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.

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

  1. Chris says:

    If true, it’ll definitely rate far better than Crosby’s first “return” since the game is also a matchup between two teams battling for 1st place in the Eastern Conference.

    • Chris says:

      Actually, scratch that. Forgot it’ll be going up against NCAA Tournament games, so a higher rating would be far from a guarantee.

  2. 5w30 says:

    What’s wrong with MSG or Root Pittsburgh, both carry the game …

  3. e says:

    Will the game still be broadcast locally in Pittsburgh and New York?

  4. Jason says:

    Steve no nbcsn ratings for mls?

    The debut of Major League Soccer on NBC Sports was both a success and a disappointment in television ratings.

    Sources such as The Sporting News have confirmed that the Sunday afternoon FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls MLS season opener drew a national rating of 0.07. This means that approximately 82,000 viewers tuned in to watch the first nationally televised game of the campaign. On paper, this is both good and bad news for NBC Sports and Major League Soccer.


    There’s no nice way to say it. 82,000 viewers is a low number for a professional sporting event that featured a big market team and one of the most recognizable names in the league. Casual sports fans may not know players such as Ryan Meara, Joel Lindpere and Kenny Cooper. The name “Thierry Henry” surely rings a bell or two, and those who have watched the United States Men’s National Team over the past 12 months would probably also at least be familiar with Brek Shea and/or Juan Agudelo.

    It’s not all bad news for MLS on the numbers front. As The Sporting News story states, FOX Soccer, the previous TV home of MLS, averaged about 68,000 viewers per league contest last season. An increase in viewers is always a plus, but fans shouldn’t get overly excited about this news. NBC Sports is currently in about double the amount of US homes as is FOX Soccer.

    The Sporting News story has claimed that NBC Sports is hoping for somewhere between an 0.3 and 0.4 rating for MLS games airing on the network this year. When I spoke with two “in the know” TV sports individuals regarding MLS on NBC before the start of the season, I was told that any match involving either LA Galaxy or New York would have to be considered somewhat of a disappointment if it failed to draw at least 100,000 total viewers. Of course, it is just week 1 of the new relationship, so one would be wise to avoid getting either too excited or overly dejected regarding today’s news.

    So what did we learn about MLS on NBC? In my opinion, attempting to compete with NCAA college basketball championship Sunday was never a smart idea for the league. The CBS Selection Sunday show (a similar program also airs on ESPN at the same time) concludes each year at 7:00 pm ET. While ESPN follows that program with two hours of “Bracketology,” not everybody who tunes into the CBS show cares to watch two hours of bracket breakdowns. NBC Sports had programming conflicts this past Sunday and Monday, as NHL games aired on the station both nights. ESPN2 had a “Monday Night Football” MLS match, Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union, and coverage of that match started at 9:30 pm ET.

    One complaint fans and analysts alike had regarding MLS on FOX Soccer was that FSC treated the US domestic league as a nuisance, one that merely interrupted coverage of European football. MLS fans are going to have to get used to the fact that the league is once again playing the role of little brother on a network, this time to the NHL. NHL programming airs on NBC Sports on a daily basis. There is currently no MLS highlight show on the network.

    Those of you joking that NBC Sports airs far too many “pointless” hunting and fishing shows will probably want to bite your tongues. According to TV Sports Ratings, nine different hunting/fishing shows airing on NBC Sports this past Sunday drew better ratings than did the MLS match. NBC Sports has been getting great reviews regarding the MLS debut on the network since Sunday evening.

    Now, we just have to find ways to get more people to watch.

    Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

  5. bomber says:

    Pittsburgh can watch the game on Root Sports.They don’t watch or cover hockey in New York City.

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