The NHL TV Set, Part 4: Become Part of GE/Universal Conglomerate, Show Clips of “Walker, Texas Ranger” During Games

 

 

General Electric Owns, like, Everything

General Electric Owns, like, Everything

This is part four of our four-part series “The NHL TV Set”, in which we explore alternate scenarios for the NHL on national TV.

We hope there are some Conan O’Brien fans who get that one.  Anyway, this entire week has been about us presenting alternate routes for the NHL to go on national TV, as The NHL On NBC “Game of the Week” returns this Sunday at 12:30 PM with Penguins-Rangers.  If you’re a hockey fan, you need to be watching.  If you don’t want to, leave the TV on the game and go into another room, so we can trick people into thinking tons of people watch hockey.

We’ve gotten a little off track.  Oh, yeah, anyway, the point is maybe we shouldn’t be thinking about where else we can go.  Maybe we should ask ourselves this: How can we improve our relationship with NBC?

I have a thought.  Why not ask Universal to pay a rights fee equal to what VERSUS pays, and air NHL hockey across three NBC Universal networks.  It’d be The NHL On NBC, USA and CNBC.

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The NHL TV Set, Part 3: Let’s Do the Fox Warp Again

 

The NHL On FOX originally aired from 1995-99

The NHL On FOX originally aired from 1995-99

Editor’s Note: This is Part Three of Puck the Media’s four-part series “The NHL TV Set”

 As I said earlier in this series, I always felt FOX did the best job with hockey out of any of the three networks (FOX, ABC, NBC) that have taken on the burden of showing low-rated hockey games the past 14 years.  They promoted the sport, took some risks to attempt to drive up the ratings, and flat out showed some games that came close to bringing the NHL to consistent network coverage.

Now, there’s a lot that would need to be done to get the NHL back on FOX.  It’s long been a poorly-kept secret that FOX has no interest in negotiating with Gary Bettman after what happened in ’98 between the two parties and ABC.  So, FOX would not only mean the good news of a rejuvinated TV deal, but it’d mean that Gary’s gone for good.  Let’s get this deal done.

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The NHL TV Set, Part 2: Two Network Split, Because the Baseball Network Worked So Well

Editor’s Note: This is part two of our four-part series, The NHL TV Set, in which we speculate on alternate scenarios for the National Hocke League on broadcast television, where we believe the league can thrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBC is probably in between FOX and ABC on the list of “Best NHL Network partners”, because they show more games than ABC, and show more playoff games than FOX did, but they don’t promote the spot with any of the ferocity that FOX did, so they finish a close second.

My only other real beef with the Peacock network is that the games aren’t shown with the consistency necessary to keep the NHL visible in the eyes of the public.  So this is my suggestion today: Use a two-network system, between CBS and NBC, to keep the NHL on every week from January until the Stanley Cup Finals, giving the league and their partners a chance to tell a story throughout the games each week.

CBS, having little going on on weekends after football season, would mix in hockey games on Saturdays and Sundays with it’s college basketball coverage.  Show off how the rivalries in hockey are comparable to many college battles throughout the nation, and maybe a few extra folks will flock to it.  NBC keeps it’s Sunday “Game of the Week” package with six games beginning in March.

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The NHL TV Set, Part 1: The NHL On The CW Network

Editor’s Note: This is the first of our four-part series, The NHL TV Set, in which we speculate on alternate scenarios for the National Hockey League on broadcast television, where we believe the league could thrive.  Please keep in mind that these are merely alternate scenarios, not rumors or things that may actually happen.

Chances are, you’re probably laughing already at this first concept.  But chuckle all you want, The NHL on The CW is the proposal – of the four I’m submitting to you, the puckhead – I’m the most confident in, and were I given my choice, would go as far as advising the league to seek out.  

The CW contains a small, cult audience of shows with younger viewers that the league desperately wants to get it’s advertising hands on.  The CW needs to boost it’s profile among the major networks (if you can call it one) and also, conveniently, does not broadcast on Saturday nights.

Think about it… and… there it is!  You know what I’m thinking, it’s that The CW and the NHL partner up for Hockey Night in America.  Seven hours of hockey airing live every Saturday night on The CW.  With little competition from the other networks, and the correct promotional campaign (The CW has ties to CBS and it’s stable of networks) who’s to say the NHL can’t carve out a niche for itself on Saturdays.  Here’s how you do it:

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The NHL and NBC Keep Their Promise, As Fans Win Big with Every Game on TV

I’ve heard a lot of negative thoughts about the NHL’s new deal with NBC ever since the day it was signed. The sport will continue to not get the exposure it deserves, even a few games on ESPN would have been better. The oddest thing I heard cynicism about was the clause in the contract that required every game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to be on national television. Some were thinking they’d dump it on the SyFy channel, or E!, or Universal Sports or any of the other myriad cable doldrums the networks of NBC Universal inhabit.

If you tuned into the networks of NBC this weekend and saw the schedule release yesterday, however, you’d be hard-pressed to continue thinking that way. NBC aired 13 hours of hockey coverage between NBC and NBC Sports Network on Saturday, including four games and what amounted to more than two hours of studio coverage. This capped off a week in which NBC and NBC Sports Network combined to air a total of 38 hours of hockey coverage, between 12 games and tons of studio shows, you can’t say the NHL’s exciting race to the finish went ignored. Unless you were watching your local team on Saturday, if you loved hockey and live in the US, you were glued to NBCSN.

Onto the playoff schedule. NBC Sports Network and NBC are set to air at least 26 playoff games over the first 12 days of the post-season. That’s great, right there. Hockey fans would settle for that. But NBC promised “Every Game, Every Night”, and they’ve delivered. At least 10 games are slated to air on cable’s CNBC, which is in 100 million homes (20 million more than NBCSN, awkwardly enough) and will have a studio devoted to it’s coverage.

The addition of the NHL Network may be a bit of a tipping point for some. The network isn’t in nearly as many homes as NBCSN even. But, let’s face it, except for a couple of the weaker cable companies – if you want the NHL Network, you have it. It’s where the diehard fans are, and it was a smart choice to bring the Stanley Cup Playoffs to them. Now, in all likelihood, they will be doing simulcasts of CBC and TSN and local feeds (though the local feeds will get NHL Network’s own graphics). However, it’s only five games, most of them are from that Florida-New Jersey series, and it’s unlikely they’ll get the rights to any Game 7 action either. Maybe in a few years, the NHL will deem those games as more useful back on Center Ice/GameCenter, but for now, this is a solid move.

Another solid move? The way the start times are often staggered. Now, I’d have liked to see more of this, but there are only four occasions of overlapping start times in the first 12 nights of the post-season. I’d like to see NBC start up a Twitter account, similar to the ones CBS did for March Madness, that alert people to games closing in on exciting moments or headed to overtime, to give casual fans that ability to flip around all night and constantly see something spectacular.

Not everything is sunshine and roses, of course. 7:30 p.m. ET starts for both San Jose/St. Louis in St. Louis and Detroit/Nashville in Nashville. Why couldn’t these two, especially Sharks/Blues, be moved at least to 8 p.m. ET and at best 9 p.m. ET? Why does this league continually punish fans on the west coast who need to work until 5 p.m. or later? There’s no reason that San Jose/St. Louis series should start before 7 p.m. CT at least. Considering that both games are on CNBC, and not affecting the NBCSN doubleheader’s, this seemed like a particularly egregious gaffe.

But largely, this is the culmination of a decade of hoping for better television coverage of sports’ most thrilling two months. Ever since TSN gained stronger playoff rights to the NHL in 2002, Canada has been ahead of the United States in terms of this. Before 2002, ESPN’s coverage was much better than CBC and Sportsnet’s, simply because CBC owned everything after round one, but couldn’t devote the necessary coverage to all of round two. ESPN’s coverage weakened after ’02, and OLN/VERSUS haven’t been able to do more than they have, which is go doubleheaders every night for a month until the Conference Finals. It’s fine for the basic puckhead, but you know it can be better.

With this playoff schedule, fans in the United States are even, if not better. CBC affiliate CHEX (which is largely available in Ontario) and CBCSports.ca will be forced into duty for a few playoff games due to time conflicts. This means that, for the most part, fans in the US will get equal, in some cases stronger access to the Stanley Cup Playoffs than their Canadian counterparts. But let’s not get nationalistic here. The NHL has won great coverage for their fans in both nations, and for that, everyone should be happy. At least until all of this begins again on Wednesday.

The NHL Debuts “Because It’s The Cup” Tonight on NBC Sports Network

NEW YORK (March 15, 2012) – The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs campaign will debut during tonight’s NBC Sports Network presentation of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. ET., a game that marks the return of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. It represents the most strategic and creative campaign collaboration ever among the NHL, NBC Sports Group, CBC, TSN, RDS, teams and sponsors.

The campaign’s tagline, Because It’s The Cup™ leverages the brand equity inherent in the Stanley Cup – the most iconic trophy in sports. The first two TV spots in this season’s campaign – “Two Halftimes” and “Where It’s Been” – emphasize the social aspect of watching the Playoffs with friends, and some of the unique stories about the Cup since it was first awarded in 1893.

In the “Two Halftimes” TV spot, fans are shown gathering at viewing parties in their homes and at their local sports bars to share in the unscripted drama of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The “Where It’s Been” TV spot recounts some of the unique places the Stanley Cup have visited and a myriad of its experiences as the most famous and revered trophy in all of sports.

“This year’s campaign capitalizes on the social connecting force of the Stanley Cup and the Playoffs,” said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing. “From old friends gathering in their living rooms to new friendships forged over a beer at the local pub to the fan connections created by discussions and debates on Facebook and Twitter, the Stanley Cup Playoffs has the power to bring people together to share in the excitement of each team’s quest to hoist the Stanley Cup.”

“We are eager to partner with the NHL on this campaign as our collective distribution assets have a much more powerful reach when we speak together rather than speaking with separate voices,” said John Miller, CMO, NBC Sports Group. “’Because It’s The Cup’ is synonymous with importance and that plays very well with our positioning of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. This year, we’re showing EVERY playoff game nationally, ‘Because It’s The Cup.’”

“For Canadians, watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is an annual tradition, and the ‘Because It’s The Cup’ campaign completely captures the nostalgia and excitement that our audience feels every year,” said Bridget Hoffer, Executive Director, Communications Marketing Brand, CBC. “This is a perfect extension of CBC’s great partnership with the NHL and we’re looking forward to sharing this campaign with hockey fans across the country as part of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada coverage throughout each round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

Three additional anthemic TV spots, as well as numerous TV spots that emphasize player and team narratives, will be unveiled and distributed in the coming weeks across the broadcast, digital and social media platforms of the NHL, CBC, NBC Sports Group, NBCUniversal networks, Comcast Regional Sportsnets and others. In addition, the Because It’s the Cup™ campaign and Stanley Cup Playoffs branding will include executions within out-of-home, digital banners and content integration. The message will also be extended by the NHL’s corporate partners within their retail POS, product packaging, in-bar materials, TV creative and consumer sweepstakes/promotions. The strategy and creative were developed collaboratively by the NHL, NBC Sports Group, CBC, TSN and RDS, in consultation with the Chicago office of the global advertising agency, Draftfcb.

Past creative collaborations for the 2010 and 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs garnered numerous Sports Media Marketing Award honors, including Best Television Promotion, Best Live Sporting Event Spot, Best TV/Video Campaign and Best Overall Integrated Marketing Campaign awards.

About the NHL

The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (NBC Sports Network, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™ and Sirius XM Radio). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.

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

 

NBC Rips Off At Least 10 Lazy Papers I Did in High School, Presents You the Science of NHL Hockey

Of course, I kid, as these actually look like some work was put into them. From the esteemed Chris Botta of the New York Times:

NBC News and NBC Sports have produced a series of 10 educational segments called, “Science of N.H.L. Hockey,” that will debut during NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the All-Star festivities this weekend.

The videos, which feature the N.H.L. players Matt Moulson, Pekka Rinne, Brenden Morrow, Erik Johnson and Jaroslav Halak, were made as a learning tool for teachers and students to use in the classroom. Created in conjunction with NBC Learn (the educational arm of NBC News), the N.H.L. and the National Science Foundation, the segments, which will be aligned to lesson plans and national and state education standards, are available to the public free of cost.

“Hockey is my lifelong sport of passion,” said Sam Flood, executive producer of NBC Sports. “To be able to help people understand how a slap shot takes off, that really excites me as a producer and as a hockey player. The segments have frame-by-frame breakdowns so viewers can really see and understand the science behind the movements.”

During the broadcast of the All-Star Skills Competition on NBC Sports Network on Saturday night, Flood plans to show the segment on the science of the slap shot before Zdeno Chara and the rest of the players take part in the Hardest Shot competition.

The segments will be available on NBCLearn.com, NBCSports.com, Science360.com and NHL.com and will be broadcast on NHL Network and on arena scoreboards throughout the league.

Here’s NBC’s press release about the program:

New York, NY—Jan 26, 2012—NBC News’ educational arm, NBC Learn, and the NBC Sports Group are teaming up with the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Science Foundation (NSF) to release “Science of NHL Hockey”— an informative 10-part video series exploring the science behind the fastest game on ice that will be distributed across several NBCU platforms. Made especially for students and teachers to use in the classroom, these videos will be aligned to lesson plans and national state education standards, and are available to the public cost-free on NBCLearn.com, NBCSports.com and Science360.gov. NBC News’ Lester Holt narrates the series.

The “Science of NHL Hockey” videos will debut during NBC Sports Network’s all-encompassing coverage of the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend from Ottawa January 26-29, including a select number of videos airing throughout the Honda SuperSkills Competition on Sat., January 28, from 7-9:30 p.m. ET. The NHL will feature the videos on NHL.com, NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada and in a number of arenas throughout the League. The series will also appear in retail venues across the country, including Wovenmedia outlets, and on American Airlines in-flight entertainment and NBC’s affiliate stations.

This collaboration between NBC Learn, NBC Sports and NSF uses the universal appeal of hockey to drive an understanding of complicated scientific concepts. Students and teachers see how the principles of science enable players to perform actions such as quickly stopping on ice, passing the puck to a teammate, shooting a slap shot and making a great save.

The science is broken down by capturing the athletes’ movements with a state-of-the-art, high-speed Phantom camera, which has the ability to capture movement at rates of up to 10,000 frames per second. These dynamic visuals allow for frame-by-frame illustrations of specific scientific principles such as Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, kinematics and velocity. Other video episodes analyze the hockey science behind reflexes and reaction time, statistics, vectors, linear motion, geometry and more.

NBC Sports Group oversaw the Phantom video shoot in September 2011 during the yearly media tour sponsored by the NHL and its players association. NBC Sports Group also provided research and technical support throughout the project.

Current NHL players who participated in the video series include:

Jaroslav Halak, Goaltender, St. Louis Blues

Erik Johnson, Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche

Brenden Morrow, Left Wing, Dallas Stars

Matt Moulson, Left Wing, New York Islanders

Pekka Rinne, Goaltender, Nashville Predators

In each video, an NSF-supported scientist explains a selected scientific principle, while NHL athletes describe how the principle applies to their respective positions. Series scientists supported by NSF are: Edward Burger, Williams College; Irene Fonseca, Carnegie Mellon; Jim Gates, University of Maryland; Robert Gehrz, University of Minnesota; and Patricia Shewokis, Drexel University. The videos also include actual game footage provided by the NHL, and the lesson plans that accompany the videos will be provided by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

“Science of NHL Hockey” follows in the footsteps of the “Science of NFL Football” and “Science of the Olympic Winter Games” collections, which are part of an ongoing “Science of Sports” collaboration with the NSF that was awarded a 2010 Sports Emmy for “Outstanding New Approaches Sports Programming.”

“Wayne Gretzky once said, ‘The only way a kid is going to practice is if it’s total fun for him… and it was for me,’” said Morris Aizenman, Senior Scientist for NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. “‘Science of NHL Hockey’ is an NSF and NBC Learn project that continues our effort to make science total fun for students. We hope, after watching these videos that students will also want to learn and practice science.”

“Building on the innovative partnership that NBC Learn has with NSF and NBC Sports, we are thrilled to expand the ‘Science of Sports’ franchise to include hockey,” said Soraya Gage, Executive Producer of NBC Learn. “These one-of-a-kind videos have set a new precedent for teaching science in the classroom, by literally breaking down concepts and illustrating their real life application through sports.”

“The NHL is excited to partner with NBC and the National Science Foundation on this special project,” said Charles Coplin, Executive Vice President of Content for the NHL. “Students, teachers and NHL fans everywhere will experience hockey in a unique way through the spectacular footage captured during filming with the players.”

“It was exciting to be part of a unique project that utilizes hockey to help educate students on science and physics,” said Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars. “It was fun to participate in and was very interesting. I learned a lot myself.”

NHL Network Will Be Free Across Canada During Blowout Coverage of the All-Star Game

NEW YORK (January 24, 2012) — Live on-site coverage from NHL Network of all the festivities surrounding the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in Ottawa begins on Thursday, Jan. 26, delivering 16.5 hours of live coverage.

The NHL Network team in Ottawa includes NHL Tonight hosts Kathryn Tappen and Brian Duff, analysts Barry Melrose, Kevin Weekes, Mike Johnson and EJ Hradek and reporter Heidi Androl. Joining the NHL Network team as special guest is the online sensation Joey The Junior Reporter of Blackhawks TV. The 6-year old Illinois native will bring his sharp interviewing skills to Ottawa, where he will ask the “hard-hitting” questions of the NHL’s biggest stars. For a look at Joey in action interviewing members of the Chicago Blackhawks, click here.

NHL Network will broadcast live from the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair™ at the Ottawa Convention Centre on Thursday, Jan. 26, and Friday, Jan. 27, with roving talent filing remote reports from the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ and the NHL All-Star Media Day Presented By Allstate Insurance. The NHL Network set moves to Scotiabank Place arena on Saturday, Jan. 28, and Sunday, Jan. 29.

A free preview of NHL Network will be available on participating television services providers throughout Canada, including Bell TV, Rogers, Shaw and Shaw Direct, through Feb. 3. (Not available in all areas.)

NHL Network content also will be available to stream through NHL.com, keeping fans apprised of all the activity in Ottawa around 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend on the platform of their choice. For the latest NHL All-Star news, visit NHL.com and its dedicated microsite for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL.com/allstar.

NHL Network broadcast coverage in Ottawa is as follows (all times

Eastern):

Thursday, January 26

5-7 p.m. Cisco NHL Live at NHL All-Star Weekend featuring NHL Hour with

Commissioner Gary Bettman during the second hour live from Scotiabank

Fan Fair™

7-8 p.m. 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft Pre-Show

9:30-11 p.m. NHL Tonight (2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Fantasy

Draft Edition)

Midnight 2012 NHL Player All-Star Fantasy Draft (re-air)

 

Friday, January 27

3-6 p.m. NHL All-Star Media Day Presented By Allstate Insurance

6-7 p.m. NHL Tonight (NHL All-Star Media Day Recap)

7-8:30 p.m. 2012 NHL Player All-Star Fantasy Draft (re-air)

8:30-10 p.m. 2012 NHL Player All-Star Fantasy Draft (re-air)

 

Saturday, January 28

4-7 p.m. 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition Pre-Show

9-10 p.m. NHL Tonight (2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills

Competition Recap)

11p.m. – 1a.m. 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition

(re-air in U.S. only)

 

Sunday, January 29

10a.m.-12p.m. 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition

(re-air in U.S. only)

1-4 p.m. 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game Pre-Game Show

7-8 p.m. NHL Tonight (2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game Edition)

11p.m.-1a.m. 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game (re-air in U.S. only)

TV Coverage Info For Winter Classic Alumni Game

NEW YORK, NY (December 23, 2011) – For the first time, fans throughout North America will be able to enjoy live broadcast coverage of the Molson Canadian 2012 NHL Winter Classic® Alumni Game when Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers legends meet outdoors at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m., ET. A reunion of celebrated names in the proud histories of both franchises, the game will be broadcast live on VERSUS in the United States; CBC in Canada and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia in the Philadelphia area. MSG Network will show the game on a tape delay in the New York area at 4 p.m. E.T p.m.

In partnership between the NHL® and its broadcast partners, there will be one broadcast, using talent across all networks. CSN Philadelphia’s Jim Jackson will handle the play-by-play, CBC contributor and NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes will serve as analyst and MSG’s Al Trautwig will report on the Rangers’ bench while CSN Philadelphia’s Steve Coates will handle the Flyers’.

NHL Network will provide a comprehensive look of the event post-game across the U.S. and Canada with its Molson Canadian 2012 NHL Winter Classic® Alumni Game Recap show from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET.

In the lead-up to the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, former New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers greats will take to the ice at Citizens Bank Park™. Currently, 59 former players and coaches are scheduled to participate in the celebration of this legendary rivalry in this unique outdoor setting. Those set to return for the Flyers include Bob Clarke, Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Mark Howe, Jeremy Roenick, and Reggie Leach. Pat Quinn, whose tenure as Flyers head coach included an NHL-record, 35-game unbeaten streak in 1979-80, will direct the Philadelphia bench. Mike Keenan, who coached both teams and guided the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup® in 54 years in 1993-94, will coach a Rangers alumni roster that is expected to include Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, Ron Duguay, Dave Maloney and Mike Gartner.

Molson Canadian has secured title sponsorship of the alumni game in addition to hosting the Molson Canadian Hockey House at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® Spectator Plaza, deepening the brand’s multi-year partnership as the Official Imported Beer of the NHL®.