NHL’s Bevy of Platforms Will Be in Use on Deadline Day

NEW YORK (February 25, 2011) – The countdown is on to the NHL’s 2011 Trade Deadline and after a flurry of activity over the past two weeks, a number of players already have new NHL® addresses. As teams stock up for their push to the playoffs, NHL Network™, NHL.com and NHL Radio™ will provide special programming throughout the day on Monday, Feb. 28, to report and analyze all of the deals that beat the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline.


On Monday, NHL Network will produce hours of original Trade Deadline programming across its U.S. and Canada Network. The puck will drop on 18 hours of live coverage on NHL Network beginning at 8 a.m. ET, with a simulcast of TSN’s TRADECENTRE ’11 broadcast for U.S. viewers. TSN host James Duthie leads TSN’s TRADECENTRE ’11 team of hockey analysts, insiders, former NHL players, coaches and general managers, reporters and correspondents – providing breaking news and instant analysis of each transaction.


The NHL’s daily signature radio show, NHL Live!, will be hosting a special four-hour Trade Show from noon – 4 p.m. ET. The show will be broadcast on Sirius XM radio, simulcast on NHL Network in Canada and streamed live on NHL.com. Hosts Don LaGreca, EJ Hradek and Rob Simpson will bring views up-to-speed on all the day’s trade action and will be speaking with players, Club management and insiders who can offer their breakdowns.


Beginning at 6 p.m., fans across North America will be offered unique access and information on NHL Network 2011 Trade Deadline Day Presented by Honda™, a two-hour show that will discuss and analyze all of the major transactions and how they impact the playoff races. OTF hosts David Amber and Brian Duff will be joined by a panel of analysts — Kevin Weekes, Jeremy Roenick, Craig Button, Mike Johnson — and NHL Insiders and TSN’s own Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie for a breakdown of all the latest news.


NHL Network’s daily flagship show, On the Fly™ begins their special Trade Deadline coverage at 8 p.m. The show will run through the end of the Detroit at Los Angeles game including live intermission reports. This season, all in HD, NHL Network broadcasts over 75 live games in the U.S. and 35 in Canada featuring the best productions in the NHL with games throughout the regular season.


Also for NHL Network viewers in the United States, hourly update reports will begin at 9 a.m. and run through 2 p.m. from the NHL Live!™ radio studio in New York City. Further, NHL Network will provide hourly reports from the On The Fly team from 2 p.m. – 4p.m. from its studio in Toronto.


NHL.com will provide extensive coverage throughout the weekend and on trade day with reporting by top writers and correspondents on the scene where the action is taking place in various NHL markets. Fans can follow NHL.com’s up-to-the-minute trade tracker by linking on http://www.nhl.com/tradetracker. NHL.com’s video player already is loaded with in-depth stories and videos from the players traded in the past days and writers will have running commentary and an in-depth look at the impact of trades once the deadline has passed.


The Blackberry All-Access Show, the NHL’s daily video newscast, will have special Trade Deadline features and programming on Monday. John Giannone and Billy Jaffe will tell viewers who the buyers and sellers are while updating fans throughout the day with live reports.


Monday, February 28, 2011 – NHL Network Schedule


NHL Network U.S. (all times ET)

TradeCentre ‘11 (simulcast from TSN) 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

NHL Network 2011 Trade Deadline Day Presented by Honda 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

NHL Hockey: Detroit at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.

NHL On The Fly following the game


NHL Network Canada (all times ET)

NHL Live! Noon – 4 p.m.

NHL Power Play 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

NHL Network 2011 Trade Deadline Day Presented by Honda 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

NHL On The Fly 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

NHL Hockey: Detroit at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.

NHL On The Fly following the game


VERSUS To Air UFC in 3D, Will the Stanley Cup Final Be Next?

From Sports Business Journal:

Versus plans to produce its March 3 UFC event in 3D, making it the first time a UFC match will be presented in that format. The telecast, which will be sponsored by Comcast Xfinity, will be shot from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville at 9:00pm ET. The 3D telecast will have a completely different production crew and equipment from Versus’ regular HD production. Todd Harris and Kenny Florian will be the announcers on the 3D broadcast. Versus also plans to run several commercials on its HD telecast in a split-screen format alongside footage from the locker rooms and the fighters’ entrance to the Octagon.

VERSUS Continues to Top Itself In February With Caps-Pens

February continues to draw great viewership numbers to VERSUS for their NHL telecast, and a boost from the NHL’s most-hyped rivalry certainly delivered.

The Monday night telecast of Capitals-Penguins, the network’s only broadcast of the made-for-TV rivalry this season, drew 681,000 viewers despite the absence of many of the usual stars on the Penguins side, according to Sports Business Daily. That number marks the third most watched game for VERSUS this season, and more encouragingly, in their history broadcasting National Hockey League regular season games. It also marks the first time since at least the lockout that two consecutive NHL cable broadcasts have gone over 600,000+ viewers.

It’s the third time this month alone that VERSUS has drawn it’s third most watched game this season, and the second consecutive night after Montreal-Calgary drew 608,000 viewers the night before. Four of VERSUS 10 most-watched games in 2010-11 have come in February, more than any other month this season. The top three most-watched VERSUS telecasts are now Penguins games, with half the top 10 are comprised of Pittsburgh match-ups, more than any other team. This is the second entry in the top 10 for Washington.

Top 10 Most-Watched VERSUS Games Through 2/23/11

1. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, 12/14/10 – 750,000 viewers
2. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 10/7/10 – 730,000 viewers
3. Washington vs. Pittsburgh, 2/21/11 – 681,000 viewers
4. Montreal vs. Calgary, 2/20/11 – 608,000 viewers
5. NY Rangers vs. Detroit, 2/7/11 – 534,000 viewers
6. Boston vs. Pittsburgh, 1/10/11 – 523,000 viewers
7. Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers, 2/1/11 – 460,000 viewers
8. NY Rangers vs. Washington, 1/24/11 – 458,000 viewers
9. Buffalo vs. Boston, 12/7/10 – 438,000 viewers
10. Colorado vs. Detroit, 10/12/10 – 432,000 viewers
10. Chicago vs. Colorado, 10/7/10 – 430,000 viewers

NHL Does Well with Heritage Classic

NEW YORK (February 25, 2011) – The Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™, one of the cornerstones of the NHL’s big event strategy, continued the League’s business momentum while driving substantial growth and fan engagement on North American television, via digital platforms such as NHL.com, through social media platforms like Twitter, at retail outlets and at a sold-out McMahon Stadium in Calgary. The NHL Heritage Classic also set an NHL event record for both total sponsorship revenue and activation, surpassing the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.


Other highlights included the event delivering the fourth-largest audience ever for an NHL game on VERSUS in the U.S. at that time and big audiences for CBC and RDS. The NHL Heritage Classic led NHL.com to its best Sunday performance of the season and was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in Canada. Additionally, merchandise sales for the outdoor game were the third-largest in history for an NHL event.


“The Heritage Classic was a tremendous triumph for the NHL and it was gratifying to see our fans and the business community embrace the event so enthusiastically,” said NHL COO John Collins. “Our big event strategy is activating our fan base like never before, while helping the League achieve five straight years of revenue growth. Delivering our third successful major event in just 51 days is a great way to lead into the stretch run of the season and our ultimate event, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. ”



The CBC broadcast of the NHL Heritage Classic averaged 2.078 million viewers, up 7 percent over its season average of 1.936 million for HNIC early telecasts. Viewership for this year’s NHL Heritage Classic game on CBC peaked at 2.9 million viewers, while French language RDS peaked at 1.6 million viewers.



Capping off a full day of televised hockey with “Hockey Day in America” on NBC, the

NHL Heritage Classic on VERSUS Sunday night averaged 608,000 viewers, which at that time made it the fourth-most-watched regular-season game in the network’s history. The game, which peaked at more than 700,000 viewers between 7-7:15 p.m. ET, was the most-watched regular-season game between two Canadian teams on U.S. cable since NHL viewership became available by Nielsen in the 1993-94 season. The 608,000 viewers also marks a 95 percent increase from the 2010-11 NHL regular-season average on VERSUS (311,000 viewers).



1. 12/14/2010 Pittsburgh at Philadelphia 750,000

2. 10/7/2010 Philadelphia at Pittsburgh 730,000

3. 3/22/2010 Pittsburgh at Detroit 622,000

4. 2/20/2011 2011 NHL Heritage Classic: Montreal at Calgary 608,000



With regional doubleheaders and the national Game of the Week, Hockey Day in America on NBC recorded its highest overnight ratings of the season for indoor hockey coverage with a 1.2. This marks an 83 percent increase when compared to the same weekend in 2009 when the Washington Capitals hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins (NBC was airing the Olympics in 2010 during the same week).


NBC Sports’ coverage of the Penguins-Blackhawks, the second game of Hockey Day in America which went head-to-head with the Daytona 500, was watched by 1.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-Winter Classic NHL regular-season game in five years.



• The 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ drove this season’s top Sunday in terms of unique visitors and visits from Canada

• Web traffic was up significantly in Canada, the U.S. and internationally over a typical regular-season Sunday

• It was the top Sunday this season for international page views on NHL.com



The substantial merchandise sales for the NHL Heritage Classic helped it rank third overall in sales for an NHL event. Sales also were 180 percent higher than the NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo and up 18 percent over the NHL Winter Classic in Chicago.


The top selling items were Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff jerseys; the Reebok cold weather knit hat; and the official puck, event scarf, game programs and the Reebok hooded sweatshirt.



The NHL aggressively and creatively promoted the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ as one of the League’s major tentpole events and corporate sponsors responded in a big way. Sponsor revenue and activation exceeded the recent NHL Winter Classic® becoming the highest revenue-generating event in NHL history.


Among the Canadian institutions partnering with the League for the event were Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, BlackBerry and Scotiabank.



As an indication of the interest in the event in Canada, #HeritageClassic was the top organic trend on Twitter in Canada throughout the entire game and #HeritageClassic peaked at the No. 3 trending topic worldwide.



The success of the NHL Heritage Classic comes on the heels of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, which saw all sponsorship opportunities sold out and a 22 percent increase in viewership for the U.S. broadcast on NBC. The recent NHL All-Star Game was also a huge success for the League, earning significant increases in viewership in Canada and the United States, a 42 percent increase in sponsorship revenue over the last All-Star Game in the U.S., an all-time record for video starts on NHL.com and the best retail performance for a U.S.-based All-Star Game in seven years.




“Sunday’s Heritage Classic proved that, until further notice, you can’t get enough of a good thing.” – ESPN.com


“As an event, it was a massive success.” – Calgary Sun


“If there was ever a compelling case for the NHL outdoor format to be expanded, it was made by yesterday’s Heritage Classic game in Calgary…for the 40,000 people on site, and probably the millions who watched in Canada, it was special enough. And that’s why we need more of them.” – SI.com


“The NHL ended its outdoor adventure for another year with a successful return to Canada.” — Reuters


“The idea to bring NHL games outdoors has been the best and most innovative idea a major sports league has had.” — NESN