Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK / PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 27, 2009) – Today, Comcast Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, and the NHL Network announced an agreement to offer the first On Demand access to NHL and hockey dedicated programming. Under the terms of the agreement, NHL Network subscribers can access in-depth hockey coverage On Demand including NHL game highlights made available only hours after game completion and at no additional charge.
via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Canadians tune in when the NHL all-star game is in a Canadian city.
With Montreal as the host, Sunday’s all-star game drew its largest television audience since 2000, when the game was played in Toronto.
The CBC telecast was watched by 1.516 million viewers, just less than the 1.557 million who tuned in for the 2000 game.
The CBC drew its largest audience ever for Saturday skills competitions, 1.358 million, bettering 1.327 million in 2000.
added 5:48am, via Sports Media Watch,
Versus drew a 0.8 overnight rating for coverage of the NHL All Star Game on Sunday, up 12% from last year, according to USA Today. While it is tough to quibble with a double-digit increase in ratings, the 0.8 is still very unimpressive. As USA Today notes, “six weekend ESPN/ABC X Games shows drew higher ratings than the NHL All-Star Game.”
Last night Ron MacLean of HNIC had his annual ASG sit-down with Gary Bettman.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The free lunch for NBC is over. That’s the message the NHL will give to the network when it begins negotiating a new national television contract to replace the one that expires after this season.
Since the lockout, the league has had a deal with NBC that essentially gave the network its NHL property for free. In a deal similar to the one that the Arena Football League had, NBC doesn’t pay the NHL any money, but guarantees that it will cover production costs. Any money made by the broadcasts first goes to covering those costs and if any profits are left over after that, 80 percent go to the league and 20 percent go to NBC.
But that arrangement for NBC is about to end, according to those who are familiar with the league’s television contract. With paying customers in the form of TSN and CBC in Canada and Versus in the United States, the league feels it has the leverage to begin charging a national broadcaster for its product.
continued plus other hockey notes…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Plenty of ideas were offered on how to improve the all-star format.
Reporter Scott Oake passed on a proposal by San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton, who suggested giving the players a cash incentive. Members of the winning team would not be required to pay into the National Hockey League Players’ Association escrow account.
“Then you’d see a game to rival any of the 82,” Oake said.
Don Cherry had his own ideas. Give NHL players the responsibility of selecting the all-stars rather than fans. That four Montreal Canadiens filled six of the Eastern Conference starting spots was hardly a realistic representation of the NHL’s best, he said.
more on the CBC coverage of the weekend in Montreal…
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
The numbers (ratings) seem to say a couple of things: Local fans have noticed that this year’s team is better than last year’s squad, which competed hard but lacked the depth of talent to be in the race, and they’re increasingly interested in the good story lines (Benedict Foote), strong opponents (Calgary) and players worth watching (Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, whose Capitals drew a 2.35 rating).
If form holds true, the best ratings are going to come after the All-Star break. And if this team continues to trend upward, we might soon discover what a lot of people said nine years ago:
If the Blue Jackets ever have a good team, this is going to be one heck of a hockey market.
via Puck The Media,
We’ll this is unexpected. Check out this news from SBD via Sports Media Watch:
Rangers/Penguins, NBC’s first Sunday afternoon NHL telecast of the season, drew a 1.0/2 final rating, up 25% from a 0.8/2 for the comparable Bruins/Rangers game last year. Excluding the two Winter Classics, the 1.0 is the highest rating for a regular season NHL telecast on NBC since regional coverage drew a 1.2 in March 2007.
Last season, none of NBC’s post-Winter Classic NHL telecasts drew a 1.0 rating.
So far this season, NBC is averaging a 1.8 rating for two NHL telecasts, up 20% from a 1.5 through two games last year.
Good news for NBC, who will likely see another ratings jump from Detroit-Pittsburgh in a couple weeks, which will blow Rangers-Montreal from last year out of the water. The NHL keeps trending up on TV.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
A few days ago, TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie called the NHL all-star weekend a “white elephant” in the sense that it’s dull, cumbersome and, as a spectacle, a liability more than an asset.
McKenzie might have tempered his comment if TSN were airing the all-star events, but he is right. The game is a pitiful representation of hockey, a no-contact snoozer that leaves real fans cold.
Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean has suggested replacing all-star weekend with an annual hockey festival with activities that perhaps wouldn’t even include an all-star game. Anything would be better than the existing format.
from Kevin of BfloBlog,
Via press release, the Sabres confirmed what their schedule has shown for some time - that the next four Sabres games will not be televised.
“Out of our 82-game schedule, the MSG Network has broadcast rights to 70, and the Versus Network has rights to a maximum of eight,” said Larry Quinn, Buffalo’s minority owner/managing partner. “As such, we needed to select four games to be radio only. We chose these west coast games due to their late starts.”
Very clever, LQ. It’s MSG’s fault! But you were the one who negotiated the deal with MSG in the first place. You negotiated away the four road games. No city in America draws higher ratings for hockey than Buffalo, but we surely wouldn’t stay up past 10:00 to watch our team, right?
(I’m sure it has nothing to do with cost though…)
But not to fear, we at least get them on the radio, right?
NEW YORK, NY - Beginning Thursday, Jan. 22, through Sunday, Jan. 25, NHL Network will be on location at the 2009 NHL All-Star Celebration in Montreal to provide viewers with 15 hours of live HD* coverage from the star-studded event. NHL Network’s Brian Duff and Gary Green and contributors Dave Strader and Joe Micheletti will bring viewers inside the festivities with interviews featuring NHL players and coaches, live broadcasts from the All-Star practices and expert analysis.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org