins drew an average audience of 4.24 million viewers, ranking as the sixth largest Stanley Cup Playoff audience in CBC history. CBC’s Conference Semifinal average was up 94 percent over last year, averaging 2.66 million viewers compared to 1.37 million last year. On French language RDS, the Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 was the most-viewed NHL telecast in the network’s history with 2.69 million viewers.

The game also scored on VERSUS as well as locally on FSN Pittsburgh. On VERSUS, the Penguins-Canadiens Game 7 posted a 1.3 HH rating and 1.31 million viewers, up 30 percent and 15 percent from last year’s Pittsburgh/Washington Game 7 which delivered a 1.0 rating and 1.14 million viewers. The game averaged a 26.4 HH rating on FSN Pittsburgh, the highest-rated game ever on the network. At one point 43 percent of all households in the Pittsburgh DMA were tuned into FSN.

Also setting a record was the Philadelphia Flyers/Boston Bruins Game 6 which was the most-watched Flyers game in CSN Philadelphia history, earning a 10.1 HH rating and peaking at 14.0.

As the Eastern Conference Semifinal concludes with tonight’s Flyers- Bruins Game 7, the compelling action on the ice is helping to fuel substantial business success off the ice. All North American TV partners are showing strong increases in viewership, the NHL’s digital platforms are experiencing explosive growth, and attendance is averaging above capacity.

TV MILESTONES IN THE 2010 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

· NESN earned a 10.3 HH rating in Boston Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal, the third highest Bruins game rating in NESN’s 26 year history covering the team.

· There were three major Boston-area sports events televised on May 7 and Game 4 of the Bruins-Flyers series scored the best numbers, earning an 8.3 local Nielsen rating (328,000 viewers) on VERSUS in the Boston metered market besting the Yankees-Red Sox matchup on NESN, which earned a 6.3 local rating (223,000 viewers) to finish in second, while Game Three of the Cavaliers-Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals earned a 4.1 local rating (142,000 viewers) on ESPN.

· On Thursday April 22, the Blackhawks, with 278,000 viewers in Chicago, prevailed over some tough local competition: Bulls (255,000 viewers, playoff game against Cleveland and LeBron James), NFL Draft (138,000) and the Chicago Cubs vs. NY Mets (137,000 viewers).

· Combined, NBC and VERSUS averaged 742,000 viewers per telecast, the most for the first round since ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 750,000 viewers in 2000 and a 24-percent increase over last year.

· VERSUS’ average viewership of 595,000 for the first round of the playoffs was the best for the NHL on U.S. cable in nine years (ESPN/ESPN 2, 608,000 in 2001).

· Game 2 of the Detroit/San Jose series averaged 1.772 million viewers, making it VERSUS’ most-watched Conference Semifinal game in network history and the most-watched second-round game on cable in a decade (Colorado/Detroit, May 1, 2000 on ESPN, 1.926 million).

· The Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest rated (1.2 HH rating) and most watched (1.2 million viewers) Conference Quarterfinal game ever on VERSUS, and the most watched Conference Quarterfinal game on U.S. cable since Minnesota-Colorado in 2003 on ESPN.

· TSN’s audience of 2.8 million for the Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest audience ever recorded for an NHL game on TSN and was the most-watched program on Canadian television Wednesday night in all key demographics.

· The Montreal-Washington series ranks as the most-watched playoff series ever on TSN (any round) with an average audience of 1.8 million viewers over seven games.

VERSUS GROWS SECOND-ROUND VIEWERSHIP BY MORE THAN 30%

Through Wednesday night’s games, VERSUS’ Conference Semifinal round coverage has averaged a 1.0 HH rating and 1.05 million viewers, which is up 25 percent and 32 percent, respectively, as compared to the same time period last year (.8 HH rating and 793,000 viewers).

NHL ON NBC VIEWERSHIP UP 4%

NBC Sports’ six playoff broadcasts are averaging 1.71 million viewers, up four percent compared to 2009 (1.64 million).

TSN VIEWERSHIP UP 78%

Through Wednesday, TSN is averaging 1.06 million viewers for the playoffs, 78 percent higher than its average audience to date last year (595,000 viewers).

CBC VIEWERSHIP UP 65%

The Conference Semifinal round on CBC averaged 2.66 million viewers, an 87 percent jump over last year (1.42 million).

Through Wednesday, CBC has averaged 1.86 million viewers for the playoffs, a 65 percent increase over last year (1.13 million viewers).

NHL ON RDS UP 90%

Through Wednesday, the Stanley Cup Playoffs on RDS are averaging 685,000 viewers, up 90% over last year.

DIGITAL STRATEGY PAYS DIVIDENDS

The NHL is engaging and connecting with more fans than ever on its digital platforms and the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs has continued that trend. Some highlights:

· For the first 29 days of the playoffs, video starts on NHL.com are up 143 percent over last year

· Unique visitors to NHL.com are up 31 percent

· Page views on NHL.com are up 49 percent

· Mobile page views are up 191 percent

· April was the most trafficked month in the history of NHL.com in terms of unique visitors surpassing 17 million

FULL HOUSES

The NHL has played to more than 100 percent capacity during these playoffs.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NHL’S RECORD-BREAKING BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2009-10

· 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

· NHL.com 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 NHL.com 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 SHOP.NHL.com 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

Source: Nielsen Media Research US and Nielsen Media Research Canada / BBM

Blackhawks Do Big Ratings on VERSUS, Rocky Wirtz Continues to Be Unsatisfied

From Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times:

From there to Tuesday’s 5-1 clincher, the warriors of Wirtz were golden for both webs. Versus jumped to an 8.8 (10.1 peak) in Game 4, and CSN closed with a 9.4 in Game 5 and a 9.9 in Game 6.

The jump-up on Versus in Chicago could be significant for the direction of the NHL on cable.

The league’s contract with the ”V” — formerly the Outdoor Life Network — expires after next season.

Wirtz has made it known he would prefer an effort by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and staff to get the league on more-marqueed cable.

That could be overcrowded ESPN, or perhaps even Turner, which recently partnered with CBS Sports to assist with the massive TV fees for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The Daily Line: Making Hockey More Fun Than VERSUS Shows That Are Actually Dedicated to Hockey

Back in 1995, ESPN debuted a show called NHL2Night.  It was a show that dedicated 30 minutes every night to the NHL and it’s games and highlights.  It would air five nights a week, including after any game that ESPN or ESPN2 aired.  It had a golden era from 1998-2004, when John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and sometimes Ray Ferraro spent every night being entertaining, informed and passionate.  But above all, let’s be honest, they entertained.  Buccigross’ schtick can run thin at times, but it never felt that way when he talked NHL.  It just came off as a passionate guy trying to tell you about his sport in the most fun way possible.

Currently, VERSUS airs the National Hockey League and airs a show called Hockey Central.  It typically airs two nights a week, after VERSUS broadcasts of NHL games, but it picked up to three and four nights in the last weeks of this season (as broadcasts per week increased) and now airs pretty much every night during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  You can tell that the host, Bill Patrick, and the analysts, Keith Jones and Brian Engblom, love the sport and are doing the best they can.  They have made improvements (360 cam is awesome) and are trying new people out, but frankly, the show is still about as exciting as an episode of Meet the Press in a non-election year.

After it’s NHL coverage, VERSUS airs a show called The Daily Line.  Though technically a show dedicated to all sports, it has been focused on hockey for almost 3/4ths of the show since the telecasts have been hockey-centric.  Former New Jersey Devils defenseman and current Devils analyst on MSG Plus, Ken Daneyko has been what is essentially a co-host.  He has been entertaining, funny, and informative (a bit on Wednesday in which Daneyko, in-depth, explained fighting was hilarious, and could be useful if they taught… some other aspects of hockey) and has given the show a little personality from the real world of sports.

Also on the show has been frequent phoned-in guest Jeremy Roenick, a 500-goal scorer and outspoken analyst who hasn’t found himself a regular gig since retiring.  He’s been everything advertised, but a little bit restrained due to the fact that he’s on the phone.  In a studio, especially on NBC’s Olympic coverage, he was great.  He can be an exciting, anything-goes presence that the NHL on TV desperately needs.  Maybe not as outrageous as Charles Barkley, but there’s a chance for him to make a name for himself, and The Daily Line is certainly not deterring those notions.

In addition to those two, Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski has been calling into the show for them this week and quite a few times in the shows existence.  As I know from personal experience, Wyshynski is typically a hilarious, knowledgeable presence on a network which airs hockey telecasts that usually rely on people who are only knowledgeable, not entertaining or funny.  I’ve found myself more interested in the occasionally neutered, but mostly highly watchable (shocking for American hockey chat) episodes of this show.

So a suggestion for VERSUS: Dump the current Hockey Central panel.  Dump the desk format, but keep the studio.  Allow a flexible studio show with Wyshynski, Daneyko and Roenick every night, debating hockey and doing a little bit of educating on the sport for the people who still think casual fans need to be pandered to.  If anyone’s going to pander to the viewers, why not let it be these guys?  You’ve got the former superstar in Roenick, the rough-and-tumble, surprisingly well-liked Daneyko, and the regular guy in Wyshynski who can just talk hockey without the typical player-speak.

Oh, and hosting?  Aw, what the hell, let’s just give Jenn Sterger more time on TV.  I can’t say I thought out all of this that well.  But why not?  If you give it time to develop, there can be a Don Cherry-esque “what are they gonna’ do?” factor to a revamped Hockey Central that the show simply doesn’t have right now.  Give it some thought, eh?