William Houston: NBC to Re-Up with NHL

This news comes from William Houston of The Globe and Mail:

The NHL is expected to extend its TV deal with NBC through the 2009-10 season. The profit-sharing arrangement has made money for both sides, but not a great deal. The NHL and NBC each earned a profit of less than $5-million (U.S.) from the 2007-08 season, according to sources.

The extension makes sense for the NHL, which would have games airing on NBC, the U.S. Olympic network, in January of 2010 before the hockey tournament in February.

The article also states that Chris Cuthbert, and not Gord Miller, will be calling the Olympic Gold Medal game.  Good decision.

Once again, enjoy Wrap Around Curl on Wednesday, but we wanted to get this out there.


The Happy Recap: In Which We Hyperventilate About a World Without Doc Emrick

The Happy Recap, a phrase we stole from legendary Mets announcer Bob Murphy, is now a new daily (!) feature at Puck the Media, where we recap our day, and talk about a subject that we enjoy talking about.  This one’s for us, but we hope you’ll enjoy it too.

We love Doc Emrick, yada yada yada, childhood memories.  Anyway, we found a pretty revealing interview with the doctor in, of all places, a small Indiana newspaper.  As many know, Doc grew up in Indiana.  Here’s what he told them, on his future:

“I still enjoy it and I have an understanding wife who allows me to keep doing it,” Emrick said on his cell phone as he was driving to the minor league game. “I’m going to keep going year-to-year. My contract (with Versus and MSG) runs out in two years, and then I’ll see how I feel about it.”

That’s right, Doc’s contract is up at the end of the 2009-10 season (and what we will soon dub The Greatest.  Hockey.  Year.  Ever.  But that’s later on).  That’s kinda’ scary to a lifelong Devils fan, and just a hockey fan in general.  We’re sure Doc won’t want to give it up that soon, but it does make us think.  Who would replace Doc at this point?  There really isn’t anyone waiting in the wings that really stands out.  So we ask you, the reader: Who’s ready to be the NHL’s #1 play-by-play man?  We’re interested to hear what you have to think.  Let us know, we’ll post some responses tomorrow.  Our simple name suggestions are below.  That, plus the day in “Puck the Media”, are after the jump.

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We Can’t Imagine Anything More Fun than a Caps TV Show

The Washington Capitals are riding pretty high lately.  They outdraw every other Washington sports team on TV (save the Redskins), their attendance is way up, and they seem to finally be making themselves apart of D.C. culture.  This Comcast Sportsnet show will likely help.  From Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal:

Buoyed by an expanded season-ticket base and rising TV ratings, the Washington Capitals are looking to expand their fan base by launching the team’s first original television show.

The 32-minute show, which will air over 20 weeks on Comcast Sports Net, will offer an off-the-ice look at players, coaches and fans affiliated with the team. The team plans to call it either “Caps All Access Monday” or “Capitals RED TV.”

The series is the result of a partnership between the club, Starbridge Media and Comcast Sports Net. Starbridge and the Capitals will cover production costs, sell advertising and share in revenue from the show. Comcast will get one minute of the show’s eight minutes of commercial time.

Despite all the boring financial stuff, it’s a good read about the Capital resurgence in D.C.  Seriously, we would watch a show just centered on Ovechkin, but go ahead and include the rest of his gang of knuckleheads participating in more things like in the picture above.

New VERSUS President Finally (!) Pushes Back at Naysayers, Including Paul Kelly

We imagine that, if there’s a song on Guns N’ Roses new record Chinese Democracy that new VERSUS President Jamie Baker truly identifies with between his network and the NHL, it’s the fired up “can’t stop us now” attitude of “Scraped”.  Check out these lyrics:

Some may convince you
No one can break through
I’m here to tell you
You’re worth more than they tell you
Don’t you try to stop us now
I just refuse
Don’t you try to stop us now
‘Cause I just won’t let you

It’s got to be hard for anyone at VERSUS to hold themselves up high, what with everyone and their mother speaking out about how you’re killing a beloved, 80-year-old league.  The criticism of VERSUS has long been aimed at the network itself, and not the greedy owners who took Comcast’s money over ESPN’s distribution.  Well, Davis finally spoke out against those who’ve been belittling his network at an industry event recently.

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Could the Two New Great Faces for the NHL on TV Be Jeremy Roenick… and Jim Dowd?

We’ve said many times before that while we like Eddie Olczyk, we don’t think he’s the NHL’s long term answer to the position of “#1 analyst”, especially considering he’s filling the shoes of guys like John Davidson, Bill Clement and Barry Melrose, who all brought either a knack for making the insignificant details of hockey engaging and telegenic (Davidson), or a good sense of humor, and the idea that the fan needs to be entertained as well as informed (Melrose, and to a lesser extent Clement).  

So obviously, with Brett Hull a somewhat failed experiment in broadcasting history, the NHL has pretty much played it safe as far as analysts go.  But there’s going to be a couple of players either retired or retiring soon that you can add to the mix, given that they have an interest.  Here are a couple people I think should be given a chance at NBC and VERSUS over the next couple of years.

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