TSN2 Picks Up the Penguins As Well

In Canada, the last time Sidney Crosby returned, it was a television event, as CBC did extremely well, ratings-wise, drawing an average of 1.2 million viewers. Things are a little more low key this time.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie has confirmed that Thursday’s Rangers-Penguins game will air on TSN2, live at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The game has likely been pushed to TSN2 because TSN is airing second round March Madness coverage, while CBC is already scheduled to cover a rare non-Saturday game with Friday’s Canadiens-Senators tilt. Still, the media circus returns with Sidney Crosby.

NBC Sports Network to Bring You the Return of Sidney Crosby, Again (UPDATED: It’s Official Now)

Waiting on confirmation from NBC on this, but NHL Network billed Thursday night’s Penguins-Rangers game, which will see Sidney Crosby’s second return this season as “Live on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET”, so there’s no reason not to trust that. Still, there will likely be more details to come about this, including talent, plus whether or not a Canadian network will pick up the game. TSN seems most likely, since CBC is airing a Montreal-Ottawa game on Friday night.

Crosby has been out of action since December 5th. He returned to American and Canadian national TV audiences with a game on CBC and VERSUS November 21st.

UPDATE: NBC Sports Network has confirmed it via Twitter. A total of 10 games (pro and college) will air on NBC and NBC Sports Network this week.

NBC to Air First-ever Playoff Doubleheader on April 15th

For the first time in league history, to my knowledge, the NHL will get a Stanley Cup Playoff doubleheader onto American broadcast television.

NBC released it’s listings for the opening weekend of the post-season this morning, and on it was the usual Saturday afternoon game, on April 14th at 3 p.m. ET. However, on Sunday, NBC will air two games, one (likely from the Eastern Conference or Detroit) at 12 p.m. ET, and one (likely from out west) at 3 p.m. ET.

NBC became the first network to air a national NHL doubleheader in the regular season last year, with the inception of Hockey Day in America. The only thing that comes remotely similar to this happening is when the FOX network would start two of their regional playoff games at 2 p.m. ET and one far out west at 3 p.m. ET, though they wouldn’t air one after the other. Either way, NBC wasn’t kidding with it’s commitment to playoff hockey, and NHL fans will benefit in getting three nationally televised games on opening weekend.

(Source: NBC Sports)

Sportsnet Had a Record Breaking Night Across Canada Last Tuesday

While the Leafs were breaking single-game records on Sportsnet Ontario last Tuesday night, the other regions across Canada that make up Sportsnet were no slouches themselves.

A record 2.04 million viewers across Canada tuned into hockey on various Sportsnet affiliates. Aside from the 1.o5 million for Leafs-Bruins, 561,000 viewers caught Stars-Canucks on Sportsnet Pacific, 223,000 tuned into Canadiens-Flames on Sportsnet West, and 200,000 viewers chose Senators-Lightning on Sportsnet East.

The previous record for Sportsnet was 1.92 million viewers on January 17th of this year, when Ottawa-Toronto did well on two different networks, while the Flames and Canucks were also in action.

(Source: BBM Canada via Rogers Sportsnet)