Kukla's Korner Hockey
A couple days ago, Steve pointed to the story about the interest Versus might have in “puck tracking” (i.e. flashbacks to the infamous glowing puck). Today, William Houston at the Globe & Mail notes that any such plans would be limited:
Versus is pursuing a puck-tracking technology that, according to USA Today, could be used as soon as the next NHL season. This would be for replays rather than live coverage. Anything involving a live application - such as the FoxTrax from the 1990s - would require the NHL’s approval and participation.
*hat-tip to Puck Daddy for the pointer
Stamford, CONN. (May 13, 2008)—VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the NHL and the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, garnered a 1.7 National HH rating for its telecast of the Flyers/Penguins Game 2 Conference Final round match-up on Sunday, May 11. It was the most-watched telecast ever in network history among total viewers (2,345,834) and the highest rated and the most-watched NHL telecast ever on the network.
Viewership for the May 11 telecast topped the previous record set during the 2008 Conference Semifinal round with Game 4 of the Rangers/Penguins series on May 1 (1,184,519 total viewers) and the rating surpassed the previous high (1.1) set during the 2006 Conference Final round with Game 7 of the Buffalo/Carolina series.
Just received a phone call from Versus, Game 1 of the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh Series will be in HD on VERSUS!!
Good new all around! And yes, they heard you!
added 2:25pm, Just wanted to thank Versus for working with me and making it right for HD hockey fans. Hope everyone enjoys the game.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
In an interview this week, we asked Cole how he felt about the criticism.
“When you pick up the paper, and you get ripped, well, okay, you have to live with it,” he said. “But you have to keep saying to yourself, well, maybe the whole world isn’t thinking this way. Then you get reassured when you meet hockey fans and they’re so kind to you. That makes you feel good.”
Despite criticisms that he misidentifies players too often, Cole’s work this season has received kudos from people in the business.
Just got off the phone with Versus and game 1 of the ECF will not be broadcast in HD. They have a commitment to show the golf show from the TPC.
So the Pens/Flyers game will only be in SD, so set your DVRs properly if recording.
added 9:36pm, As a few KK readers pointed out, the Flyers have a schedule up Friday’s game that lists both Versus and MOJO HD. That will help some folks out, others will not be so lucky.
When I spoke to Versus today, they told me no other channels would be broadcasting the game in HD in the US.
Update 2:18pm ET May 9th: Good news update… HD for the game!
Just heard from Versus and the opening game of the ECF between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is still not in HD.
I will keep you updated as it becomes available.
Update May 8th, 12:35pm: More information available here.
I just got off the phone with Versus and they tell me Thursday’s game between the Wings and Stars will be in HD.
However, the Friday game between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is still up in the air. They are trying to work something out with the Golf Channel which shares air time with VersusHD on Friday nights.
from Damien Cox at his Spin Blog at the Toronto Star,
The teams remaining are all among the top U.S. television markets, and they are all pretty strong cities for hockey as well, or at least cities with long traditions in the game.
Philadelphia represents the fourth largest TV viewing area in the U.S., followed by Dallas (No. 5), Detroit (No. 11) and Pittsburgh (No. 22).
Of those four, obviously the Penguins would be the ideal finalist, for that team features the league’s No. 1 individual marketing tool in Sidney Crosby. The league’s determination to keep that franchise in Pittsburgh, with a new arena coming on stream, has certainly paid off.
A Penguin-Red Wings final would be glamourous, a chance for a boffo conclusion to the season. The least glamorous matchup would be Dallas-Philly, but even that would deliver two major TV markets for the NHL.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
...Having spent parts of the opening two rounds with the Penguins, I would urge Canadian hockey fans not to turn off their TVs. They’re as fun to watch as any team in the NHL. But the fact is U.S.-only semi-finals just don’t appeal nearly as much to Canadians….
A Penguins-Wings final would also be the best-case scenario when it comes to convincing Canadian hockey fans to stay in front of their TV sets in early June when a late tee time or a drink on a nearby patio seems so much more appealing.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
You don’t have to be a Roone Arledge or Phil Mushnick to recognize the first thing that needs to be done on the USA-based hockey telecasts is to get rid of all the Americans who obviously have no idea how to produce and execute these shows and replace them with the Canadians who do such a superior job on all their networks.
Either that or bring in the people from MSG who year after year after year make Rangers New York Rangers games about the best watch there is on sports television - SNY Mets games are right there - and thus must have dual citizenships.
more NHL bits…
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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