Your Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semi-Final Schedule …

Is here.

We’ll be back in a little bit with the super-schedule, which will include listings of every VERSUS exclusive game in Round 2.

NBC’s Round Two Schedule Features Three Series

According to this schedule from TSN.

Saturday, April 30, 3:00 p.m. ET – Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 1
Sunday, May 1, 3:00 p.m. ET – Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 2
Saturday, May 7, 12:30 p.m. ET – Tampa Bay vs. Washington, Game 5
Sunday, May 8, 3:00 p.m. ET – Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 5

CBC Had a Big Night Tuesday, Too

Canadians from east and west couldn’t get enough of CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA on Tuesday night as the Game Seven overtime thriller between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks drew an average audience of 3.82 million viewers*, the second largest Round One Playoff audience on CBC since 2000, eclipsed only by Game Six of the Toronto/Ottawa series that drew 3.90 million viewers in 2004.

The audience for Vancouver-Chicago peaked at 5.08 million viewers.

The earlier match-up, Game Six between Boston and Montreal, scored with an audience of 3.02 million.

*Source: 2011 television audiences are BBM overnight, A2+ (PPM measurement).

Blackhawks/Canucks Out-Draws Flyers/Sabres In Game 7 Doubleheader, VERSUS Averages 1 Million For Tuesday Night

Though neither game topped the viewership for Game 6 of the epic Canucks/Blackhawks seires, both Game 7’s that VERSUS broadcast on their Super Tuesday combined to average more than a million viewers last night, in what was a very good night for the sport and the network.

VERSUS’ broadcast of Game 7 between the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers drew 984,000 viewers, according to the network. We don’t have numbers in from Saturday or Monday yet, but for now the game is the top non-Canucks/Blackhawks quarterfinal broadcast for the network. This was up 6% from VERSUS’ Game 5 telecast, which averaged 931,000 viewers. The network averaged 829,000 viewers for three broadcasts from the seven-game series.

Immediately after, the network headed out to Vancouver for a magnificent Game 7 between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. That telecast drew an average of 1.135 million viewers in the late night slot, and is the second most-watched VERSUS first round broadcast this year, and in network history for the Conference Quarterfinal. It was down a little over 2% from the network’s Game 6 broadcast on Sunday night, which set an all-time Round 1 record for VERSUS. The network averaged 763,000 viewers over seven telecasts for the instant classic series.

It’ll be interesting to see if the network can top that with a Game 7 between two storied franchises in Montreal and Boston tonight.

Viewership Numbers For Chicago/Vancouver series on VERSUS

Game 1, 4/13/11: 540,000 viewers
Game 2, 4/15/11:
606,000 viewers
Game 3, 4/17/11:
689,000 viewers
Game 4, 4/19/11:
621,000 viewers
Game 5, 4/21/11:
590,000 viewers
Game 6, 4/24/11:
1.16 million viewers 
Game 7, 4/26/11:
1.135 million viewers

Viewership Numbers for Buffalo/Philadelphia on VERSUS

Game 3, 4/18/11: 572,000 viewers
Game 5, 4/22/11: 931,000 viewers
Game 7, 4/26/11: 984,000 viewers

Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 15 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Montreal vs. Boston, Game 7, 7:00 p.m. ET

National TV (US): VERSUS
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Inside the Glass: Darren Pang

National TV (Canada): CBC
Play by Play: Bob Cole
Color: Gary Galley
Inside the Glass: Glenn Healy
Reporter: Elliotte Friedman

Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh, Game 7, 8:00 p.m. ET

National TV (US): NHL Network

National TV (Canada): TSN
Play by Play: Chris Cuthbert
Color: Pierre McGuire

The Flyers Did Very Well Ratings-Wise Last Night Too

From Maureen Quilter of CSN Philly:

Last nights Flyers game 7 was most watched Flyers game ever on @CSNPhilly. 12.6 rtg = 383k households!

Canucks/Blackhawks Game 6 is the Most Watched Quarterfinal In VERSUS History, For Now

From Austin Karp on Twitter:

Canucks-Blackhawks Game 6 on Sunday was Versus’ most-viewed NHL Quarterfinal ever (1.16M viewers). Best NHL QF on cable since 2003.

Blackhawks Heartbreak Turns Into Terrific Ratings

Chicago, IL (April 27, 2011) – For the second time in five days, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, White Sox and Cubs, posted its biggest night of television ratings in network history last evening (Tue, April 26) with its coverage of three, live pro events in one evening — Bulls/NBA Playoffs Round 1, Game 5 vs. Indiana, Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1, Game 7 at Vancouver and a White Sox regular season telecast at New York Yankees on CSN+ — delivering a “combined” 25.62 household rating (approx. 897,366 Chicago TV households watching the three telecasts). The 25.62 “combined” rating eclipses the previous single night record for the network, set just last week when live coverage of the Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox delivered a 25.30 “combined” rating.

In just the past five days, Comcast SportsNet posted its TOP 5 Highest-Rated games in network history:

1) 13.69 – Bulls at IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 3 on April 21)

2) 13.33 – Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 7 on April 26)

3) 12.45 – Blackhawks vs. VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 6 on April 24)

4) 10.93 – Bulls vs. IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 26)

5) 10.58 – Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 21)

Last night’s historic evening on Comcast SportsNet was highlighted by a NEW ALL-TIME RATINGS RECORD for a Blackhawks telecast (13.33 household, which was #1 in the market from 9:00 PM – 12:15 AM) and a #1 market ranking for its Bulls telecast (10.93 household rating, game ran from 7:00 – 9:45 PM; it was the second highest-rated Bulls game in network history).

In addition, during the eight-hour time period of 5:30 PM – 1:30 AM, Comcast SportsNet was the #1 most-watched network in the Chicago market with an 8.43 household “average” during this time period, along with a 6.84 “average” for Adults 25-54 (also #1 overall in the market). This expansive, live, eight-hour time period included airings of “Chicago Tribune Live,” “SportsNet Central,” “Bulls Pre-Game Live,” the Bulls-Pacers game telecast, the Blackhawks-Canucks game telecast, “Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live” and “SportsNet Central.” Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research. Please note the following record-breaking ratings highlights for Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks and Bulls telecasts last evening:

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 1, Game 7 at Vancouver)

NEW ALL-TIME RATINGS RECORD on Comcast SportsNet: 13.33 household rating

For last night’s thrilling Round 1, Game 7 Blackhawks OT battle against the host Vancouver Canucks, Comcast SportsNet attracted approx. 466,897 households for the entire length of the game and posted a massive 18.35 peak rating during the 9:45 PM quarter-hour (approx. 642,727 households). The 13.33 single game Blackhawks ratings record on Comcast SportsNet beats the network’s previous all-time high set just last Sun, Apr. 24 for Game 6 of this series (12.45 household rating). NOTE: Comcast SportsNet set consecutive all-time Blackhawks ratings records in its last three Stanley Cup Playoff telecasts.

Comcast SportsNet was also the #1-highest rated television network in the Chicago market last night for all TV Households and EVERY key demographic, including Adults 25-54 (11.74 rating in this demo), for the entire length of the Blackhawks game (9:00 PM -12:15 AM). During the local news time period of 10:00-10:30 PM, Comcast SportsNet was again #1 in the market scoring a 15.51 household average.

Compared to last year’s first round playoff series vs. Nashville, Blackhawks first round playoff ratings on Comcast SportsNet this year posted significant ratings gains with a 47% FINAL overall increase for households and a 59% increase for Adults 25-54.

Here’s The Complete Extent of NBC/VERSUS’ Triple Crown Coverage

NEW YORK – April 27, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group will present 14 hours of Kentucky Derby coverage beginning on Wednesday, May 4 at 4 p.m. ET on VERSUS and culminating with the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, Saturday, May 7 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

The expanded Kentucky Derby coverage, which includes eight hours on Derby Day on NBC and VERSUS, will include many new elements:

Live coverage of the Kentucky Derby Draw, which will determine the post positions

Additional commentators including a new race caller, Larry Collmus

New production team

11 total hours on VERSUS, now part of the NBC Sports Group, including live coverage of the Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day races

Three hours of “Derby Classics” (Smarty Jones, Barbaro, Mine That Bird) to air on VERSUS

27 HOURS OF TRIPLE CROWN COVERAGE: The NBC Sports Group will present 27 hours of Triple Crown coverage this season from Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont, including additional “classics” from the Preakness and Belmont, live racing from all three tracks prior to the three Triple Crown races and post-race coverage of the Preakness and Belmont on VERSUS. This marks the first time that all three races will be on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005.

COMENTATORS: The NBC Sports Group coverage of the Kentucky Derby will once again feature co-hosts Bob Costas, a 21-time Emmy Award-winner, and veteran NBC Sports commentator Tom Hammond; three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; reporter Kenny Rice and on-track reporter Donna Brothers.

Added for this year’s expanded coverage are race caller Larry Collmus, the track announcer at Gulfstream Park and Monmouth Park who replaces Tom Durkin; Laffit Pincay, III, son of Hall-of-Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., will host the coverage on VERSUS; veteran horse racing analyst Randy Moss; the Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman; TODAY Show’s Jenna Wolfe will contribute features; and Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos will handle celebrity interviews.

PRODUCTION TEAM: The coverage on NBC will be produced by Fred Gaudelli and directed by Drew Esocoff, NBC’s Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Night Football” production team. The VERSUS coverage will be produced by Rob Hyland, who has worked on the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001 and also produces NBC Sports’ Notre Dame Football, and directed by “NHL on NBC” director Jeff Simon. The executive producer of NBC Sports and VERSUS is Sam Flood who has produced 11 Triple Crown races for the network.

FLOOD ON NBC SPORTS GROUP COMMENTATORS: “We have had the premier broadcast team for NBC Sports’ Triple Crown races in place for years with Bob, Tom, Gary, Mike, Neumy, Kenny and Donna. Now, as we significantly expand our coverage on VERSUS, we are fortunate to add Laffit, Randy, Jay, Jenna and Maria to the team, along with Larry, who is a tremendous race caller.”

FLOOD ON PRODUCTION TEAM: “Fred Gaudelli is one of the most talented and dedicated producers in television sports. He and director Drew Esocoff set the gold standard for NFL coverage and will bring that same passion to covering the Triple Crown. We are lucky to have them for the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.”



Wed. May 4, Derby Classics – Smarty Jones, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS

Wed. May 4, Kentucky Derby Draw, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS

Thurs. May 5, Derby Classics – Barbaro, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS

Thurs. May 5, Live from Churchill Downs, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS

Fri. May 6, Derby Classics – Mine That Bird, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS

Fri. May 6, Kentucky Oaks, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS

Sat. May 7, Live from Churchill Downs, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., VERSUS

Sat. May 7, Kentucky Derby, 4-7 p.m., NBC


Fri. May 20, Preakness Classics, 3-4 p.m., VERSUS

Fri. May 20, Black Eyed Susan Stakes, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS

Sat. May 21, Live from Pimlico, 2:30-4:30 p.m., VERSUS

Sat. May 21, Preakness Stakes, 4:30-6:30 p.m., NBC

Sat. May 21, Preakness Wrap-up, 6:30-7 p.m., VERSUS


Fri. June 10, Belmont Classics, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS

Fri. June 10, Live from Belmont, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS

Sat. June 11, Live from Belmont, 3-5 p.m., VERSUS

Sat. June 11, Belmont Stakes, 5-7 p.m., NBC

Sat. June 11, Belmont Wrap-up, 7-7:30 p.m., VERSUS

NBC SPORTS AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is now the exclusive home to Horse Racing’s Triple Crown. This marks the first time that all three races will be on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001.

KENTUCKY DERBY: In the 10 years that Churchill Downs and NBC Sports have been together the event has experienced remarkable growth. The Kentucky Derby is now seen by 7.4 million more viewers than the last Kentucky Derby broadcast by ABC in 2000 (16.5 million vs. 9.1 million, up 51 percent).

The shared vision of Churchill Downs and NBC Sports’ successful ‘Big Event Strategy’ to assemble the broadest possible audience led to the 2010 Kentucky Derby being the most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years, in addition to the year prior which was the most-watched Derby in 20 years. Last year’s Kentucky Derby averaged 16.5 million viewers, the most watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million).

PREAKNESS STAKES: Since NBC Sports began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous seven years. Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 69% in the 10 years on NBC compared to the previous seven years on ABC.

BELMONT STAKES: NBC Sports broadcast the Belmont from 2001-05, including three straight years in which the Belmont had a Triple Crown at stake. The 2004 Belmont featuring Smarty Jones racing for the Triple Crown was seen by 21.9 million viewers, the most for a Belmont broadcast since Seattle Slew captured the elusive Triple Crown in 1977.

Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 11 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage, Preakness (2002-03-05-06-08), Kentucky Derby (2007), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001). Additionally, NBC Sports has won three Eclipse Awards in the features category: 2002 on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), 2005 Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and 2009 Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast), and the 2005 and 2006 Preakness broadcasts were nominated for the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Special.

Confirmed: Predators/Canucks Game 1 Tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET

From Dan Rosen on Twitter:

Confirmed: Canucks-Predators Game 1 will be Thursday (tomorrow), 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT. Predators are arriving in Vancouver this afternoon.

One would imagine VERSUS and CBC have all the action.

UPDATE: More from the NHL, with TV info:

The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs gets under way on Thursday night with the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks hosting the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal at 9 p.m. ET (Versus, CBC, RDS).

It will mark a quick turnaround for the Canucks, who survived the Blackhawks coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to force Game 7 before finally claiming a 2-1 win Tuesday night on an Alexandre Burrows goal. The Predators have been off since Sunday, when they completed the first playoff series win in franchise history by eliminating the Ducks in six games.

Keep an eye on as the rest of the second-round playoff schedule will be released at a to-be-determined time.