NHL To Use All It’s Platforms to Preview Heritage Classic

NEW YORK (February 16, 2011) – The puck will drop this weekend at the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. And NHL Network™, NHL.com and NHL Radio™ will have special programming in the days leading up to the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames on Sunday, February 20.


The 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ will be broadcast live in Canada on CBC and RDS while VERSUS will carry the telecast in the United States. Both CBC and VERSUS will also distribute the game to viewers in 3D.


NHL Network will have its team of Heidi Androl, Brian Duff and Jeremy Roenick on site in Calgary to help hockey fans celebrate the sport’s rich outdoor history and proud Canadian heritage throughout Family Day weekend with live broadcasts from the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™.


NHL Network’s coverage begins on Thursday night with On The Fly™ segments from McMahon Stadium. Androl will take a sneak peak at the ice conditions and get an update from NHL ice guru, Dan Craig. Coverage continues throughout the weekend on OTF’s daily show.


On Saturday and Sunday with a special feature at the top of each hour from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET, NHL Network will update viewers on all the activities from the NHL Heritage Classic with reports on weather conditions and team preparations from McMahon Stadium.


Also on Saturday, following Hockey Night in Canada’s Heritage Classic Countdown Saturday, NHL Network U.S. and Canada will air a special 30-minute show, NHL Network at the 2011 Heritage Classic™, beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET. The show will feature player interviews, outdoor game features and a look at the weekends fan activities and entertainment.


On game day, Sunday, Feb. 20, NHL Network U.S. will broadcast CBC’s Heritage Classic Countdown pre-game coverage from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET and throughout the day will be airing an outdoor game marathon, starting with the inaugural 2003 NHL Heritage Classic match-up between the Edmonton Oilers and Canadiens at 6 a.m. ET. That will be followed by the NHL Winter Classic® series of games from Buffalo in 2008, Chicago in 2009, Boston in 2010 and this year’s contest from Pittsburgh.


NHL.com will provide extensive coverage from Calgary with daily reporting by top writers and exclusive, behind-the-scenes features. The 2011 Tim Horton’s NHL Heritage Classic™ microsite, http://www.nhl.com/heritageclassic already is in full game-day mode and loaded with in-depth stories and video on the rich traditions of the Flames and Canadiens, the teams’ top stars, weather-related elements, a history of past outdoor games and much more. The rink construction webcam currently is being streamed live as McMahon Stadium comes to life for the weekend’s events. Fans visiting the microsite can also find a daily time lapse video along with day-by-day blogs on team preparations.


The Blackberry All Access Show – the NHL’s daily video newscast — will have Heritage Classic programming throughout the weekend. The show will feature special coverage from practice day, the Flames-Canadiens alumni game and all of the excitement and entertainment on 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ game day.


NHL Live!™, the NHL’s daily radio show — broadcast live on Sirius XM Radio, streamed on NHL.com and simulcast on NHL Network — will have daily programming featuring Calgary and Montreal players, management, alumni and guests in the lead-up to Sunday’s NHL Heritage Classic game.


Calgary’s Fan 960, Montreal’s CJAD (English) and CKAC (French) and Sirius XM’s NHL® Home Ice® XM 204 and Sirius 208 (with Best of XM package in the US, only) will have all of the coverage of the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ around North America.


Mobile applications on Andriod, Blackberry, Nokia and iPhone will provide users with all their NHL Heritage Classic content needs. NHL GameCenter’s complete roster of mobile applications will provide fans yet another way to connect to the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™. Spectators attending the game can take advantage of the fan guide to find their seats and get the relevant game day information while fans at home can check out all the latest in NHL news including access to the live webcam and daily time lapse videos, team rosters, photo galleries and wallpaper options. In addition to the above functions, iPad tablet users can also experience an online shopping feature that allows them to purchase all the latest NHL merchandise.


During the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™, NHL fans will be asked to follow @NHL#HeritageClassic, while tuning into the broadcast for their chance to win six (6) prizes throughout the game. Fans will follow @NHL and watch for questions related to the broadcast and the first fan to reply back with the correct answer will win the proposed prize.


NHL Network U.S. Programming Schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 16 2008 Winter Classic – Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo 6 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 17 Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers 7 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 9:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 18 2009 Winter Classic – Detroit vs. Chicago 10 a.m.

2010 Winter Classic – Philadelphia vs. Boston 2 p.m.

Rod Brind’Amour Jersey Retirement Night 7 p.m.

Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes 8 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 19 HNIC: Heritage Classic – Countdown Saturday 5 p.m.

NHL Network at the 2011 Heritage Classic (U.S. & Canada) 6 p.m.

HNIC: Hockey Tonight 6:30 p.m.

HNIC: Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m.

HNIC: Post-Game Show 9:30 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 10 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 20 2003 Heritage Classic – Montreal vs. Edmonton 6 a.m.

2008 Winter Classic – Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo 8 a.m.

2009 Winter Classic – Detroit vs. Chicago 10 a.m.

Ivy & Ice: 2009 Winter Classic noon

2010 Winter Classic – Philadelphia vs. Boston 12:30 p.m.

2011 Winter Classic – Washington vs. Pittsburgh 2:30 p.m.

HNIC: Heritage Classic Countdown 5 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 8 p.m.



Flyers Hit 9-Year High on CSN

From Frank Sevaralli of the Philadelphia Daily News:

Last night’s Flyers win was most watched regular season game on CSN since Oct. 20, 2002 with 5.0 rtg (152k houses) at 10:15pm.

Here’s the full press release:

Last night’s Flyers shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Comcast SportsNet delivered a 3.7 household rating (112,000 HHs), making it the highest regular season Flyers game on Comcast SportsNet since October 22, 2002 vs. Buffalo. The game peaked at a 5.0 rating (152,000 HHs) at 10:15 p.m.

In February, the Flyers are averaging a 2.8 rating (85,000 HHs), a 27% increase over the season average of 2.2 rating (67,000 HHs) and a 40% increase over February 2010.

Fans also tuned into Flyers Pregame Live in record numbers with the program delivering a 1.5 rating (46,000 HHs), making it the highest rated regular season Flyers Pregame Live ever on Comcast SportsNet.

Flyers Postgame Live delivered a 1.6 rating (49,000 HHs), tying it for 10th highest rated Flyers Postgame Live this season.

Tonight’s coverage of Flyers game against the Florida Panthers begins at 7 p.m. with Flyers Pregame Live. The live game broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. with Flyers Postgame Live immediately following the game.


Blackhawks to Stay on WGN

One of my pet peeves is teams moving their games to cable entirely, as having an occasional over-the-air carrier is good for exposure. The Blackhawks will be on WGN for the foreseeable future, according to Ed Sherman:

Tuesday morning, the team announced it has agreed to a five-year extension to have games aired on WGN-TV/Channel 9. The new deal goes through the 2015-16 season.


WGN airs 20 regular-season games.


Hooking up with WGN for the 2008-09 season was considered a coup for the Hawks at the time. It gave them greater visibility on a more mainstream outlet. It made a statement that if WGN was interested in their games, there must be something to the product.


Stevie Y and Ken King on the NHL Hour

NEW YORK (February 16, 2011) – Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman and Calgary Flames president and CEO Ken King will be tomorrow’s guests on NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman on NHL.com and SIRIUS XM Radio at 6 p.m. ET. Phil Esposito, the Lightning’s first general manager, their current radio color commentator and the team’s newly-named vice president of corporate relations, will co-host the show from the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.


Yzerman, in his first year with the club, will send the Lightning against his former team, the Detroit Red Wings, tomorrow night. It will be the first time in 27 years — since the Red Wings made Yzerman the fourth pick of the 1983 Entry Draft — that he will represent a team opposing the Red Wings. The Lightning lead the Southeast Division with 74 points and are second overall in the Eastern Conference standings.


King’s Flames are 7-1-2 over their past 10 games entering tonight’s contest against the Dallas Stars and have surged into the final playoff spot in the ultra competitive Western Conference. On Sunday, the Flames will host the Montreal Canadiens in the much-anticipated outdoor game at McMahon Stadium, the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™. King played an instrumental role in bringing the contest to the City of Calgary on behalf of the Flames.


NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman broadcasts live on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204 and on SIRIUS Channel 208 as part of the “Best of XM” programming package) and NHL.com. The show will re-air on SIRIUS XM Radio, with archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.


The show encourages fans to call in with questions for the Commissioner. To submit questions to NHL Hour call 1-877-645-6696.


Devils Launch Creepy Social Media Hub

I don’t know about you guys, but something about this looks really strange and vague to me. Also, the Devils are among the teams that – to my knowledge – refuses to credential bloggers for games. Wouldn’t it be an easier way to connect your fans via social media by testing out letting a few bloggers have access to, at worst, the Devils home locker room and the press box at games? I don’t know what it is about this “Mission Control” that’s supposed to “track” what the fans are thinking, but it seems real odd to me.

NESN Draws Solid Rating For Beanpot Final

From Fang’s Bites:

The Beanpot Championship game which was an overtime thriller between Boston College and Northeastern received a 2.1 rating on NESN on Monday. It marks the 2nd time in three years that the Beanpot has hit 2.0 or better.

For comparison, the Bruins-Red Wings game on NBC Sunday drew a 2.1 in the market as well.

Broadcast News: Could CBC Get First All-Canadian Series Since ’04?

The Match-ups

Eastern Conference

#8 Carolina vs. #1 Philadelphia
#7 NY Rangers vs. #2 Tampa Bay
#6 Washington vs. #3 Boston
#5 Montreal vs. #4 Pittsburgh

Western Conference

#8 Calgary vs. #1 Vancouver
#7 San Jose vs. #2 Detroit
#6 Nashville vs. #3 Phoenix
Dallas vs. #4 Anaheim


Definite NBC Match-ups: Washington-Boston and San Jose-Detroit
Potential Alternates: Montreal-Pittsburgh, NY Rangers-Tampa Bay
Replacement Series: Philadelphia-Carolina, Dallas-Anaheim, Nashville-Phoenix

All 7 Games:
Washington-Boston, San Jose-Detroit
Most of the Series: Montreal-Pittsburgh, Vancouver-Calgary, NY Rangers-Tampa Bay
On the West Coast Only: Dallas-Anaheim, Nashville-Phoenix
A Couple Games: Philadelphia-Carolina

CBC Networks Draft

#1 (CBC): Calgary-Vancouver
#2 (CBC): Montreal-Pittsburgh
#3 (TSN): Washington-Boston
#4 (CBC): NY Rangers-Tampa Bay
#5 (TSN): San Jose-Detroit
#6 (CBC): Dallas-Anaheim
#7-8 (TSN): Philadelphia-Carolina and Nashville-Phoenix