Kukla's Korner Hockey
STAMFORD, Conn. -- July 27, 2015 – Coming off the second-most watched Stanley Cup Final on record, and the third-most watched NHL postseason in the last 18 years, NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 105 NHL regular-season games during the 2015-16 season, featuring 12 games on NBC and 93 games on NBCSN. The 105 regular-season games are the most ever scheduled across NBC Sports Group heading into a season. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.
Schedule highlights include:
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
SPORTSNET.CA: When did you know you wanted to call games?
Jim Hughson: Nothing was preordained. I went to university, didn’t finish a degree, went back to work in the radio business. I just wanted a job. Just moved around making $50 more a month where I went to.
When the opportunity came to move to Vancouver at a big radio station, I jumped at the opportunity and started working before I found out how much money I was going to make. I got the opportunity to fill in for [Canucks voice] Jim Robson. When he would do television games on Hockey Night in Canada, I would do the radio games. That was the first time I thought: This could be really cool. I like the idea of working in the winter and doing hockey games and play-by-play. I’d done some of that in junior. I also liked the idea of having the summer off.
SN: Does calling a championship make you nervous?
JH: I don’t think it’s a nervousness; it’s an awareness. There’s a real clarity, especially in the playoffs. You want to do a real good job; you want to know exactly what’s going on and not miss anything. It’s a nervous energy. You can feel it in the building; you can feel it in the teams. It’s not similar to playing, but there’s a real heightened awareness of what’s happening.
from Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter,
In hockey-mad Canada, TV audiences for NHL games are tumbling, thanks in part to cord-cutting and digital media.
It turns out the country's national game is hardly immune to a generational shift in overall TV viewing habits. "In our research, we noticed that for the NHL, as well as for other pro leagues, there is a migration to online and mobile at the expense of TV. I mean why not, we see that for many kinds of content," Kaan Yigit, president of Toronto-based Solutions Research Group, told the Hollywood Reporter.
For cable giant Rogers Communications, which last year threw CAN$5.2 billion (US$4.1 billion) at the NHL for the exclusive national TV and Internet rights to NHL game broadcasts in Canada over the next 12 years, the recent Stanley Cup playoffs began well, thanks to five Canadian NHL teams in action during early rounds.
But ratings slid in the final two rounds as Canadian teams fell by the wayside, according to Numeris audience data. An average audience of 2.39 million for the final round fell 12 percent from the average audience of 2.72 million viewers for the 2014 championship final round.
from Antony Bruno of Broadcasting & Cable,
Both aired in the same timeframe, with the NBA’s championship series running from June 4 through June 16 and the NHL’s games from June 3 through June 15. Both were aired on major broadcast networks, with ABC presenting the NBA games (along with ESPN) while NBC owned the NHL series (along with NBC Sports). And both best-of-seven series lasted only six games.
But the similarities end there. The NBA Finals massively outpaced the NHL Finals in terms of advertising revenue, generating over $220 million in estimated spending compared to the $43.6 million the Stanley Cup Finals attracted, which has implications both in terms of network revenue impact and brand advertiser effect.
The impact on the different networks airing these finals is striking. The NBA series contributed nearly 60% of ABC’s total advertising haul for the timeframe they aired. Meanwhile the NHL series contributed just over 17% to NBC’s ad revenue over their airing dates (yet was about 50% of NBC Sports’ revenue).
These figures will likely come into play when it comes time for the networks and the leagues to negotiate new carriage contracts. The NHL in particular has only recently returned to network TV after several years of cable banishment. While its advertising take looks paltry compared to basketball, baseball, and football playoffs, the NHL has seen an increase in revenue over the years. Last year was particularly lucrative as the Finals featured teams from two huge media markets—the LA Kings and NY Rangers. Whether relatively smaller markets like Chicago and Tampa Bay can continue the trend to NBC’s approval is a factor worth following.
from Chris Zelkovich of Yahoo,
Ratings were down across the board, but Rogers is claiming success on its $5.2 billion gamble on the National Hockey League.
"We made money in the first year, which I think is slightly miraculous," said Scott Moore, Rogers' head of Sportsnet and NHL properties. ``It was a big nut to cover as far as rights fees go. We did it with only nine months to turn everything around and start new advertising relationships."
It's not clear on how Rogers accomplished that considering that the Stanley Cup playoffs are what usually produce profits for NHL broadcasters, with the regular season acting as a loss leader.
But Moore said advertisers were happy despite ratings 12 per cent lower than last season's final series. He admitted that some advertisers received make-goods -- rebates for failing to reach audience targets -- but ``we built that into the pricing so that doesn't affect our revenue. Our advertisers were happy.
"Overall the Stanley Cup playoffs were by far the Number 1rated show every single night they were on for two straight months."
Don Cherry talks about the hockey being played by the Lightning and Blackhawks, but his real issue is that Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson isn’t getting enough votes to start at the All-Star Game.
The National Hockey League has settled an antitrust lawsuit in which fans accused it of conspiring with broadcasters to illegally restrict their ability to watch their favorite teams on television.
Fans contended that the league, several teams, Comcast Corp , DirecTV and Madison Square Garden Co used blackouts to limit broadcasts of games outside teams' home markets.
They said this forced them to buy costly bundled game packages, rather they purchase games "a la carte" at lower prices, if they wanted to want their preferred teams.
According to papers filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, the NHL agreed over the next five years to let fans buy single-team packages for at least 20 percent below the cost of bundled packages. Early subscribers would also get discounts.
The preliminary settlement requires court approval.
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss the diving and penalties in the first period of Game 4, they play of Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victory Hedman and much more.
via NBC Sports Group release...
Last night’s Chicago Blackhawks-Tampa Bay Lightning contest on NBC, in which the Lightning won 4-3 to even the series at one game apiece, delivered a 4.8 metered market rating, making it NBC’s best Stanley Cup Final Game 2 overnight ever and best on broadcast television on record. It was up 5% vs. last year’s double overtime Game 2 (4.56, NYR-L.A.).
The game (7:15-10:15 p.m. ET), which immediately followed NBC Sports’ coverage of the Belmont Stakes, posted a 22.6 rating in Chicago and a 15.1 in Tampa. NBC was the No. 1 network in each market during the game.
Rounding out the Top 5 markets were Buffalo (8.6), Milwaukee (6.7) and Ft. Myers (6.5).
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean talk about all the news and notes from around the Stanley Cup Final.
Plus a great look at Al Arbour.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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