McDonald’s Returns as an NHL Sponsor

NEW YORK (February 16, 2012) ─ The National Hockey League® (NHL) today announced that McDonald’s USA has renewed for multiple years as the Official Quick Service Restaurant of the NHL in the United States and in territories where the annual season-opening NHL Premiere Series is held.

As part of this agreement, McDonald’s will return as the Presenting Partner of the NHL and NBC’s Hockey Day In America platform – a six-hour celebration of the sport of hockey on NBC, in addition to serving as the Official Partner of the NHL Premiere Series, NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Game, the NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL Awards, among other unique brand extensions.

“McDonald’s is the leading global food service retailer and an ideal League partner due to their undeniably powerful reach, influence and consumer loyalty,” said Keith Wachtel, NHL Senior Vice President of Integrated Sales. “Together, we will continue to create meaningful ways to entertain and engage consumers, while providing platforms for McDonald’s to reach our fans – the most attractive demographic in professional sports.”

Through this renewal, McDonald’s USA will continue to support NHL media (NHL Network™, NHL.com and NHL Mobile) and League rights-holders (NBC and NBC Sports Network). McDonald’s also will continue as the presenting sponsor of the popular NHL Network series, Making of a Royal presented by McDonald’s – a weekly vignette that follows the Long Island Royals – an Under-16 AAA hockey team that is coached by Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine. New episodes roll out every Monday on NHL Network’s NHL Live™ and NHL Tonight™. The series also lives on NHL.com and is accompanied by a blog written by LaFontaine.

“Working with The National Hockey League is a natural fit for McDonald’s and our commitment to bringing our guests the best and most relevant sports properties around,” said Peter Sterling, Vice President of Media & Marketing, McDonald’s USA. “Through our renewed effort, hockey fans will experience new and unique elements that celebrate the fun and competitive spirit of this exciting sport.”

A charitable component will once again be included as well. The NHL’s monetary and in-kind contributions in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), McDonald’s “Charity of Choice,” and the Ronald McDonald House® Program will help improve the health and well being of children and their families.

Ken Holland Joins Gary on the NHL Hour

NEW YORK (February 16, 2012) – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President/General Manager Ken Holland and USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will be the guests on today’s NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show, which encourages fans to call in with questions, airs Thursdays on NHL Network, NHL.com and on Sirius XM Radio at 6 p.m., ET.

The Detroit Red Wings now own the NHL record for the longest single-season winning streak at home. By defeating the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena, they became the first team in League history to win 21 straight games on home ice in one season. The Red Wings will attempt to extend their record when they take on the Nashville Predators at home tomorrow (7:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network US, Fox Sports Detroit.)

USA Hockey will celebrate its fifth anniversary of Hockey Weekend Across America this weekend and USA Hockey Director Dave Ogrean will call in to discuss this nationwide initiative which celebrates the game and those involved at all levels while exposing hockey to new audiences. As part of the Hockey Weekend Across America celebration, NBC and NBC Sports Network will present its Hockey Day in America Presented by McDonald’s broadcast on Sunday, providing nine hours of NHL coverage across its platforms, including a regional broadcast of the Detroit Red Wings hosting the San Jose Sharks on NBC at Noon ET.

NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman broadcasts live on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network, 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.

McGuire Jumps Into the Booth for Dartmouth-Yale

ALBANY, N.Y. — The final ECAC Hockey game broadcast this season under the new NBC Sports Network umbrella will air Friday, February 17 as Dartmouth visits Yale at Ingalls Rink, in New Haven, Conn.

Friday’s televised game between the Big Green and the Bulldogs will air live on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) at 7:30 p.m. with Ron Vaccaro, current Bulldogs football broadcaster and NBC Universal Sports and Olympic Researcher, and former NHL player, coach and scout and prominent hock-

ey analyst Pierre McGuire calling the action. The network reaches more than 75 million homes across the United States.

This will be the second time both Dartmouth and Yale will be featured in a game on the NBC Sports Network college hockey schedule this season. The Big Green edged Rensselaer on the road, 4-1 on Jan. 6 and the Bulldogs dropped a hard fought contest, 4-3 on the road to rival Harvard on Jan. 27 at Bright Hockey Center. The historic rivalry – Harvard-Yale match-up Jan. 27 – has drawn the best numbers to date in terms of viewers on the NBC Sports Network college hockey schedule thus far this season.

The college hockey telecasts will be produced by the same Emmy Award-winning team that oversees all of the NHL games for the NBC Sports Group, led by Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports.

For more information about ECAC Hockey, log onto http://www.ecachockey.com. Friend ECAC Hockey on Facebook and sub- scribe to us on Twitter.

NBC Draws Well for Sharks-Caps, Not So Much for Ducks-Wild

A rare double dose of California teams on NBC Sports Network proved to be a mixed bag in terms of viewers.

Monday night’s game between the San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals drew a solid 351,000 viewers. That number made it the most-watched game of the season featuring one of the three California teams. Tuesday night’s Ducks-Wild (which went against free Center Ice package airing the Red Wings-Stars and Bruins-Rangers) did not perform as well. That game drew 173,000 viewers, the fifth-lowest of the season on the network.

Numbers for Bruins-Canadiens last night were unavailable at this time, but you’ll likely see them tomorrow.

2011-12 NHL on NBC Sports Network ratings

October 6
7:00 
Boston vs. Philadelphia – 874,000
10:00 
Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver – 342,000

October 7
1:00 
NY Rangers vs. Los Angeles – 101,000

October 8
1:00 
NY Rangers vs. Anaheim – 124,000

October 10
7:00 
Tampa Bay vs. Washington – 162,000

October 11
7:30 
Florida vs. Pittsburgh – 216,000

October 12
7:30 
Boston vs. Carolina – 312,000

October 17
7:30 
Colorado vs. Toronto – 218,000

October 18
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota – 286,000

October 25
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo – 338,000

October 31
7:00 
San Jose vs. NY Rangers – 169,000

November 1
7:30 
Anaheim vs. Washington – 258,000

November 2
7:30 
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo – 558,000

November 14
7:00 
Buffalo vs. Montreal – 323,000

November 15
7:30 
Colorado vs. Pittsburgh – 392,000

November 21
7:30 
NY Islanders vs. Pittsburgh – 198,000

November 22
7:30 
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis – 245,000

November 28
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota – 232,000

November 29
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers – 394,000

November 30
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Detroit – 393,000

December 5
8:00 
Phoenix vs. Chicago – 302,000 viewers

December 6
7:30 
Detroit vs. St. Louis – 259,000

December 7
7:30 
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo – 585,000

December 12
7:30 
New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay – 201,000

December 13
9:00 
San Jose vs. Colorado – 193,000

December 14
7:30 
Chicago vs. Minnesota – 540,000

December 20
7:30 Chicago vs. Pittsburgh – 634,000

January 2
8:00 
San Jose vs. Vancouver – 267,000

January 3
8:00 
Detroit vs. Dallas – 188,000

January 4
7:30 
Boston vs. New Jersey – 435,000

January 8
7:30 
Detroit vs. Chicago – 587,000 

January 10
7:30 
San Jose vs. Minnesota – 237,000 

January 11
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Washington – 526,000

January 15
7:30 
NY Rangers vs. Montreal – 202,000

January 16
7:30 
Dallas vs. St. Louis – 238,000

January 17
7:30 
Nashville vs. NY Rangers – 224,000

January 18
7:30 Buffalo vs. Chicago – 466,000 

January 23
7:30 
St. Louis vs. Detroit – 429,000 

January 24
9:00 Minnesota vs. Colorado – 190,000

January 25
7:30 Detroit vs. Montreal – 241,000

January 28
7:00 Super-Skills Competition – 1.1 million

January 29
4:00 All-Star Game – 1.3 million

January 31
7:30 Washington vs. Tampa Bay – 264,000

February 1
7:30 NY Rangers vs. Buffalo – 478,000

February 5
12:30 Boston vs. Washington – 455,000

February 6
8:00 Detroit vs. Phoenix – 263,000

February 7
7:30 Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay – 155,000

February 8
7:30 Boston vs. Buffalo – 455,000

February 12
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Detroit – 600,000

February 13
7:30 San Jose vs. Washington – 351,000

February 14
7:30 Anaheim vs. Minnesota – 173,000

10 Most-watched Games on NBCSN This Season
1. Boston vs. Philadelphia (10/6/11) – 874,000
2. Chicago vs. Pittsburgh (12/20/11) – 634,000
3. Philadelphia vs. Detroit (2/12/12) – 600,000
4. Detroit vs. Chicago (1/8/12) – 587,000
5. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (12/7/11) – 585,000
6. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (11/2/11) – 558,000
7. Chicago vs. Minnesota (12/14/11) – 540,000
8. Pittsburgh vs. Washington (1/11/12) – 526,000
9. NY Rangers vs. Buffalo (2/1/12) – 478,000
10. Buffalo vs. Chicago (1/18/12) – 466,000 

(Source: TVSportsratings)

Bruins-Rangers Will Be NBC’s Game of the Week March 4th

This is something that I’ve speculated on for quite a while, and seems pretty obvious when you consider where the two teams are at the moment, but yesterday there was a confirmation on another future NHL on NBC Game of the Week.

Game takes a break on Sunday, February 26 after Hockey Day in America rolls in, but returns on March 4th, with a battle of what will likely still be the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. The teams will face off at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, as confirmed by the Sporting News hockey big cheese/Our Pal Jesse Spector on Wednesday. This gives the Rangers and Bruins both three appearances on NBC this season, meaning they can only be used one more time.

This also means that the other option from Sunday, a Flyers-Caps showdown, will be moved to 7:30 p.m. ET that evening and air exclusively on the NBC Sports Network, a policy that, excluding next week, now runs through the rest of the season.

Also of note, from the NHL’s schedule page, that on March 18th, Penguins-Flyers has been listed as NBC only, while the other option, Caps-Blackhawks, has been listed as NBC and NBCSN. As one of the league’s consistently high-rated match-ups, however, it seems like Penguins-Flyers is a pretty solid lock. That would put the Penguins at three appearances. What I’m getting at here is this: NBC’s two choices on March 11th are Bruins-Penguins and Kings-Blackhawks. Does NBC max out on the Stanley Cup Champions and the league’s most popular TV team, or air a team from California against the nightmare-enduring Blackhawks? Looking forward to that decision.

Remaining NHL on NBC Schedule

February 19
12:30 San Jose vs. Detroit OR Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh OR St. Louis vs. Chicago (Regional Coverage)
3:30 Boston vs. Minnesota

March 4
12:30 
Boston vs. NY Rangers (NBC)
7:30
 Washington vs. Philadelphia (NBCSN) 

March 11
12:30 Boston vs. Pittsburgh OR Los Angeles vs. Chicago*

March 18
12:30
 Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia (NBC)
7:30
 Washington vs. Chicago (NBCSN)

April 1
12:30
 Boston vs. NY Rangers OR Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh*

April 7
12:30 
Buffalo vs. Boston OR Washington vs. NY Rangers OR Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh OR Chicago vs. Detroit*

*-Flex schedule. Game that isn’t chosen will air at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, except for April 7th, where two of the non-selected games will air as a doubleheader on NBCSN.