NBC and VERSUS Ready For the Final, with Hockey Central After Every Game

NEW YORK (May 31, 2011)– The NBC Sports Group will surround the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks and the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins with primetime coverage of every game on NBC and VERSUS as well as pre- and postgame coverage nationally on VERSUS and locally in Boston on Comcast SportsNet New England. NBC will broadcast Games 1-2, and, if necessary, Games 5-7, while VERSUS will present exclusive coverage of Games 3-4 of the series.

To wrap up each night of coverage during the best-of-seven series on NBC and VERSUS, there will be a Hockey Central postgame show on VERSUS with the latest highlights, news, analysis and player interviews, live on-location from either the TD Garden in Boston or Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The shows will be hosted by either Bill Patrick or Liam McHugh with Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick serving as analysts as well as Darren Pang working as the in-arena reporter. Additionally, before coverage of Games 3-4 on VERSUS there will be a Hockey Central pregame show 30 minutes prior to puck-drop with Bill Patrick as host alongside Keith Jones and Mike Milbury.

Emmy-award winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) will anchor NBC and VERSUS’ game coverage with analyst Pierre McGuire stationed “inside-the-glass.” NBC’s studio show will feature host Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury for Games 1-2 and Dan Patrick with Mike Milbury for Games 5-7, if necessary.

For viewers in and around Boston, Comcast SporstNet New England’s nightly coverage of the Bruins-Canucks series will begin every evening at 6 p.m. ET with Chevrolet SportsNet Central. Anchors/reporters Mike Giardi and Kevin Walsh along with CSNNE.com Bruins insider Joe Haggerty will provide extensive nightly reports. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bob Beers and NBC Sports Group hockey analysts are expected to contribute to Comcast SportsNet’s nightly and game-night coverage.

NBC SPORTS AND VERSUS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SAM FLOOD ON THE STANLEY CUP FINAL: “We are really excited about this final and the NBC Sports Group working together between the two platforms to make this the biggest and best yet in the new world of the NHL. The combination of the game group and the studio group coming together on the road and sharing the platforms between VERSUS and NBC is very exciting. It’s allowed us to put everyone in the best position to be successful. It should be a great start tomorrow night in Vancouver.”

FLOOD ON THE NBC SPORTS GROUP COVERAGE PHILOSOPHY: “The NBC Sports Group philosophy is more about telling a story and showcasing the game. The technology takes care of itself. We’ll obviously have players with microphones, but we’re not going to get in the way of the game. We’re going to let the game be the star. Our job is to document that game and then make the viewing of that game more enjoyable for the fans.”

EDDIE OLCZYK ON THE STANLEY CUP FINAL: “You need stars and both these teams have them, but the interesting dynamic is that you need more than just top two line players. You need your role players that need to execute and I think this speaks to the success and why these teams made it here.”

OLCZYK ON BOSTON BRUINS ROAD TO THE FINAL: “They were able to beat Tampa Bay by out-defending them and found a way to play to their strengths.”

JEREMY ROENICK ON THE STANLEY CUP FINAL MATCHUP: “The two teams that are playing are very worthy of being here and have gotten here in different ways. I think Boston, with their true grit and their resiliency going to two Game 7’s, being down in a series and being able to battle back, and Vancouver maintaining a very consistent level of play, it couldn’t be a better fit for the National Hockey League having the two teams that are in the Stanley Cup Final.”

FLOOD ON GAME TALENT: “Doc Emrick, who won the Emmy as best play-by-play guy in all of sports, not just hockey; he won it over the NFL, NBA, MLB. Doc was recognized this year as the best – the gold standard — so it’s very exciting to have him as the captain of our team. Eddie Olczyk breaks the game down better than anyone in terms of showing why things are happening, and then Pierre McGuire being inside the glass for all seven games of the Final. He’s another huge advantage for us that he can have those unique insights from ice level.” NBC SPORTS GROUP STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)

Wednesday, June 1


Game 1: Boston at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET – NBC


Saturday, June 4


Game 2: Boston at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET – NBC


Monday, June 6


Game 3: Vancouver at Boston, 8 p.m. ET – VERSUS


Wednesday, June 8


Game 4: Vancouver at Boston, 8 p.m. ET – VERSUS


Friday, June 10


Game 5 (if necessary): Boston at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET – NBC


Monday, June 13


Game 6 (if necessary): Vancouver at Boston, 8 p.m. ET – NBC


Wednesday, June 15


Game 7 (if necessary): Boston at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET – NBC


DIGITAL: NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com have combined forces to create a single, robust destination for hockey fans during the NHL Stanley Cup Final. The NBC Sports Group consolidated NHL content from both the NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com’s hockey sections onto the rapidly-growing NBCSports.com site. One of the key content areas is ProHockeyTalk, one of NBCSports.com’s popular “Sports Talk” platforms that also include ProFootballTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, HardBallTalk, ProBasketballTalk and ProGolfTalk.

Some of the features on NBCSports.com during the Stanley Cup Final include:


Online-only videos featuring VERSUS and NBC Sports hockey commentators previewing upcoming games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day.

“Star-Cam,” which follows marquee players in NBC games, and “Net-Cam,” which provides a unique perspective from behind the goalie.

ProHockeyTalk, which recently had its most-trafficked month ever, will update the 2011 Stanley Cup Final news around the clock.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can also keep up with the NHL Stanley Cup Final through a variety of NBC Sports and VERSUS social media platforms throughout the postseason. Content will include:


Behind the Scenes: Through the joint “NHL on NBC and VERSUS” Facebook page and @NHLonNBC_VS on Twitter, fans receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video.

Commentator Tweets: Various NBC and VERSUS commentators will provide Twitter content throughout the Final, including occasional in-game Tweets.

Fan Questions: Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to NBC and VERSUS commentators via Facebook and Twitter.

Team Tabs: Fans who “Like” the joint NBC and VERSUS Facebook page will have the opportunity to play a variety of games and upload fan photos based around each of their favorite teams who made the playoffs. As teams advance in the playoffs, new and more difficult games will challenge fans.

News: Fans can follow NBC and VERSUS Facebook and Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.



Boston vs. Vancouver, The Ratings Battle: How Each Team Has Performed On National Television

Boston Bruins

Conference Quarterfinal vs. Montreal

Game 1, 4/14, VERSUS: 510,000 viewers
Game 2, 4/16, VERSUS: 661,000 viewers
Game 4, 4/21, VERSUS: 599,000 viewers
Game 5, 4/23, VERSUS: 841,000 viewers
Game 7, 4/27, VERSUS: 926,000 viewers

Conference Semifinal vs. Philadelphia

Game 1, 4/30, NBC: 1,921,000 viewers
Game 2, 5/2, VERSUS*: 1,699,000 viewers
Game 3, 5/4, VERSUS*: 1,234,000 viewers

Conference Final vs. Tampa Bay

Game 1, 5/14, VERSUS*: 1,541,000 viewers
Game 2, 5/17, VERSUS*: 1,562,000 viewers
Game 3, 5/19, VERSUS*: 1,405,000 viewers
Game 4, 5/21, NBC: N/A
Game 5, 5/23, VERSUS*: 1,516,000 viewers
Game 6, 5/25, VERSUS*: 1,681,000 viewers
Game 7, 5/27, VERSUS*: 2,550,000 viewers

Average: 1.33 million viewers over 14 telecasts

Vancouver Canucks

Conference Quarterfinal vs. Chicago

Game 1, 5/13, VERSUS: 540,000 viewers
Game 2, 5/15, VERSUS: 562,000 viewers
Game 3, 5/17, VERSUS: 689,000 viewers
Game 4, 5/19, VERSUS: 621,000 viewers
Game 5, 5/21, VERSUS: 590,000 viewers
Game 6, 5/24, VERSUS: 1,157,000 viewers
Game 7, 5/26, VERSUS: 1,135,000 viewers

Conference Semifinal vs. Nashville

Game 1, 4/28, VERSUS: 484,000 viewers
Game 2, 4/30, VERSUS: 582,000 viewers
Game 3, 5/3, VERSUS: 591,000 viewers
Game 4, 5/5, VERSUS: 702,000 viewers
Game 5, 5/7, VERSUS: 627,000 viewers
Game 6, 5/9, VERSUS: 679,000 viewers

Conference Final vs. Vancouver

Game 1, 5/15, VERSUS: 1,009,000 viewers
Game 2, 5/18, VERSUS: 847,000 viewers
Game 3, 5/20, VERSUS: 714,000 viewers
Game 4, 5/22, NBC: N/A
Game 5, 5/24, VERSUS: 872,000 viewers

Average: 729,000 viewers over 17 broadcasts

*-Denotes exclusive VERSUS telecasts in Boston. All NBC games were exclusive, no VERSUS telecasts aired in Vancouver.

NHL Net and NHL.com Cover the Final

NEW YORK (May 30, 2011) – The stage is set for the NHL®’s most exciting time of the year and NHL Network™ and NHL.com will have all angles covered throughout the 2011 Stanley Cup® Final between the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins.


NHL Network – NHL On The Fly


For both U.S. and Canadian audiences, NHL Network will begin its Stanley Cup Final coverage on Tuesday, May 31, at 4 p.m. ET with four-hours of programming from Vancouver, NHL On The Fly™ at the Stanley Cup Final: Media Day. Live from the concourse of Rogers Arena, NHL Media Day will give fans a first taste of the playoff excitement as reporters talk with players, coaches and team management from the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Together with players, special guests – including the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy — will also join the set for Media Day festivities.


NHL On The Fly at the Stanley Cup Final: Pre-Game presented by Cisco will be on the air each game day at 6 p.m. NHL On The Fly at the Stanley Cup Final: Post Game presented by Cisco will hit the airwaves immediately following the conclusion of every game to bring viewers instant analysis, coverage of post-game news conferences and all the news and notes. Both pre- and post-game shows will broadcast live from fan plaza and concourse areas in Vancouver and Boston.


NHL Live™ host Deb Placey will anchor the on-site shows with an impressive line-up of guest analysts and show regulars who bring an on-site view of the NHL’s biggest event and up-to-the-minute analysis of game-day preparations. A pair of 11-season NHL goaltenders, Kevin Weekes and Marty Turco, will have all of the angles from the crease covered. Both Weekes and Turco have played deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and can speak from experience about all the pressures that come with playing on the NHL’s main stage. Newly-retired forward Doug Weight, long-time NHL On The Fly analyst Mike Johnson and Stanley Cup-winning coach Marc Crawford, who was drafted by the Canucks in 1980 and played and coached the team throughout his 13-year stay with the Club, also will provide their insight and predictions.




Throughout the series, NHL reporters Billy Jaffe, with the Bruins, and Bob Harwood, covering the Canucks, will interact with fans and players and check out the atmosphere surrounding the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.


On all off days, NHL Network’s flagship show, NHL On The Fly: Stanley Cup Final Edition will broadcast an hour-long show beginning at 6 p.m. ET. On travel days, NHL On The Fly: Stanley Cup Final Edition will originate from the Network’s Toronto studio with hosts David Amber and Brian Duff and a panel of hockey experts. Show analysts include Kelly Chase, former NHL enforcer and current color commentator for St. Louis Blues games; Bob Errey, two-time Stanley Cup winner and TV analyst for the Pittsburgh Penguins; Brad May, a veteran of more than 1,000 NHL games over 22 seasons; and Craig Button, frequent NHL On The Fly guest and former NHL general manager.


NHL Live on NHL Network


NHL Network’s daily signature show, NHL Live™ will also broadcast Monday through Friday from 4 – 6 p.m. during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The show, streamed live on NHL.com will broadcast from its Manhattan studio with NHL Insider EJ Hradek and Bill Pidto, host of NHL Overtime on Versus.


NHL Live will have all the latest series information and reports from Vancouver and Boston. The interactive show, which incorporates fans voices from a social media and phone call perspective, takes viewers beyond the ice with access to players, coaches and management while preparing for upcoming matches.


All NHL Network programming will be carried in high definition to U.S. audiences. NHL Network is available in the U.S. and Canada by contacting digital cable, satellite, or telco providers. For more information or an updated program schedule, please log on to http://www.nhlnetwork.com.


NHL .com


On the web, NHL.com will have a team of reporters, writers and videographers on-site for every media availability, practice and game as well as everything in between. NHL.com’s 24/7 coverage will take fans into the heart of the action and hockey enthusiasts can follow Twitter posts, shot charts, the interactive Q & A’s and instant analysis after all games with EJ Hradek. Each game, NHL.com will also continue to monitor the NHL Situation Room with entries and detailed explanations from NHL Hockey Operations posted to the home page immediately following goal reviews.


Special segments for the NHL’s daily digital newscast, The Blackberry All-Access Pregame Show, will also be produced each day with player and team management interviews, fan reports from the streets of the host city and special coverage from dueling guest bloggers.


CBC Plans For the Final

The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins headline the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA will be there every step of the way providing Canadians with unparalleled coverage of this historic final series.

Storylines abound as the Canucks look to bring home their first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 40-year history, while the Bruins look to raise a championship banner to the rafters for the first time since the glory days of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito in 1972.

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA brings an all-star team of commentators, analysts and reporters to the legendary hockey broadcast beginning in Vancouver on Wednesday, June 1st with Hockey Tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, followed by live coverage of Game One.

Ron MacLean hosts CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA throughout the Final on location with the legendary Don Cherry. Play-by-play man Jim Hughson and analyst Craig Simpson will call the series, with Glenn Healy at ice-level between the benches. Scott Oake and Elliotte Friedman will give fans the perspective of both teams, providing in-depth reports on the Canucks and Bruins. In-studio, fans can look forward to insight and analysis from Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock, backed by the I-Desk with hosts Jeff Marek and Scott Morrison.

Following each game, Seeking Stanley airs on CBC in British Columbia with hosts Shane Foxman, Jody Vance and Karin Larsen.

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA is also the leading on-line destination for fans during the Final, with streaming live and on-demand, video highlights, previews, analysis, blogs and “Tweet tracking” with Hockey Night pulse — all available at cbcsports.ca/hockey. Fans can also “check-in” while watching the game on CBC at entertainment site GetGlue.com, with the chance to earn special Ron MacLean and Don Cherry stickers for viewing during the Final.

Marek will continue to host Hockey Night in Canada Radio on SIRIUS providing comprehensive coverage of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s Channel 157 airing Monday through Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. ET (encore presentation from 7-10 p.m. ET).

CBC’s exclusive Punjabi broadcasts continue through the series, live and on demand at CBCSports.ca. The Punjabi broadcasts will be available on Rogers – Channel 385, Shaw Cable – Channel 328, Shaw Direct – Classic 480, Advanced 429 and Telus – Channel 131. Viewers should contact their local service provider for more details. Harnarayan Singh will handle play-by-play duties while Amarinder Singh will provide analysis.


Series is best of seven. Schedule subject to change.


G1 — Boston @ Vancouver, Wednesday, June 1 @ 8 p.m./5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

G2 – Boston @ Vancouver, Saturday, June 4 @ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

G3 – Vancouver @ Boston, Monday, June 6 @ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

G4 – Vancouver @ Boston, Wednesday, June 8 @ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

G5** – Boston @ Vancouver, Friday, June 10 @ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

G6** – Vancouver @ Boston, Monday, June 13 @ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

G7** – Boston @ Vancouver, Wednesday, June 15 @ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, FULL NETWORK

**if necessary


VERSUS #1 On Friday in Boston and Tampa

This should come as little surprise, but VERSUS’ blockbuster ratings for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final were helped by massive local numbers in each of the two participating markets.

Game 7 drew a massive 18.8 in the Boston market on Friday night, #1 overall in Boston for the entire evening. The 18.8 was a 34% rise from the network’s average for the first five VERSUS broadcasts of this series, which had drawn an average 14.0. It was VERSUS’ best rating ever in Boston. The network was also #1 in the nearby Providence, Rhode Island market for the evening.

Tampa Bay was lower, but little slouch for their club’s loss in Game 7. VERSUS scored a 7.8 rating in Tampa Bay, making the game the #1 television program in the market for all of Friday night. It was a 52% increase from the network’s 5.1 average for the rest of the series. This game was also the best rating for VERSUS ever in the Tampa Bay market.

Game 7 drew 2.55 million viewers nationally, the highest viewership for a Conference Final since 2002, and VERSUS’ best non-Stanley Cup Final ratings ever.

VERSUS Release on Friday Night Blockbuster

NEW YORK – May 30, 2011 – The NBC Sports group’s coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continues to achieve viewership increases across its national platforms.


VERSUS’ exclusive telecast of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night averaged 2.55 million viewers, according to fast nationals provided by The Nielsen Company, making it the most-watched Conference Final game in network history and the sixth-most watched game in the network’s history overall (bested only by Stanley Cup Final games). The telecast, which peaked at 3.25 million viewers from 10-10:30 p.m. ET, was the most-watched third-round game on cable since Detroit and Colorado renewed their epic rivalry in Game 7 on May 31, 2002.






6/2/2010 Chicago at Philadelphia (SCF Game 3) – 3,600,000


6/4/2009 Detroit at Pittsburgh (SCF Game 4) – 3,448,000


6/4/2010 Chicago at Philadelphia (SCF Game 4) – 3,126,000


6/2/2009 Detroit at Pittsburgh (SCF Game 3) – 2,955,000


5/26/2008 Pittsburgh at Detroit (SCF Game 2) – 2,608,000


5/27/2011 Tampa Bay at Boston (ECF Game 7) – 2,550,000


Overall, VERSUS averaged 854,000 viewers for its exclusive and non-exclusive games combined throughout the first three rounds of this year’s postseason, making it the most- watched Stanley Cup Playoffs on cable since 2002.


NBC’s coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 1.93 million viewers per game, up two percent vs. 1.89 million last year. Highlights included NBC’s Conference Quarterfinal coverage, which was the most-watched network coverage for the NHL’s first round in seven years. The Quarterfinals included the Philadelphia Flyers’ Game 6 win over the Buffalo Sabres in overtime, which was watched by 2.57 million viewers, making it the most-watched NHL non-Conference Final game in 12 years.


VERSUS Hits Best Conf. Final Numbers Since 2002 With Game 7

According to Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune:

NBC announces TB-Bos Game 7 avg 2.55 million viewers, most watched conference final since Det-Colorado Game 7 in 2002.

Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night 40 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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

National TV (US): VERSUS
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

National TV (Canada): CBC
Play by Play: Bob Cole
Color: Gary Galley
Reporter: Scott Oake

Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final Hits Series High, Nearly Playoff High For VERSUS

While the Western Conference Final continued to slump along on VERSUS, their counterparts in the east managed to continue their rising viewer numbers.

The terrific Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final between Boston and Tampa Bay drew 1.68 million viewers, marking the best numbers of the series for VERSUS, and falling 18,000 viewers short of the network’s top viewership totals for the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs (1,681,000 viewers vs. 1,699,000 viewers for Game 2, BOS/PHI on 5/2/11). It was up 10% from the viewership numbers for VERSUS’ broadcast of Game 5 two nights prior (1,516,000 viewers on 5/23/11).

So far, through five broadcasts, VERSUS have averaged 1.54 million viewers for the Eastern Conference Final, well above the 862,000 for the Western Conference Final. All five games have placed in the Top 10 for VERSUS in viewership during these Stanley Cup Playoffs. VERSUS will televise Game 7 of the series on Friday night.

Eastern Conference (Tampa Bay vs. Boston)
Game 1 (5/14/11): 
1,540,000 viewers
Game 2 (5/17/11): 1,562,000 viewers
Game 3 (5/19/11): 1,405,000 viewers
Game 5 (5/23/11): 1,516,000 viewers
Game 6 (5/25/11): 1,681,000 viewers
Average : 
1,540,800 viewers

Top 10 in Viewers For 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs on VERSUS

1. Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (5/2/11) – 1,699,000 viewers
2. Boston vs. Tampa Bay, Game 6 (5/25/11) – 1,681,000 viewers
3. Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 5 (5/8/11) – 
1,627,000 viewers
4. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 2 (5/17/11) – 1,562,000 viewers
5. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 1 (5/14/11) – 1,541,000 viewers
6. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 5 (5/23/11) – 1,516,000 viewers
7. Boston vs. Tampa Bay, Game 3 (5/19/11) – 1,405,000 viewers
8. Tampa Bay vs. Washington, Game 2 (5/1/11) – 
1,261,000 viewers
9. Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 7 (5/12/11) – 
1,251,000 viewers
10. Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 3 (5/4/11) – 
1,234,000 viewers

Western Conference Final Finishes Up, But Below A Million

VERSUS’ coverage of the 2011 Western Conference Final ultimately ended up averaging under a million viewers, but the network got a slight boost from the deciding Game 5.

The network’s broadcast of the classic, double overtime Canucks clincher drew 879,000 viewers. This ended up being VERSUS’ second most-watched broadcast of the series, behind only Game 1, which drew 1 million viewers and was the only game on VERSUS to air in an earlier timeslot than 9 p.m. ET. This was up 19% from the series low Game 3 drew for VERSUS (714,000 viewers on 5/20/11).

Overall, VERSUS averaged 862,250 viewers for their four broadcasts from the Western Conference Final. None of the broadcasts will crack the top 10 in viewership for VERSUS during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and will likely be more than doubled by the numbers from the Eastern Conference Final.

VERSUS viewership numbers for the 2011 Western Conference Final, San Jose vs. Vancouver

Game 1 (5/15/11): 1,009,000 viewers
Game 2 (5/18/11): 847,000 viewers
Game 3 (5/20/11): 714,000 viewers
Game 5 (5/24/11): 879,000 viewers
Average: 862,250 viewers