The NHL All-Star Weekend Was a Success

NEW YORK (February 2, 2012) – The 2012 NHL® All-Star Weekend broke

records in viewership, digital consumption and partner activation, once

again demonstrating the popularity of the National Hockey League’s

midwinter celebration among fans and corporate partners.

 

Over four event-filled days in Canada’s capital region, the NHL

fully engaged the city of Ottawa. A total of 29,289 people attended the

Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair™ inside the Ottawa Convention Center and, adding to

the celebratory atmosphere, fans gathered on the Rideau Canal to see all

the NHL trophies as part of a procession and watch youth hockey players

strut their skills in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills™ National

Championship.

 

A weekend that began with the top players in the world choosing up

sides at the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ at the

Hilton Lac Leamy Hotel and Casino in Gatineau, Quebec, continued with two

sellout crowds at Scotiabank Place for Saturday night’s 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and Sunday’s 2012 Tim Hortons NHL

All-Star Game.

 

NHL Network™ delivered 16.5 hours of live on-site coverage from the

festivities and featured interviews with more than 35 All-Stars over the

course of the weekend.

 

NORTH AMERICAN VIEWERSHIP UP

Overall, 17.7 million North American viewers watched all or part of

an NHL All-Star Weekend event (Fantasy Draft, Media Day, All-Star Skills,

All-Star Game) this year on CBC, NBC Sports Network, RDS or TSN (original

airings only).

 

Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft delivered an

average audience of 1.6 million viewers in Canada (TSN: 1.34 million; RDS:

254,000). Overall, 3.7 million unique viewers tuned in to watch some or

all of the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on TSN and

RDS.

 

CBC earned the highest rating for an NHL All-Star Game and Skills

Competition since metered audience measurement began in 1989-90. Overall,

10.2 million Canadians — representing roughly 30 percent of the population

— tuned in to some part of CBC’s coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend.

 

The 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All Star Game on CBC 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 –

representing 22 percent of the population – took in some or all of the

game. CBC’s broadcast of the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills

Competition™ on Saturday, January 28 also set a 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.

 

NBC Sports Network’s broadcast of the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star

Game delivered more than 1.3 million average viewers and the 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL Skills Competition delivered 1.1 million average viewers,

making each the second most-watched All-Star Game and Skills Competition in

the U.S. since 2004.

 

NHL.COM SETS ALL-TIME RECORD FOR DAILY VIDEO STARTS

Fueled by the creativity and charisma of Blackhawks All-Star Patrick

“Superman” Kane, who donned a cape and Clark Kent glasses during the

Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge™ event in the 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL Skills Competition Saturday, NHL.com shattered it’s all-time

day record for Video Starts on Sunday, eclipsing the previous record by

600,000 Video Starts and last year’s All-Star Sunday by 1 million video

starts. Total Video Starts for the 3 All-Star event days (Fantasy Draft,

Skills, Game) were up 22 percent year-over-year.

 

Daily Unique Visitors on All-Star Sunday were up 24 percent

year-over-year and Average Daily Unique Visitors for the three All-Star

event days (Fantasy Draft, Skills, Game) were up 15 percent year-over-year.

 

Top 10 Videos on NHL.com for All-Star Weekend

1. skills competition: Kane superman breakaway

2. skills competition: Kane shatters puck

3. skills competition: Perry uses mini-stick

4. skills competition: Chara hardest shot

5. skills competition: Perry breakaway

6. super Stamkos

7. goalie race

8. Price gets picked

9. accurate shot

10. skills competition: Timonen vs. Quick

 

MOBILE CONTINUES TO GROW AT AN IMPRESSIVE PACE

Mobile Page Views (PVs) on All-Star Sunday were up 48 percent

year-over-year and total PVs for the three All-Star event days (Fantasy

Draft, Skills, Game) were up 46 percent year-over-year.

 

NHL’s The Hardest Shot™ app was the No. 1 paid app in the iTunes

store in Canada over the weekend. The NHL also represented five of the top

five sports apps in the top grossing category in iTunes Canada over the

weekend.

 

Top 5 Grossing Apps on iTunes Canada (Jan.27-29)

1. NHL GameCenter LIVE™ 2011-12

2. Leafs TV Mobile

3. NHL GameCenter™ 2011-12 Premium

4. Canucks Live 2011-12

5. NHL Hardest Shot™

 

SOCIAL MEDIA HISTORY WAS MADE

Sixteen All-Star players and rookies who competed in the 2012 Molson

Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ spoke directly to fans throughout

the event via Twitter, marking a first for NHL players to communicate via

social media during a competition. Throughout the live-tweeting time span,

the 16 players reached a combined audience of more than 1.2 million

followers.

 

@NHL on Twitter gained 304 percent more followers compared over last

year’s growth.

 

#NHLAllStar, the official hashtag for the weekend, grew more than 500

percent in impressions over last year.

 

Out of all NHL Facebook fans, 1 out of 4 were reached with an

All-Star related post on the NHL page at least once and 16.5 percent of the

total Facebook fans had seen an All-Star related post 21 times or more over

the weekend.

 

RECORD NUMBER OF CORPORATE PARTNER ACTIVATED

A total of 25 corporate sponsors activated during 2012 NHL All-Star

Weekend, more than any previous year. New to the fold was Molson Coors/

MillerCoors, which activated against its first All-Star Weekend via the

Molson Canadian brand since signing landmark sponsorship deal in February

2011. Also in firsts, the NHL secured a title sponsor for the All-Star Game

(Tim Hortons) and Media Day (Allstate Insurance).

 

SCOTIABANK NHL ALL-STAR FAN FAIR DRIVES MERCHANDISE SALES

All-Star event product posted a 3 percent increase in overall

concession sales and a 28 percent boost in sales at the Scotiabank NHL

All-Star Fan Fair, despite inclement weather deterring attendance during

parts of the weekend. These upticks were buoyed by sales of All-Star

Jerseys and a 25 percent increase in sales of headwear featuring the Reebok

“second season” watercolor ballcap and a broad assortment of winter knit

hats. Overall retail sales saw a 1 percent increase with over $2.4M in

retail sales.

 

Top Selling All-Star Items

1 Jerseys

2 Name and Number Tees

3 Ticket lanyards

4 Game Pucks, Pennants, Pins, mini sticks

5 All-Star and team Knit Hats

6 All-Star and team ball caps

7 Glassware

8 Tees

9 Programs

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“I grew up on this sport that we are here celebrating this evening and this

is one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received – NHL All-Star 2012” –

multi-platinum recording artist Drake during 2nd intermission performance

 

“NHL All-Star weekend is terrific. You really should go. The embroidery

around the big-ticket events is superb. The mood is festive. A city, even a

staid national capital like Ottawa, takes off its rep tie and kicks back

for a few days, wallowing in the culture of the sport and the proximity of

the best players the NHL can muster.” – Sports Illustrated

 

“’All access all the time’ might have been the theme. To an unprecedented

degree, players were available to fans and media off the ice and via

miked-up situations during the fantasy pool draft, skills competition and

Sunday’s game . . . The week was a success from all perspectives.” – Ottawa

Citizen

 

 

“The sellout crowd loved every moment of it.” – Globe and Mail

 

“The All-Star draft is a terrific addition to the festivities… (it) has now

become the signature event of the whole proceedings.” – ESPN.com

 

“The players really do embrace the skills competition now. They’re getting

it. Entertain the fans with the crafty moves they practice in practice.

This is really what all-star weekend is about.” – The Hockey News

 

Garth Snow is a Guest on The NHL Hour, Which is Now, in Fact, a Television Show

NEW YORK (February 2, 2012) – New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow will be the guest on today’s NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show, which encourages fans to call in with questions for Commissioner Bettman, airs Thursdays on NHL Network, NHL.com and on Sirius XM Radio at 6 p.m., ET.

John Tavares, selected by Snow with the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, led all NHL players with 9-13—22 in January. He is the first Islanders player to lead the League in points over a full calendar month of games since Bryan Trottier had 28 points in November, 1980. Tavares’ 22 points in January were the most by an Islanders player in any calendar month since Pierre Turgeon tallied 23 in March, 1994.

Earlier this week, the Islanders announced they will play in the first-ever NHL game to take place in Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center — a pre-season game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.

NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman broadcasts live on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on NHL Newtork, NHL.com as well as NHL Home Ice (channel 92 on XM and channel 207 on Sirius Premier). The show will re-air on Sirius XM Radio, with archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.

The show encourages fans to call in with questions. To submit questions to NHL Hour call 1-877-NHL-ON-XM (1-877-645-6696). NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman is a production of NHL Radio.

 

Hey, Here’s Five Unsolicited Suggestions For NBC’s Hockey Coverage

The second half of the week is always a little light on Puck the Media. That’s because, well, this is a niche blog (as about 38 different people from the world of hockey, television, and my family have ingrained into me) and some weeks, there just isn’t a lot of material. I’m always looking for something new and something that involves the readers, so why not try this? Five weekly suggestions for hockey coverage on television. Anything. Nothing’s off limits.

This week, and probably most weeks, it’ll be about the NBC and NBC Sports Network coverage (and while you’re at it, the network in general), but suggestions for CBC and TSN are welcome. If you come up with something, leave it in the comments, send it to me on Twitter @stevelepore, or e-mail at stevemlepore@gmail.com. And one more rule, this isn’t the place for you to tell everyone that you hate Pierre McGuire or Don Cherry or just flat-out hate everyone (or “Bring Back Community!“) or how great it would be if they cancelled Darren Rovell. In that case, well, you’re anti-social and may want to consider consulting a therapist. The point is, this is meant to be constructive, and in no way direct, angry, cynical criticism. Though, to be cynical, it isn’t as if anyone from NBC will listen. Here goes.

  1. Trade Deadline Special. NBC has done a fantastic job this week at the Super Bowl. Russ Thaler, Mike Florio and crew should be very proud of the hours of watchable programming they’ve brought to NBC Sports Network’s mid-day, which has proven really middling until Sports Talk gets going at 6 ET. Why not bring the ‘Special Event Live’ format to the NHL trade deadline on February 27? I mean, Pierre McGuire was always a vital part of TSN’s extravaganza and you’ve got him exclusively, what else do you need? Test the waters this year with a two-hour show from 2-4 p.m. ET, you can even re-air it from 4-6 p.m. The network is broadcasting a Devils-Rangers game that night. I know there’s often a sense of looking at TSN and wondering why you’d compete with the best, but you’ve already taken a very key cog in that show’s success (though Dreger and McKenzie are probably unbeatable) so why not take a shot?
  2. Thursday and Saturday night Overtime. Why is this not already happening down the stretch? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but NBC has started ditching much of it’s morning programming (from around 7 a.m.-11 a.m. ET) for reruns of Sports Talk, Overtime and NHL 36, among other things. Filling up that morning block is one of the many reasons to have an episode of Overtime every night of the week down the stretch. What’s the point of having the show on Friday and Sunday, while skipping out on Thursday and Saturday? Thursday and Saturday are easily the two most productive nights of the NHL schedule.
  3. Why not try doing a game in Spanish? No, we’re not asking Doc Emrick to learn his famous call of “Drive!” in Spanish. Did you know that, in their inaugural season, the Florida Panthers broadcast games on the radio in Spanish? Now, they’ve never done it again, but it could be worth the experiment, similar to Hockey Night in Canada airing games in Punjabi. The NHL has pushed their “Hockey is For Everyone” campaign for many years now, but it has seemed largely directed toward African Americans/Canadians and women. Why not try an olive branch for the many Spanish-speaking citizens of this country. Why not air one of the NHL’s NBC Game of the Week telecasts on corporate partner Telemundo, which has tried this with NFL games? I know the audience for it must be next to nothing, but it couldn’t seriously hurt to try, could it? Even just an SAP button (those still exist, right?).
  4. Jeremy Roenick on game coverage. JR’s been working hard every night on NHL Overtime, and it shows, but sometimes it still seems as if he’s just got too much energy for the room. Also, he makes up at least one new word per episode. I liked some of his work over the All-Star Weekend, so why not give him a shot at working a game in the booth?
  5. Please, no more 7:30 p.m. ET starts for CST and PST teams. This just seems like common sense. The network has aired multiple St. Louis home games at 6:30 p.m. local time, multiple Minnesota Wild games at 6:30 p.m. local time (oftentimes with the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, whose fans are tuning in at 4:30 p.m.). Not only does this likely hurt attendance early on in the game, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it hurts ratings? Can’t we at least scoot these games over to 8 p.m. ET to give the central time zoners a bone here?