Your Announcers and Open Thread For Avs-Wild

Colorado vs. Minnesota, 8:00 PM ET, VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play:
Rick Peckham
Color: Darren Eliot
Inside the Glass: Brian Engblom

VERSUS Ends February With Another Top 10 Game

VERSUS, riding their most successful All-Star broadcast in network history, had a terrific February when it comes to drawing big hockey audiences.

Monday’s Chicago-Minnesota telecast – VERSUS’ last for the month – drew a stellar 474,000 viewers, according to John Ourand. That marks VERSUS’ 7th highest viewership for a game this season, but because VERSUS had such a solid month, only third best on the network during February, falling short to Washington-Pittsburgh on 2/21 and the Heritage Classic on 2/20.

VERSUS had five of their top 10 broadcasts of the season in terms of viewership during February. Meanwhile, their Tuesday broadcast of Buffalo-NY Rangers drew 295,000 viewers, about the VERSUS average for exclusive broadcasts this season, while their simulcast on Wednesday of TSN’s broadcast of Toronto-Pittsburgh drew 176,000 viewers, around the average for VERSUS’ bonus telecast this season.

Top 10 Most-Watched VERSUS Games Through 3/6/11

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. Chicago vs. Minnesota, 2/28/11 – 474,000 viewers
8. Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers, 2/1/11 – 460,000 viewers
9. Buffalo vs. Boston, 12/7/10 – 438,000 viewers
10. Colorado vs. Detroit, 10/12/10 – 432,000 viewers

Streaming Episodes Online Could Be a Way to Build NHL Overtime’s Cred With Hockey Fans

In the past half-decade, television has found ways to connect with other forms of media to help sell shows to viewers across various platforms. When The Office became a hit on the backs of iTunes episode sales, a paradigm shifted and networks started looking for new ways to sell their wares on the internet and through portable, personal media. While you might not be able to make money directly off of Hulu or iTunes, there is a chance that your show can build buzz, grow audiences, and eventually generate revenue through the old-fashioned means – TV advertising.

So why not bring VERSUS’ flagship NHL show, NHL Overtime, to one of these sites, if not their own? While Hulu and iTunes are considered most popular, CBS has it’s own streaming site that joins it with The CW, while shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Conan and Lopez Tonight all have their own individual websites which feature streaming of every episode. One would figure they could find a way to get NHL Overtime on VERSUS.com fairly easily.

A move like this would be similar to how the NHL sold their own network’s highlight show. A few years ago, NHL.com launched a microsite that played nothing but episodes of NHL On the Fly just as the NHL Network was getting into American homes. It helped build up the show’s recognition with hockey fans and proved an invaluable online source for live hockey anytime you wanted to see what happened last night.

This is just a suggestion for VERSUS, but why not do something similar with Overtime? With fairly low ratings throughout the season, and the addition of Jeremy Roenick as a regular analyst on the show, this would be the perfect time for the show and the network to reintroduce itself with more of an online presence. In fact, the show already embraces the web by taking questions from Facebook every night. This could be a way to keep the show in people’s minds all day, and allow them to keep up with what’s going on in the NHL every night without having to stay up late. It would also help the (still substantial) number of folks that don’t get the network.

I assume there are reasons not to do it, but why not take a shot – at least until the end of the season? The results could work out in the long term, or at least until the playoffs, when I imagine the show will be on seven nights a week and after Stanley Cup Playoff doubleheaders that would have it on people’s minds every night anyway. The network already puts clips and highlights online, why not just give ’em the whole thing?

NESN Continues Bruins Hot Streak

NESN garnered a 4.5 household rating in theBoston DMA for Saturday night’s Bruins OT loss to the Penguins, thenetwork’s second best Bruins rating of the season. NESN’s best rating ofthe season was Thursday, March 3 against TampaBay when NESN garnered a 4.6 household rating. NESN’s season average is now a 3.0 going into Tuesday night’s highly anticipated contest againstdivisional rival Montreal. Coverage begins at 7 pm with Bruins FaceOff LIVE hosted by Kathryn Tappen with Mike Milbury and GordKluzak.