Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune,
“What’s going on in Chicago is fantastic,” said Dick Ebersol, sports chairman of a network that had a profitable fling during Jordan’s reign. “The Winter Classic at Wrigley Field was the highest-rated regular season game in 34 years. Game 1 of this series was the highest-rated game on U.S. TV, not counting finals or the winter classics, in five years. There is an uptick in hockey, especially in Chicago.”
NBC’s contract is up at year’s end, but in a feeble economy, Ebersol hopes the network and league can continue to partner by sharing risk and reward. Ever the contrarian, he touts Versus as the solution, not the problem. From America’s most powerful TV executive, this is not the stuff of fluff.
“Versus treats hockey the right way, not second fiddle as it was on ESPN,” said Ebersol. “Versus is in 20 million fewer homes, but the holes are tightening. And don’t forget, Versus is owned by Comcast. I like that strength. I also liked Bill Wirtz. The new people in Chicago have done a great job, but Bill was a character, and he cared about the sport.”
more on the Blackhawks…
Eight minutes of Don and Ron with numerous topics discussed, including the Kronwall hit.
via Puck The Media,
NBC’s coverage of Game 1 of the Detroit/Chicago series drew a 2.0/5 on Sunday. That rating marks the best ever rating for an NHL On NBC broadcast, excluding obviously the Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Classic.
Steve at PTM hopes to have local numbers later today, so check back for those.
added 1:18pm, The local numbers are in for Chicago and Detroit. People were watching in Detroit and Chicago. See the numbers by clicking the above link.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If the first two rounds of the playoffs have been a showcase for the NHL’s greatest young players—start with Crosby and Ovechkin, go directly to Evgeni Malkin, then to Eric Staal, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews—it also has exposed the folly of Gary Bettman’s love affair with Versus and the grudge he carries against ESPN.
It has exposed the NHL’s empty approach to a television strategy, even as Bettman risks dislocating his shoulders in patting himself on the back for his league’s innovative approach to blacking itself out.
The commissioner may have been justified in not taking ESPN’s crumbs coming out of the lockout. He may have been justified placing the league’s immediate future into the hands of Versus, owned by Ed Snider’s Comcast, by the way.
But Bettman was not justified in granting Versus a contract that included unilateral options for the network to retain exclusivity through 2010-11—a six-year commitment as crippling in its own way as the Rangers’ six-year commitment to Wade Redden.
more plus other hockey topics…
•How do you explain the Western Conference Finals featuring two teams east of the Mississippi?
• I am starting to get my ‘day clock’ adjusted. Those late games played on the west coast sure threw my body clock into a funk the last two weeks.
• Any one moment from the first two rounds that you will go into your long-term memory bank?
• Those of us in the USA will be watching most of the games on Versus during the Conference Finals. The one thing I want to see go away is that darn commercial bar that appears on the bottom right of the screen during play (see an example in the video).
Any suggestions you have, please leave a comment. This is not a post about knocking Versus but to make suggestions to improve their broadcast.
E.J. Hradek on NHL Live asked Henrik Zetterberg if he has been watching the other playoff matchups. Zetterberg basically responded the hotel in California did not have Versus, so it was difficult to watch.
Ron MacLean and Don Cherry discuss the Cleary goal last night.
My take, if the puck was under Hiller’s pad, then the complaint has a point, but the puck was behind his pad and what was Cleary supposed to do, nothing?
NEW YORK (May 14, 2009)—NHL Network today announced it is the U.S. national rightsholder for the Memorial Cup for the second consecutive year, signaling the network’s commitment to showcasing premiere junior hockey events. NHL Network broadcasts of the storied championship of the Canadian Hockey League begin Friday, May 15.
The tournament features the champions of the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), plus the host team Rimouski Oceanic.
All games will be shown in high definition and feature a number of NHL Central Scouting ranked players including:
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
His Capitals were barely staving off Pittsburgh in Monday’s Game Six overtime struggle. Washington coach Bruce Boudreau suddenly found a TSN microphone jabbed under his chin during a break in the play.
Why is Pittsburgh playing so hard? asked Pierre McGuire.
“They are simply playing their asses off, because they don’t want to go back to Washington,” said an agitated Boudreau, caught up in the emotion of the teams trading leads back and forth.
It was sideline reporting at its most immediate, a jolt of energy that no analyst embedded in a booth high above the ice could ever get. It was also vindication of the broadcasting practice of placing a reporter in between the player benches during the game. Pioneered by Leafs TV and readily adopted by TSN and NBC, ice-level reportage has become a staple of hockey broadcasting in many areas.
“It’s a great innovation,” former TSN president Keith Pelley, now director of broadcasting for the Vancouver Olympics…
via the Detroit News,
Tuesday night’s Detroit-Anaheim NHL playoff game was the fifth-most watched Red Wings telecast in the 12-year history of Fox Sports Detroit.
The game drew a 13.5 rating in Metro Detroit (260,145 households), making it the most-watched show in the market on Tuesday night. The top four:
1. Red Wings vs. Ducks, Fox Sports Detroit (13.5 rating)
2. American Idol, FOX (13.2)
3. The Biggest Loser, NBC (10.2)
4. Dancing With the Stars, ABC (9.6)
Not bad for a game that started after 10:00pm ET.
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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