NHL Net Hires New Exec VP of Content

NEW YORK CITY (August 31, 2010) – The National Hockey League today announced that it has appointed Charles Coplin to the new position of executive vice president of content. Coplin had been with the NFL since 2001, most recently as the NFL’s vice president of programming, where he shared Emmy Awards for his work on the America’s Game documentary series, and where his Super Bowl halftime productions were among the most acclaimed in NFL history.

In his new role at the NHL, Coplin will integrate and focus the efforts of all League media and content, including NHL.com; oversee and optimize programming and production for NHL Network; manage all television broadcast and rights-holder relationships; and direct the NHL Digital Studios and original broadband productions.

“Charles Coplin is among the most respected senior executives in sports content, programming and production, and will take our relationship with fans across all platforms and events to the next level,” said NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins. “Charles is a proven innovator who will drive a very ambitious content development schedule that meets fan demand for news, video, all-access programming and 24/7 NHL on every platform.”

“The NHL is very well positioned to capitalize on its maturing media products and big event strategy, unprecedented fan consumption, and the trends in multi-platform digital consumption,” said Coplin. “By focusing and tightly integrating all of our media products, and bringing best-in-class production value, we will continue to drive fan behavior by providing the best content and access across all events and media platforms.”

Award-Winning Television Programmer

Coplin had served a dual role at the NFL as both a television programmer and producer of special NFL events. Coplin was responsible for programming the NFL Network since prior to its launch in November 2003. In this role Coplin hired the heads of production and was responsible for the NHL Network’s development, content acquisition, budgeting and scheduling. He was nominated for several Emmys for his work on America’s Game and the NFL Network Game of the Week and has worked with different members of the NFL to produce such programming concepts as inside coverage of the NFL’s annual scouting combine. Ratings for the NFL Network improved every year under Coplin’s watch.

Producer Of The Most Watched Events In The World

In 2004, the NFL turned to Coplin to oversee and executive produce all aspects of its live special-event television performances. Coplin was responsible for the selection of talent, budget, and all other aspects of such performances including set lists, wardrobe and staging.

Over the last three years Coplin worked with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Beyonce, Green Day, Ozzy Osborne, Jessica Simpson and many others. In 2005 he negotiated an unprecedented deal for a season-long relationship between the NFL, ABC and the Rolling Stones which culminated in their performance at Super Bowl XL. In 2006, Coplin was responsible for the production of the U2 and Green Day performance for the re-opening of the Louisiana Superdome in an effort to raise money for Music Rising to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. At the time, this was the second highest rated television program in the history of cable television and named by Entertainment Weekly as the top live television moment of 2006. Later that year, the NFL’s season concluded with a Super Bowl halftime performance by Prince, which was cited by The New York Times, USA Today, Rolling Stone and others as perhaps the best NHL Super Bowl Halftime Show ever. This Super Bowl broadcast was, at the time, the second most watched show in the history of television.

Prior to being the NFL’s vice president of programming, Coplin served as the NFL’s senior director of broadcasting, where his responsibilities included the creation of the NFL’s playing schedule, administration of the NFL’s television contracts with the NFL’s broadcast partners, producer for NFL Films live event television shows that aired on CBS, ESPN and ABC Sports, and acted as a consultant for NFL clubs regarding broadcast matters ranging from programming and production to local rights acquisitions for television and radio.

A Long History In Programming In Sports And Multiple Platforms

Prior to joining the NFL in 2001, Coplin worked for one year in the digital technology sector for a technology company that specialized in building video into websites for purposes of exploiting content. Web sites served included the television show The Soprano’s and HBO’s Boxing.

From 1990 to 2000 Coplin worked at ABC Sports. He produced such shows and events as the Bowl Championship Series, Super Bowl Pre-Game Shows, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Monday Night Football, ABC’s College Football, The World Cup, The Little League World Series, the Daytime Emmy Awards and ABC News Special Events. At the same time he was responsible for managing ABC Sports production personnel.

Prior to 1990 Coplin worked for MTV, ESPN and Martin Scorsese.

About the NHL

The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, ESPN America, ASN and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com


The Score Launches Satellite Radio Channel

TORONTO, August 31st, 2010 – Score Media Inc. (TSX: SCR), home of theScore Television Network, theScore.com, ScoreMobile and theScore iPad Edition, today rebrands its SIRIUS Satellite Radio channel from Hardcore Sports Radio to theScore Satellite Radio available exclusively on SIRIUS Channel 98 and on the web at http://www.theScore.com/radio. With growing international brand awareness and a dedicated national following, a strategic decision was made to align all of Score Media’s multiplatform assets under one brand umbrella.

Benjie Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Score Media Inc. says, “As a media company that’s grown from a single television network 13 years ago to a multimedia organization with four successful media properties, we see this rebrand as an opportunity to better align our radio network with our growing international brand.”

A satellite radio network available across North America on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 98 and on the web at http://www.theScore.com/radio, theScore Satellite Radio offers listeners everything from essential sports information to its signature, 24-hour ticker, all with the hardcore sports fan in mind.

“We’re excited for the re-launch of theScore Satellite Radio on SIRIUS and aligning the channel under the Score Media brand,” says John Lewis, Vice President, Operations, SIRIUS Canada Inc. “theScore has been part of SIRIUS Canada’s sports lineup for several years and listeners across Canada and beyond have formed a strong connection to the channel.”

Along with the rebrand comes the return of some of theScore’s most popular radio programs along with several new ones. theScore Satellite Radio will continue to maintain its unique voice and give sports fans an outlet to call in and have their say.

“In aligning even more closely with theScore’s other properties, we expect our listenership to grow as we create an even stronger connection to a broader audience,” says Mike Gentile, Program Director, theScore Satellite Radio. “We’re proud of our accomplishments to date and with a host of new programming, we’ll be offering our audience the best content theScore has to offer.”

theScore Satellite Radio’s new programming includes:

Tim and Sid: Uncut (4-5 pm daily) – Expanding from one day/week to five days/week, this fast-paced one-hour talk radio show, which has claimed the #1 spot among sports podcasts on iTunes Canada, is hosted by popular Score personalities Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro and gives listeners their take on the day’s top headlines from sports to pop culture

The Basketball Jones (3-3:30 pm) – With a new daily half-hour show, The Basketball Jones, an irreverent web series covering the NBA, will now offer listeners entertaining NBA news not found anywhere else

24hrs in 30mins (3:30-4 pm) – Airing daily and featuring a new on-air duo consisting of Tim Micallef and theScore’s well-known radio personality Cam “Red Heat” Stewart, 24hrs in 30mins recaps everything you need to know from the last 24-hours in the world of sports

The Footy Show (12-1 pm) – Moving from a weekly show to a daily show, The Footy Show, hosted by soccer authorities James Sharman, Brendan Dunlop and Kristian Jack, brings you recaps of the previous weekend’s matches and discusses the ongoing stories of the international game

Signature programming returning to theScore Satellite Radio includes:

The Morning Jones (7-10 am) – A live, daily broadcast from North Carolina hosted by Bomani Jones, an accomplished on-air personality and a respected writer, The Morning Jones features in-depth analysis of the most pressing sports issues as well as some of the most compelling live guests in sports radio

The Hardcore Hoops Show (Thursdays) – Hosted by the dynamic Cabral “Cabbie” Richards, this weekly show takes a deep look inside the NBA’s hottest stories

Week Off

Sorry. But I’ve got to move into college and get myself settled. Plus, there’s no news. I’m on press releases only for a week.

Morning Music

Not likely much more than a link or a press release or too. Have a good one.

TV Folks Talk

From Dan Rosen at NHL.com:

For instance, Versus, now in its sixth season as a broadcast partner with the NHL, is gearing up for its most expanded coverage ever. It will broadcast a network record 78 games, including 53 exclusively, and added 30 pre-game Hockey Central broadcasts to its regular-season schedule.

“Coming off a great season with an amazing playoff run, the highest ratings ever in the first two rounds, great Stanley Cup Final ratings and great momentum going into the playoffs, when we were looking at the schedule for the 2010-11 season we said let’s maximize our momentum and do everything we can do,” Marc Fein, the Executive V.P. of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS, told NHL.com.

“We said when we got hockey way back when that we are going to be building this thing through the years and we want to be smart about how we get this done and add when the time is right. This year the time is right. We wanted to really be robust.”

What VERSUS and NBC Got Right and Wrong With the NHL TV Schedule

Going by network, let’s take a look.


Right: Games, Games, Games – Call it superserving, call it playing like Scott Gomez in a contract year, but hockey fans in the United States are big winners today, especially if you live in a non-hockey market. Say you live in somewhere with no local team, you can now watch almost as many games as someone who lives in a market with a team, sometimes more based on that team’s local network scheduling. Even if you do have a team, this is a great thing. More chances to follow more teams means that you’re just a little bit more likely to stick around when your team is eliminated in the post-season. That’s what VERSUS and the NHL need to do.

Wrong: Nine Appearances By the Minnesota Wild – I’m fine with six teams in a 30-team league having a total of 66 appearances. Those teams deserve to have the limit because they are the clubs that move the needle locally and nationally. Somehow, though, I am unable to wrap my head around the Wild getting on VERSUS nine times. Their local ratings dropped last year, and they don’t appear to have much resembling a playoff contender this year, so there’s no reason to think they’ll bounce back. They also don’t have much of a profile nationally. At least the Sabres, through some playoff appearance, have developed a bit of familiarity. A team like Colorado or Los Angeles deserves these games more.

Right: The Return of the Kings – While they probably could’ve stood to make a few more appearances on the schedule, six LA Kings is more than VERSUS has ever shown, and it’s important that the league’s tentpole west coast franchise get itself some national recognition and continue to develop as a contender. Having a team like LA compete and get some buzz is as important as reviving the Hawks in the midwest. There’s a ton of people ready to join a bandwagon there, just like the Dodgers folks who got swept up in Mannywood mania.

Wrong: A Little Too Heavy on the Bonus Games – Is it just me, or wouldn’t you have liked to see VERSUS use more original productions on the added games? Especially with an event like the Heritage Classic. I know, the CBC probably would run circles around VERSUS at covering this, but I’d still like to see VERSUS take a shot at it. It’s disappointing that they can’t take a shot at upping their originally produced games, too.

Right and Wrong: More Studio Content – Yes, it’s great that there’ll be more hockey talk, but I just can’t get excited by the notion of more Bill Patrick with Jonesy and Engblom on my TV. Let’s hope the studio show is more welcome to the rotating cast of analysts we saw towards the end of last season and into the playoffs. I hear Aaron Ward and Billy Jaffe are available!


Right: Hockey Day in America Regional Coverage – While NBC Sports told Puck the Media that more details about the network’s coverage would “come at a later date,” I can’t help but be thrilled at the idea of regional coverage returning, at worst, as an experiment. The NHL’s spent three years with a game of the week format, and you have to wonder if maybe another test of putting six big markets all in on one day can’t move the needle closer to a 1.5, or maybe a 2.0. Ignoring the west coast completely on that day isn’t thrilling, but you can only ask for so much.

Wrong: Pathetic Flex Options – Islanders/Buffalo and Devils/Florida vs. Philadelphia/Chicago? Really? Come on, NBC. New Jersey/Columbus vs. Rangers/Pittsburgh? St. Louis/Tampa Bay vs. Pens/Caps? Why even bother with the notion of a flex schedule if you aren’t at least going to try once in awhile. There are very few weeks where there are legitimate options to choose from, and it leaves the NHL and NBC hanging high and dry in case, say, Chicago or Pittsburgh lose their big-name attraction stars to injury.

Morning Music

Busy Day. Stuff to do. May end up being only one post, but it’s a good one. Have a good day.

NHL National TV Schedule By Team

This is it for today. Analysis tomorrow. See you then. Full post after the jump.

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Your 2010-11 NHL TV Superschedule

This is minus the NHL Network in the states. We’ll do it by US first, then Canada, then team-by-team (US/Canada combined) in a separate post later. Hope you enjoy it. Full schedule post-jump.

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TSN Press Release

Toronto, ON (August 25, 2010) – Hockey lives here! With the most nationally-televised NHL regular season games in Canada, TSN and TSN2 deliver Canada’s favourite pastime to fans from coast to coast with its 124-game NHL ON TSN broadcast schedule for the 2010-11 regular season. All games are available nationally in High Definition. Games and highlights are also available on demand on TSN.ca.

This year’s combined 124-game national broadcast package is part of TSN and TSN2’s multi-year broadcast and digital rights agreement with the NHL. A total of 76 regular season games will air on TSN, with 70 games featuring at least one Canadian team. TSN also retains exclusivity of WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY, during which there are no other national or local NHL telecasts.

TSN2’s regular season schedule features 48 live NHL games showcasing non-Canadian teams. In addition, TSN and TSN2 have pre-season action featuring all six Canadian clubs.

“As we saw with our regular season audiences last year, Canadian fans are watching the NHL more than ever. With 124 games this year, TSN and TSN2 will ensure fans across the country are well-served with a broadcast package that has the most nationally-televised NHL regular season games in Canada,” said Stewart Johnston, President, TSN. “In addition to live games, Canadian hockey fans also receive all-encompassing coverage of their favourite NHL teams on all of TSN’s broadcast, digital, online and mobile platforms.”

Regular season coverage on TSN gets underway on Thursday, Oct. 7 – opening day – with an NHL Premiere game from Europe, as the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Minnesota Wild at 12 noon ET in Helsinki, Finland. In total, TSN has four NHL games from Europe to kick off the regular season.

TSN then hits the ice closer to home with its first WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY broadcast of the year featuring doubleheader action on October 13 with Toronto @ Pittsburgh at 7:30 p.m. ET immediately followed by Vancouver @ Anaheim at 10 p.m. ET.

TSN2 has NHL action on Tuesday, Oct. 12 with Colorado @ Detroit at 7:30 p.m. ET. (See broadcast schedule below.)

Highlights of the NHL ON TSN schedule include three all-Canadian match-ups featuring Edmonton @ Montreal and Vancouver @ Calgary on December 1, and Ottawa @ Montreal on December 7. Headlining the NHL ON TSN’s Canadian team coverage during the regular season is Toronto with 17 appearances, followed by Montreal with 16, Ottawa with 12, and 10 appearances each for Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton featuring #1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall.

Additional highlights of the NHL ON TSN regular season schedule include:

· 12 Original Six match-ups

· 10 games featuring Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks

· 14 games featuring Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals

· 10 doubleheaders on TSN

· Dany Heatley’s highly-anticipated return to Ottawa with the San Jose Sharks on December 2

· Continued exclusivity of WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY, during which there are no other national or local NHL telecasts

TSN delivered impressive audiences for the NHL during the 2009-10 regular season. With 71 games featuring Canadian teams, TSN averaged 714,000 viewers – the highest average audience ever recorded for NHL regular season games on TSN.† Audience levels also increased in all key advertising demographics for TSN compared to the 2008-09 NHL regular season.

As part of its broadcast rights agreement with the league, TSN has exclusive Canadian specialty television rights for national English-language broadcast and digital coverage of NHL games. Once again, TSN has coverage of the first three rounds of the STANLEY CUP® PLAYOFFS, exclusive Canadian coverage of the NHL DRAFT LOTTERY and NHL ENTRY DRAFT, and a suit