Your Announcers and Open Thread For Caps-Lightning

Washington vs. Tampa Bay, 7:00 PM ET, VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play:
Dave Strader
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

VERSUS News: Network to Air “Notre Dame Classics”, As Well As Spring Football Game

This is a sign of things to come for sure. A big get for the network as a result of the merger:

NEW YORK (March 7, 2011)— This St. Patrick’s Day, VERSUS will “Celebrate the Irish” by televising three of the most legendary Notre Dame football games to ever air on NBC Sports: the 1992 Penn State game, since dubbed “The Snow Bowl”; the “Bush Push” game vs. USC in 2005; and the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup against Florida State in 1993. The games, chosen by a “Green-Ribbon” panel of experts, will be shown during the network’s six hours of non-stop coverage beginning Thursday, March 17, at 5 p.m. ET.

Throughout the three-game celebration, hosted by Liam McHugh, the network will conduct in-depth interviews with current Head Coach Brian Kelly as well as Notre Dame legends, such as ex-NFL superstar Jerome Bettis. Beginning today, fans can visit ( to watch clips and vote for the 10 “Greatest Notre Dame on NBC Moments.” The results will be unveiled during VERSUS’ six hours of “Celebrate the Irish” coverage on St. Patrick’s Day.

Additionally, VERSUS will air the 82nd Annual Blue-Gold spring football game on April 16 at 2 p.m. ET, marking the first time that Notre Dame’s traditional spring scrimmage game will be televised nationally. This year’s game possesses extra interest and excitement as Notre Dame returns 17 starters that ended 2010 on a four-game winning streak, including All-America candidates wide receiver Michael Floyd, safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Manti Te’o.


Thursday, March 17

5 pm ET 1992 “Snow Bowl” vs. Penn State

7 pm ET 2005 “Bush Push” vs. USC

9 pm ET 1993 No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Notre Dame

Saturday, April 16

2 pm ET 82nd Annual Blue-Gold Spring Football Game

ND/Penn State – Nov. 14, 1992: Arguably one of the most exciting games in college football history, Notre Dame’s final home contest of the ’92 season became an instant classic. The players took to the field during a winter storm making it forever known in South Bend as “The Snow Bowl.” The Nittany Lions took the lead late in the fourth quarter, but then the Irish stormed back when Jerome Bettis caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Rick Mirer, putting the Irish within one point of Penn State (16-15). Coach Lou Holtz went for the two-point conversion and Mirer threw a complete pass to Reggie Brooks to put the Irish on top for the victory over Penn State.

ND/USC – Oct. 15, 2005: Despite losing to rival USC, this game was an essential addition to all-time lists as the Trojans were riding a 27-game winning streak and were the defending National Champions. Notre Dame, also undefeated at 4-0 on the season, lead 31-28 with just over two minutes remaining in the much-hyped game. Then, USC drove the length of the field to Notre Dame’s two-yard line, completing a fourth-and nine from their own 26-yard line in the process, and then scored the winning touchdown on a controversial play with what would later become known as the “Bush-push.” After USC’s quarterback Matt Leinart was initially stopped by the Irish defense on the goal line, USC’s Reggie Bush pushed Leinart into the end zone with seven seconds remaining on the clock, giving the Trojans a 34-31 victory.

ND/Florida State – Nov. 13, 1993: Listed among many as one of the “Games of the Century,” the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles and the No. 2 Fighting Irish were both undefeated heading into this game. The winner of this highly-anticipated contest was certain to move on to the Orange Bowl and play for the National Championship. Despite being the underdogs, the Irish were leading the game 31-17 with just over a minute left to play when Florida State quarterback, and subsequent Heisman Trophy winner, Charlie Ward, threw a miraculous touchdown pass to Kez McCorvey to pull the Seminoles within seven points of Notre Dame. After recovering the onside kick, Notre Dame punted the ball back to the Seminoles after going three downs without picking up a first down. Florida State had one final chance to tie the game, but Ward missed his receiver and Notre Dame secured the upset victory, 31-24.


NBC Down 25% For Flyers-Rangers

According to Sports Business Daily (reg. required), the NHL On NBC broadcast of the Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers blowout on Sunday drew an 0.9 overnight rating, tying a season low for the network. The numbers are down 25% from the comparable date last year (Detroit-Chicago, 3/7/10: 1.2) and down 10% from the comparable date in 2009 (Boston-NY Rangers, 3/8/09: 1.0). The telecast is also down 25% from the three-game regional split that was led by this very same match-up two weeks ago (PHI/NYR, DET/MIN, WSH/BUF, 2/20/11: 1.2) as well as the last edition of Game of the Week, which aired at 3:30 PM ET (Pittsburgh-Chicago, 2/20/11: 1.2).

This is the second time this season NBC has hit a sub-1.0 overnight rating, which the network had only done once to this point during the 2009-10 season. The NHL On NBC is averaging a 1.3 overnight rating so far this season through six weeks and seven telecasts, even with last year’s average through the comparable date in 2010, in which six telecasts through six weeks were averaging a 1.3 as well. A year-to-year comparison of the overnights up until now will follow the jump.

Read more of this post

History Will Be Made Again

EW YORK (March 7, 2011) – Last season’s award-winning History Will

Be Made™ campaign will return for the 2011 Stanley Cup® Playoffs but with

significantly broader distribution. This year, the National Hockey League

(NHL) and the NBC Sports Group have joined forces to distribute the

national advertising campaign across the TV, online, radio, print,

in-arena, in-store point-of-purchase, mobile and social media platforms of

the NHL, NBC and VERSUS as well as additional NBC Universal platforms, such

as CNBC and MSNBC.


Last season’s History Will Be Made campaign was one of the most

successful campaigns in NHL history, driving more than 302 million TV

viewers for the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most watched in 36 years.

The campaign, which featured prominent Playoffs moments from NHL greats

Bobby Orr and others, not only drove interest and television viewership but

connected with fans on an emotional level and inspired them to create and

post their own versions of the TV spots to YouTube, generating more than

2,400 fan-created commercials and more than 8 million total views. For the

second straight year, fans will be able to download the music composed for

the History Will Be Made campaign from the NHL’s Facebook page for

fan-generated spots.


The first pair of TV spots in this season’s campaign – “Wish” and

“Mess” – will debut on March 13 during the NBC Sports broadcast of the

Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals game and more than 20 additional

spots will launch by April 13, the first day of the Playoffs. Starting

April 14 through the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, a new spot will

be produced each day, highlighting a key moment from the previous night’s



“The Stanley Cup Playoffs are filled with drama, the emotional highs

and lows of crucial wins and

losses, the unbearable tension of sudden death overtime and performances

that can define a career forever,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice

President of Marketing. “Last season, the History Will Be Made campaign,

which celebrated some of the iconic moments that make the Stanley Cup

Playoffs so special, elicited an overwhelming emotional reaction from our

fans. Fans brought handmade History Will Be Made signs to games and shared

their own versions of the campaign on YouTube. Players even referenced the

campaign in post-game interviews. This year, by taking a truly

collaborative approach on creative, production and media with NBC Sports

and VERSUS, we expect the campaign to continue to reach and resonate with

even more fans, further helping to drive interest and viewership.”


“There is both quality and power in the History Will Be Made

campaign,” said John Miller, who heads the NBC Sports Agency and the

NBCUniversal Marketing Council. “By pooling our creative resources and air

time, we believe collectively we can effectively tell the story of the

excitement and emotion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”


Last year’s 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs campaign received three Sports

Media Marketing Awards, including top prizes for Best Television Promotion

and Best Live Sporting Event Spot and a silver in the Best Television

Promotion category.


The History Will Be Made creative was developed collaboratively by

the NHL, NBC Sports Group and VERSUS, in consultation with global

advertising agency, Young & Rubicam.


Puck the Media’s Millionth Pageview Contest, Where You Can Win an NHL Heritage Classic Prize Pack!

It has been a fun, nearly two and a half years here at Puck the Media, a truly fulfilling experience in many ways. Sometime within the next two weeks, this website will hit it’s 1,000,000th pageview. This is a milestone that I’m insanely proud of, and I wanted to find a way to celebrate it with all the readers.

So here is what is going to be done. Instead of doing trivia or something like what’s been done in the pass, I’m going to make it simple: Either leave in the comments section or tweet me @stevelepore the day (between tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8th and a week from Sunday, March 20th) you think Puck the Media will hit it’s one millionth pageview.

Just so you know, we’re a little under 17,000 pageviews away from a million as of this writing, and the site tends to draw anywhere from 10-16,000 a week. Though, remember, both this week and next week are NBC weeks, which means additional traffic will come due to the ratings of those games. You also have to account that maybe there will be additional interest in the site due to this contest. At least I hope.

Anyway, here are the fabulous prizes you can win, courtesy of the wonderful folks at the National Hockey League.

One (1) grand-prize winner will be chosen at random from the correct date-guesses to win an NHL Heritage Classic/Winter Classic prize pack, featuring t-shirts, hats and scarves from both events, as well as a copy of the 2011 NHL Official Guide and Record Book.

One (1) second-prize winner will be chosen at random from the correct date-guesses to win an NHL prize pack, which includes an official NHL logo t-shirt, sweatshirt and cap.

One (1) third-prize winner will be chosen at random from the correct date-guesses to win an NHL prize pack, which includes a 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs t-shirt, NHL logo knit cap and NHL CD holder.

Good luck and start your guesses! Thanks to the NHL, and thanks for supporting Puck the Media

A Big Week, A Road Trip, and Free Stuff

Hello all, just a note to let you know that things will be a bit off on Puck the Media this week.

On Monday and Tuesday, things will be fairly normal. Be on the lookout in a couple hours for a contest that will ask you to pay attention the site for a week or so. Also, there should be NBC ratings at the usual time.

However, on Wednesday I am headed to the lovely city of Washington to tape a PBS special as part of the Planet Forward piece I featured on this very site a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for your support if you chose to vote for my group. It is greatly appreciated.

I will be staying along in the wonderful city of Baltimore, Maryland (though more correctly the suburbs) until Friday. It is unlikely you’ll see many editorials towards the end of the week, though actual news will be posted. On Friday, I will be in the press box for the Capitals-Hurricanes game, where I will try and string some material out from that onto this site.

Anyway, next week things will be back to normal, I hope you enjoy what’s in store for this one. On with the day.