Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 33 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 3 (CHI Leads 2-0), 8:00 PM ET

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play: John Forslund
Color: Darren Eliot
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

National TV (Canada): TSN (HD)
Play by Play: Chris Cuthbert
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Columnist I Generally Like Creates Fake Controversy Between Networks

From Damien Cox of The Star:

It’s a tussle nearly as intriguing as the Habs-Flyers series that will continue Saturday afternoon at the Bell Centre.

Who will win? NBC? RDS? CBC? It’s going to be a fascinating window into the priority given to the various networks by the NHL.

All three, you see, would like to have dibs on the ice-level broadcasting position between the benches for Game 3. NBC uses Pierre Maguire there, CBC uses Glenn Healy. RDS sometimes uses former NHLer Joel Bouchard.

It’s a spot without a lot of wiggle room since the setup forces the Montreal backup goalie into the same area.

Here’s the intrigue. RDS has the No. 1 position for tomorrow’s game, which mean they get first choice of everything, from interviews to camera positions, etc.

NBC, however, is arguing that having an analyst between the benches is a staple of their broadcasts. The NHL, of course, has spent years courting the various U.S. networks in hopes of landing a rich deal, although the current deal with NBC is anything but that.

NBC will absolutely win here.  Do you think RDS and CBC would have a 3PM Saturday game if they had any choice in the matter?

Final Ratings For Hawks/Sharks Game 1

From Sports Media Watch:

Despite featuring two of the five largest television markets in the country, the NHL’s Western Conference Final got off to a slower start on NBC.

Game 1 of the Blackhawks/Sharks series drew a 1.3 final rating and 2.2 million viewers on NBC Sunday, down 19% in ratings and 17% in viewership from Blackhawks/Red Wings Game 1 last year and down 7% and 14%, respectively, from Flyers/Penguins Game 5 in ’08.

Sunday’s game is tied as the fourth-lowest rated of the eight Conference Final games on NBC since ’06.

That said, the 1.3 rating is tied as the highest rated of the postseason on NBC, and the 2.2 million viewers stands alone as the largest audience.

Audiences So Far For the 2010 Conference Finals

All numbers come courtesy of Sports Business Daily:

Sunday, May 16
3:00
Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1 (NBC) – 2.2 Million (Down 17% from 2.5 million for CHI-DET, Game 1, 2009)
7:00 Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 1 (VERSUS) – 1.5 Million (Down 11% from 1.7 million for CAR-PIT, Game 1, 2009)

Tuesday, May 17
7:00
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (VERSUS) – 1.2 Million (Down 29% from 1.7 million for CAR-PIT, Game 2, 2009)
10:00 Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 2 (VERSUS) – 1.5 Million (Down 15% from 1.7 million for CHI-DET, Game 2, 2009)

Average: 1.6 Million (Down 16% from 1.9 million in 2009)