Your Announcers and Open Thread For Wild-Devils

Minnesota vs. New Jersey, 7:00 PM ET, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Color: Darren Eliot
Reporter: Billy Jaffe

Advertisements

Hockey Helps NBC to a Win This Week

NBC RANKS #1 FOR THE WEEK IN ADULTS 18-49, ADULTS 25-54, ADULTS 18-34, TOTAL VIEWERS AND VIRTUALLY ALL OTHER KEY MEASURES

ON SATURDAY, NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF HOCKEY’S NHL WINTER CLASSIC ICES A SATURDAY PRIMETIME WIN IN ADULTS 18-49 AND OTHER KEY MEASURES

NBC highlights for the week of December 27-January 2

* On Saturday, NBC Sports’ coverage of the NHL Winter Classic game featuring the Washington Capitals at the Pittsburgh Penguins iced a Saturday primetime victory in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and all key adult-male demographics.

On Saturday, January 1, NBC Sports’ coverage of the NHL Winter Classic game featuring the Washington Capitals at the Pittsburgh Penguins iced a Saturday primetime victory in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and all key adult-male demographics. For its full duration, hockey coverage averaged a 1.9/5 in adults 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall and a 2.3/4 household rating/share from 8-11 p.m. ET.

Winter Classic Review, Part 2: Where to Go From Here?

The Winter Classic is unique in that it remains a yearly success that prompts the question “So, what next?”. For a successful event, it sure does drive hockey fans batty with uncertainty This is one of my favorite issues that the game features. Since we won’t know where the next one is for nearly four months, almost all that time can be spent speculating and rumor-mongering on where it’ll be. That’s fun to do. Clearly, based on ratings, the Winter Classic is something that hockey fans care about a ton.

So here are a few things that need to happen next year:

1. This may seem obvious, but move the game to January 2nd. I’m sure the NHL is well ahead of me on this one. Obviously, next Christmas and New Years Day are on a Sunday, meaning the NFL is going to co-opt those to days to continue it’s ratings domination of planet earth. So, do what the BCS and all the other bowl games the NHL typically faces off against and take it to January 2nd. Certainly ratings will take a small hit, but if you promote it even heavier than before, you’ve got a shot.

2. Primetime needs to stay, but with a twist. Maybe this won’t work with the game airing January 2nd this time around, but keep the game in primetime. That was such a terrific accident. Literally every hockey person in the solar system must have thought to themselves “Why didn’t we think of this sooner?”. Of course primetime! That’s when television’s biggest stars come out to shine, and this league badly needs the credibility of at least one primetime showcase per year.

Here’s the twist I’d like to see: Get NBC to show a game in the afternoon, with the studio show live from whatever stadium is involved. Make the game between last year’s Winter Classic competitors, or whoever you think would draw the best ratings. The numbers for the Winter Classic timeslot (1-4PM ET) were good enough to show that hockey fans are clearly in the mood for their sport more than ever on New Year’s Day, so why not try to extend your hold on the holiday?

3. The New York Rangers must be involved. I say this as a lifelong Devils fan: It is ridiculous that the Rangers still haven’t been put in a Winter Classic. Especially now, that the team is fun and good again, the NHL needs to get them in next year, as they’re currently the only original six American club that hasn’t, as of yet. Whether its at home or on the road, the Broadway Blueshirts need to play in a game that won’t make their third jerseys look ridiculous.

4. What the hell, let’s go southern this time. The challenge with the Winter Classic remains finding something new to do with it. So … why not see if you can pull it off in a southern city? They have the machines that can produce the ice anywhere, so what the hell? Why not gamble on something? You have little to lose from trying, since the fans don’t care that much about the quality of ice.

Here’s my suggestion: Rangers-Stars at Cowboys Stadium. Jerry Jones wants it, I’m sure the Stars wouldn’t object, I’m sure the Rangers wouldn’t object. It keeps New York involved while the league waits for Yankee Stadium to get rid of that insipid bowl game they keep trying to convince us is worthwhile. It plays on the longstanding rivalry between the Giants and Cowboys, and the cultural differences between New York and Dallas. If you can get the ice done, the NHL could score with this.

ESPN Shows Why They’re The Best at This Sort of Thing