NHL Opening Night Viewership Totals Since 2003

NOTE: I searched exhaustively for the numbers from 2007 and just could not find them. If anybody can, please shoot me an e-mail or a comment. Thank you.

Past NHL Opening Night Viewership

2010 (VERSUS)
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 730,000 viewers
10:00
Chicago vs. Colorado – 430,000 viewers

2009 (VERSUS)
7:00
Washington vs. Boston – 501,000 viewers
10:00 San Jose vs. Colorado – 330,000 viewers

2008 (VERSUS)
7:00
Toronto vs. Detroit – 573,000 viewers
10:00
Boston vs. Colorado – 361,000 viewers

2007 (VERSUS)
7:00
Anaheim vs. Detroit – 421,000 viewers
10:00
Dallas vs. Colorado – 289,000 viewers

2006 (VERSUS)
7:00
Buffalo vs. Carolina – 337,000 viewers
10:00
Dallas vs. Colorado – 301,000 viewers

2005 (OLN)
7:30
NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia – 353,000 viewers

2003 (ESPN)
8:00
New Jersey vs. Boston OR Chicago vs. Minnesota OR Anaheim vs. Dallas – 476,000 viewers

(Sources: 2004, 2005/2006, 2007, 2008, 2009-2011 from PTM archives)

The Jets Come Flying Back on CBC

October 6, 2011 – The Jets are back! As part of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada’s action-packed opening weekend, FUELLED BY PASSION: THE RETURN OF THE JETS tells the incredible story of the devastating loss and against-all-odds return of the Winnipeg Jets. It airs on CBC Television, Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), and again on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. ET.

In 1996, the Winnipeg Jets played their final game in the Winnipeg Arena. To the shock and disappointment of Winnipeggers and fans across the NHL, the team was sold to Phoenix and became the Coyotes. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, an indefatigable team of people led by long-time believer Mark Chipman worked for 15 years to get the NHL back to Winnipeg—arguably the biggest comeback in NHL history.

The documentary contains many poignant interviews and conversations, including Barry Shenkarow (former owner of the Winnipeg Jets) on receiving death threats; NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sharing a wager with Chipman on the future of the team; and a rare interview with current co-owner David Thomson.

FUELLED BY PASSION: THE RETURN OF THE JETS follows the players through rookie camp on to training camp, and then as they start to gel as a team as the regular season fast approaches. Featuring interviews with head coach Claude Noel and executive V.P. and general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, the film gives new insight into how they make the tough choices to select who stays, and who goes. Featured player interviews include Jets captain Andrew Ladd, NHL veterans Eric Fehr and Chris Mason, along with new hopefuls: Winnipeg’s own Derek Meech and newcomer Mark Scheifele, whose explosive pre-season play allowed the 18-year-old to follow the path of his Barrie Colts coach and mentor, Dale Hawerchuk. We’ll also find out how former Jets great Hawerchuk was instrumental in leading his protégé to Winnipeg.

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

Oct. 6 – 9, 2011

Thursday, Oct. 6:

6:30 p.m. ET – Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off

7 p.m. ET – Montreal at Toronto

10 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh at Vancouver

Friday, Oct. 7:

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Fuelled by Passion – The Return of the Jets

Saturday, Oct. 8:

5 p.m. ET – HNIC Game Day

6:30 p.m. ET – Scotiabank Hockey Tonight

7 p.m. ET – Ottawa at Toronto

10 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh at Calgary

Sunday, Oct. 9:

3 p.m. ET – Fuelled by Passion – The Return of the Jets

4 p.m. ET – Scotiabank Hockey Tonight

5 p.m. ET – Montreal at Winnipeg

NHL Network To Add Team Cams, Connecticut Studios On the Way

This great article from Jason Dachman at Sports Video Group looks at some of the NHL Net’s enhancements this season:

The NHL Network will drop the puck on the 2010-11 season tonight on the verge of completing a host of production and operations enhancements. These include a master-control center to be launched in February, a TeamCam system that will soon be available at every NHL arena, and a fully redesigned New York City studio that is already being used for the network’s daily news and talk show, NHL Live.

“We’re extremely excited for the start of the season,” says NHL Network VP of Programming Bob Chesterman. “NHL Live and NHL on the Fly have new start times [5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively], and we’ve got a lot more in the works this year.”