Costas Tonight Begins on NBC Sports Thursday with a Star-studded NFL Town Hall

INDIANAPOLIS – January 31, 2012 – NBC Sports Group presents the premier edition of 22-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Bob Costas’ live town hall series, Costas Tonight: Live From the Super Bowl, Thursday, 8-10 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network. The two-hour live program features some of the NFL’s biggest newsmakers and stars while taking a comprehensive look at the NFL from the Super Bowl host city just three nights before the big game.

Costas Tonight: Live from the Super Bowl will take place in front of a live studio audience from the Indiana Repertory Theater on, and will include a one-on-one interview with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Joined in a town hall setting by some of the biggest names in the sport, Costas will explore all of the headlines and critical issues facing the game, from the evolution of the NFL head coach to the all-important topic of safety on the field.


Roger Goodell – NFL Commissioner

Jerry Jones – Owner, Dallas Cowboys

Robert Kraft – Owner, New England Patriots

John Harbaugh – Head Coach, Baltimore Ravens

Tony Gonzalez – TE, Atlanta Falcons

Dwight Freeney – DE, Indianapolis Colts

Philip Rivers – QB, San Diego Chargers

Larry Fitzgerald – WR, Arizona Cardinals

Jeff Saturday – C, Indianapolis Colts

In addition, NBC Sports’ Super Bowl Commentators:

Al Michaels

Cris Collinsworth

Tony Dungy

Rodney Harrison


· Costas one-on-one with Commissioner Roger Goodell;

· State of the Game – panelists will discuss important issues in today’s NFL including: player safety, performance-enhancing drugs, end zone celebrations and ticket prices;

· Coaches Panel – A look at the state of coaching in the NFL, past and present;

· Panel with NBC’s Super Bowl XLVI broadcasters looking ahead to the big game.

Additionally, there will be a “Hot Zone” in the audience of the Indiana Repertory Theater for Costas and the panelists to interact with past and present NFL players, journalists and NFL insiders Peter King of Football Night in America and Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of Football Night and ProFootballTalk on


CBS Becomes Home of the NCHC

CBS Sports Network has agreed to a multi-year agreement with the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, beginning in the 2013-2014 season. CBS Sports Network will be the exclusive national television partner for the conference, which will feature eight of the nation’s top college hockey programs. The announcement was made today by Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports Network, and Jim Scherr, Commissioner of the National.

The agreement calls for a minimum of 18 conference games, including the National’s semifinal and championship contests. Currently six teams that will be in the new conference are ranked in the Top 20 poll.


“With top teams and passionate fan bases, the National is poised to be an elite college hockey conference, and we’re thrilled to be the national television partner,” said Weinberg. “College hockey has been a staple of our programming and we’re pleased to expand our coverage and further serve fans with compelling and competitive conference action.”

“We are delighted to be associated with the preeminent national broadcaster of college hockey,” said Scherr. “It is our goal to be the premier single-sport conference in intercollegiate athletics and the unmatched exposure and production quality that will be provided by CBS Sports Network will contribute significantly to realizing that vision.”

Currently, CBS Sports Network’s comprehensive college hockey coverage includes action from Hockey East, ECAC, CCHA, WCHA and Atlantic Hockey.


Updated NHL and College Hockey Ratings for the Week of January 16th

Monday, January 16

6:00 NBC Sports Talk – 29,000 viewers
NHL Live – 57,000
Dallas vs. St. Louis – 238,000
NHL Live 66,000
NHL Overtime – 42,000

Tuesday, January 17

6:00 NBC Sports Talk 52,000
NHL Live 24,000
Nashville vs. NY Rangers – 224,000
NHL Live 120,000
12:00 NHL Overtime 23,000

Wednesday, January 18

6:00 NBC Sports Talk – 10,000
NHL Live 107,000
Buffalo vs. Chicago – 466,000
NHL Live 168,000
NHL Overtime – 49,000

Friday, January 20
NBC Sports Talk – 15,000
CNBC Sports Biz: Game On! – 8,000
Michigan vs. Notre Dame – 74,000
NHL Overtime 34,000

(Source: The Voice of TV)

The Ratings Are Fine, So is the All-Star Game Fine, Too?

I watched about 95% of the National Hockey League’s All-Star weekend up in Ottawa over the past four days. I tuned into the Fantasy Draft, the Skills Competition, the game itself, and stuck around for a bit of NHL Network’s media day coverage, and NBCSp’s episode of NHL Overtime that came after Harvard-Yale on Friday night. I kept watching and kept watching and didn’t question the fact that I was watching. I love hockey, I don’t care about basketball, there was no football or baseball that weekend, what else was I going to do? I watched the hockey-related programming that was available to me. Was it perfect? No. But it didn’t make me turn away from what was going on.

Does the fact that I wasn’t alone in this group of activities justify this much-maligned weekend? Does that turn it into an unfairly-maligned weekend? Or are we all really just hockey and NHL junkies, waiting, craving for our next fix?

More than two million people across North America tuned in to the All-Star Fantasy Draft. The full numbers aren’t in yet, but based on last year’s equivalent, more than four million people across the continent likely tuned in to both Saturday night’s Skills Competition and Sunday afternoon’s All-Star Game. This will be the same as last year in America, and up to record-setting levels in Canada, above even the game held in Montreal in 2009 in both countries. Now, the system of measuring viewership is different in Canada now and has provided both CBC and TSN with records seemingly every year at some point, but the question is still worth asking.

Is the All-Star Game just okay? Does it take too much heat for not having enough “importance” and not really meaning anything, when all people really want out of it is a fun little break from the intense NHL regular season? Just a chance to see all their favorite players (who aren’t concussed) interact with each other and have fun for a weekend? The ratings, and the fan interest in the markets where the game is held, seemed to indicate a very emphatic “Yes” to all of the above.

The fact is, while there is very little covering up the fact that All-Star weekend is a chance for the league to hobnob with it’s corporate partners, it seems to make everyone happy. It makes the cities they’re hosted in a lot of money, with Columbus already projecting $12 million for next year’s game. As mentioned previously, the TV ratings are good, especially when considering NBC Sports Network/VERSUS has yet to draw 1 million viewers for a meaningful regular season game, and that CBC is setting all time records considering the game has been held in Canada’s two biggest hockey markets (Montreal and Toronto) in the past 12 years. The fans at the game and the experience seem to be having a blast, and the players seem to finally be coming around to the event as well.

The All-Star Game clearly has it’s supporters. While some have pitched improvements – some have wondered why they don’t play it outdoors, Glenn Healy suggested playing it in Europe – why bother, if the numbers prove that fans are engaged with it? Coming out of the lockout, the ratings were bad for numerous reasons: after skipping one year, they held it on a Wednesday night in Dallas, then a year later went to Atlanta, and numbers went up a little. They went up a little more in Montreal, before it departed for a year and came back to 22% improvements, which were stable this year. Perhaps the lockout was just another part of hockey that people needed to discover in a post-lockout world. It wasn’t giving a real shot to succeed the first couple of years, but is finally finding itself.

So forget doing Europe (why take the revenue away from the other cities you could host the game in?) or outdoors (why potentially ruin two of the league’s biggest cash cows?), maybe the NHL All-Star Game just needs to be kept the way it is. It isn’t perfect, and the game means nothing and features subpar hockey. For whatever reason, however, people seem to like it, and in greater numbers each year. That’s something the league can’t ignore, and it is something that the ever-critical internet’s worth of hockey fans constantly slagging it cant ignore either.

More People Watch the Skills Competition than the All-Star Game in Canada on CBC

Record-setting audiences tuned in to this weekend’s 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game and Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, according to BBM overnight data.

Broadcast live from Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All Star Game on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA drew an average audience of 2.461 million viewers, besting the previous record of 2.389 million viewers set last year. In total, more than 7.3 million people took in some or all of the game, representing 22 per cent of the population.

The Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition broadcast on Saturday, January 28 also set a new record, drawing an audience of 2.468 million. More than 6.9 million people, or one in five Canadians, saw at least part of the competition.

This marks the highest rating for an NHL All-Star Game and the Skills Competition on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA since metered audience measurement began in 1989-90.

Hockey Night in Canada Game Day garnered its largest audience to date and 760,000 viewers tuned in to Scotiabank Hockey Tonight.

“The numbers make it clear the NHL All-Star Weekend on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA continues to be a must-see event for Canadian hockey fans,” said Julie Bristow, executive director, Studio and Unscripted Programming, English Services, CBC. “To see record audiences tuning in year after year exemplifies our dedication to producing the best in Canadian sports programming and to increase the game’s fan base in partnership with the NHL.”

Overall, 10.2 million Canadians tuned-in to some part of CBC’s coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend, representing roughly 30 per cent of the population.

No Crosby, No Ovechkin, No Problem: NHL All-Stars Even with Last Year’s Game

Despite being without Sidney Crosby for the third consecutive event, and this year without Alexander Ovechkin and Jonathan Toews, the NHL All-Star Game did just fine.

The game drew a 1.0 overnight rating on the NBC Sports Network. This was even with the number that VERSUS drew for last year’s All-Star Game in Raleigh. In addition, it was (as last year’s) up 22% from the game in 2009 at Montreal, the last time the All-Star Game was held in Canada. The All-Star Game was not held in 2010 due to the Olympics.

NBC To Chronicle Minnesota High School Rivalry for Hockey Day in America

From Roseau Hockey Online:

The Roseau-Warroad rivalry is one of the biggest high school rivalries in the not just Minnesota but the entire nation and NBC Sports Network knows it.

Late last week the high schools of both Roseau and Warroad were notified that NBC Sports Network (formally known as Versus) out of Los Angeles would be coming into town and doing a story on the rivalry that will be aired as part of the 2012 Hockey Day in America on February 19th.

They will be in both towns doing interviews in both rinks and local businesses regarding the importance of the rivalry between both communities. They will have both Rams Head Coach Andy Lundbohm and Warriors Head Coach Steve Haataja mic’d for the game as well as player interviews before and after the game Tuesday night.


Your NHL National TV Schedule for the Week of January 30

Tuesday, January 31

Toronto vs. Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. ET, TSN
Play by Play:
Chris Cuthbert
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Washington vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSp/TSN2
Play by Play:
Dave Strader
Inside the Glass: Brian Engblom

Chicago vs. Vancouver, 10:00 p.m. ET, TSN
Play by Play:
Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Darren Pang

Wednesday, February 1

NY Rangers vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSp/TSN2
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Pittsburgh vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN
Play by Play:
Chris Cuthbert
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Thursday, February 2

Carolina vs. Boston, 7:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network US

Chicago vs. Edmonton, 9:30 p.m. ET, TSN
Play by Play:
Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Mike Johnson

Friday, February 3

Chicago vs. Calgary, 9:00 p.m. ET, TSN
Play by Play:
Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Saturday, February 4

Pittsburgh vs. Boston, 1:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network US

Washington vs. Montreal, 2:00 p.m. ET, CBC
Play by Play:
Jim Hughson
Color: Craig Simpson
Reporter: Elliotte Friedman

Toronto vs. Ottawa, 7:00 p.m. ET, CBC
Play by Play:
Bob Cole
Color: Gary Galley
Inside the Glass: Glenn Healy
Reporter: Cassie Campbell

Los Angeles vs. Carolina, 7:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network US

Detroit vs. Edmonton, 10:00 p.m. ET, CBC
Play by Play:
Mark Lee
Color: Kevin Weekes
Reporter: Scott Oake

Sunday, February 5

Boston vs. Washington, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSp
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Winnipeg vs. Montreal, 2:00 p.m. ET, CBC
Play by Play:
Jim Hughson
Color: Craig Simpson
Reporter: Elliotte Friedman

The Awards Show Will Remain in Vegas

NEW YORK (January 28, 2012) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) has

announced a new, multi-year partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and

Visitors Authority (LVCVA) that will see the NHL Awards® return to Las

Vegas for the next three years. As part of the extended partnership, which

first began in 2009, the NHL will stage numerous new events throughout the

destination in conjunction with the League’s annual post-season awards

show. The world-famous Wynn Las Vegas luxury hotel and casino resort will

host the 2012 NHL® Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, June 20, at the

Encore Theater.


As the NHL’s biggest stars, Hollywood celebrities, and hockey fans

from around the world descend on Las Vegas this June to celebrate hockey

and the season’s top performances, it will mark the fourth straight year

that the NHL has feted the best hockey players in the world in Las Vegas

and its first-ever event at Wynn Las Vegas, currently home to the

award-winning show “Le Rêve – The Dream” and country music superstar Garth

Brooks’ sold-out concert series.


The 2012 NHL Awards will honor the best regular-season players in a

wide range of categories, including most valuable player (Hart Trophy),

outstanding goaltender (Vezina Trophy), outstanding defenseman (Norris

Trophy) and outstanding rookie (Calder Trophy); the Ted Lindsay Award,

which is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as

voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association

(NHLPA), will also be awarded.


In the coming months, the League, the LVCVA and Wynn Las Vegas will

announce details on an expanded and exciting new awards program for 2012,

along with a number of local events designed for fans and visitors alike.


Televised live in the United States and Canada, the 2012 NHL Awards

will showcase hockey and Hollywood’s biggest stars with the excitement and

energy that only Las Vegas can provide.


“Las Vegas knows energy, entertainment and star power — elements

that our players display every night,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“The city, the Wynn and the Encore Theater will provide a spectacular

setting for our end-of-season festivities over the next three years.”


“Las Vegas is excited to welcome the NHL Awards back to the

destination,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO of the LVCVA. “We have

enjoyed a great partnership, and we look forward to providing another great

experience for the League, the players and of course the fans.”


“We are pleased to be the host resort for the 2012 NHL Awards at Wynn

Las Vegas and look forward to partnering with the league and the LVCVA to

bring one of hockey’s most exciting nights to Las Vegas,” said Marilyn

Spiegel, president of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. “We look forward to

welcoming the NHL’s biggest names to Wynn Las Vegas and celebrating the

best in professional hockey.”


Nominees for each Award, along with a full line up of celebrity

guests, presenters and entertainment, as well as information on tickets and

official 2012 NHL Awards travel packages, will be announced in the coming

months. For more information, visit


The NHL Throws Next Year’s All-Star Bone at Columbus

NEW YORK (January 28, 2012) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced the selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the city of Columbus as hosts of the 2013 National Hockey League All-Star Celebration. The League’s mid-season showcase will take place Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27 and will include the Molson Canadian NHL SuperSkills® and the NHL All-Star Game.

The 2013 NHL All-Star Game marks the first time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Columbus, becoming the third consecutive first-time All-Star host city. Raleigh in 2011 and Ottawa in 2012 also were first-time hosts. The Blue Jackets and Columbus have experience in holding a signature NHL event, as they hosted the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

“We’re looking forward to bringing our All-Star celebration to Columbus,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The Blue Jackets did a great job of hosting the NHL Draft in 2007, and I have no doubt they will raise the bar even higher when they welcome our All-Star celebration next January.”

“The Blue Jackets are honored to host the 2013 All-Star celebration in Columbus as we believe our city offers a truly unique setting for this special event,” said Blue Jackets Majority Owner John P. McConnell. “As much as it is a showcase for the NHL’s best players, it is also a celebration of hockey fans and having it in Columbus is a testament to the fantastic support of our fans and the strength of Central Ohio as a hockey market.”

Further details on the 2013 NHL All-Star celebration, including ticket information, special events and television broadcasting will be released at a later date.