Your Announcers and Open Thread For Caps-Flyers

Washington vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 PM ET, VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play:
Ken Daniels
Color: Darren Eliot
Inside the Glass: Brian Engblom

Puck the Media Will Go On Semi-Hiatus, but For Good Reason

(NOTE: The contest winners for our Millionth Pageview Prizes will still be named tomorrow at 10:00 AM ET. Please join us for that to see if you’ve won NHL SWAG!)

This is very difficult for me to do, but it will be totally bittersweet. I must leave Puck the Media for now. Somewhat. Ratings stories and announcers/open threads will stay, but I feel that I can no longer comment on NHL TV issues regarding VERSUS/NBC without it being a conflict of interest.

If you haven’t heard already, I have been hired by VERSUS.com, at least through the end of the regular season, as an NHL writer/blogger for them. It is a dream come true, but it can’t be denied that it may give the appearance of favoritism to either network, and I wouldn’t want to do that. So, for now, the job is until the end of the regular season, and it may go past that. Until I am done with that, I will post ratings and announcers, and that is it for awhile, in addition to contest winners tomorrow.

I need to thank everyone who has ever read Puck the Media, whether it came through a link on another blog, on Twitter, or you knew my name from somewhere else and gave me a shot, I thank you immensely. This has been a true passion project for me for two and a half years, and it pains me to have to cut back on it beyond ratings and announcers. However, writing hockey is my dream, and I feel it would be unfair to myself if I didn’t give it 100%.

I want to thank all the writers, whether they be from blogs (Wyshynski, Sean Leahy, Ryan Lambert, Chris Botta, everyone at Pension Plan Puppets, Paulsen at Sports Media Watch, Wrap Around Curl, Jon Press, Kevin Schultz, Brian Metzer) or traditional media (Tom Gulitti, Ted Starkey, Adrian Dater), as well as folks at the NHL (Kerry McGovern, Schuyler Baehman, Nirva Milord), VERSUS (Leslie Byxbee, Meier Ravich, and in the past Katie Bradshaw) and NBC (Christopher McCloskey) for all their help in making this something special for me, and hopefully the readers.

Others I need to thank include all the NHL broadcasters who were so kind in giving their time, answers and advice. The complete list is in the interview section, but Mike Emrick, John Forslund, Joe Beninati, Jack Edwards (especially), Mike Lange, and Gord Miller must be thanked because they are living my dream, and took a few minutes of their time to help impart some of their wisdom on me. Also, thanks to Pierre McGuire, Brian Engblom, Liam McHugh, Steve Kouleas and many more for giving their time to me. It will not be forgotten.

So, this isn’t goodbye, but it is the end of an era of sorts here. Remember, ratings and announcer listings will stay, and I hope that’s something you’ll continue to check up on during the post-season if I’m still gone. For now, however, I want to thank everyone who ever read, commented, e-mailed, or chatted with me, as you made this a truly fulfilling experience. I consider myself remarkably blessed to have been able to do something that meant so much to me this early in my life. I can only hope the rest of the way matches up. Thank you for your support.

NBC Flat With Last Year, May Again Draw All-Time Network Low

NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s controversial Rangers-Penguins game drew a season-low 0.7 overnight rating, according to Sports Business Daily (reg. required). This was even with last season’s comparable broadcast of Rangers-Bruins (3/21/10), which ended with a final rating of 0.5, tying the NHL record for lowest-rated game ever on broadcast television.

The NHL On NBC has averaged a 1.1 so far this season, down 9% from last year’s 1.2 at this point. The network returns with another Rangers-Flyers game on April 3rd at 12:30 PM ET.

NHL On NBC Overnights This Season
January 1 – Washington vs. Pittsburgh:
2.8
January 23 – Philadelphia vs. Chicago:
1.1
February 6 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington:
1.0
February 13 – Boston vs. Detroit:
0.9
February 20 – Regional Coverage*:
1.2
February 20 – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago*:
1.2
March 6 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers: 0.9
March 13 – Chicago vs. Washington: 0.9
March 20 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: 0.7
Season-to-Date Average: 1.1

NHL on NBC Overnights for 2009-10 Season

Jan. 1, Philadelphia vs. Boston*: 2.6
Jan. 17, Chicago vs. Detroit:
0.8
Jan. 24, Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia:
1.3
Jan. 31, Detroit vs. Pittsburgh:
1.2
Feb. 7, Pittsburgh vs. Washington:
1.3
Mar. 7, Detroit vs. Chicago:
1.2 
Mar. 14, Washington vs. Chicago:
1.0
Mar. 21, NY Rangers vs. Boston: 0.7
Season-to-Date-Average: 1.2