Kukla's Korner Hockey
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
When NBC makes a decision on its future with the NHL, the other pieces related to U.S. television will fall into place.
NBC has a window of about two months to say yes or no to next season. And its decision could determine whether ESPN will return as a carrier of NHL games.
Will NBC renew for 2008-09?
The case for NBC renewal is to maintain a relationship with the NHL and keep hockey on the network as a lead-up to coverage of the Winter Olympics hockey tournament in 2010.
The argument against includes low ratings. NBC’s numbers at this point last season weren’t good.
VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League, will put a microphone on NHL legend and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, Wayne Gretzky, during the network’s February 11 telecast of the Phoenix Coyotes/Dallas Stars match-up from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The game will air on VERSUS at 7 p.m. ET and in HD where available.
“Throughout the season, we always try new production enhancements and are constantly adding elements to our telecasts to get fans more engaged in the game,” said Mike Baker, Coordinating Producer for the NHL on VERSUS. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our viewers an insider’s look at the sport with on-the-bench commentary from the greatest NHL talent as he interacts with his players and coaches throughout the game.”
Also, the Ducks/Wings game yesterday on NBC drew a 0.9 overnight rating.
After watching 13 hours of hockey related material yesterday, well, we can just about match that again today.
NHL.com has the TV and radio broadcast information for the following games today…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
In terms of length and breadth, Hockey Day in Canada pretty much leads the field.
The CBC’s celebration of the game will be on the air for 13 1/2 hours Saturday and provide content from virtually every region of the country.
Still, most of the programming will consist of NHL game telecasts, which is just as well. A full day of joy and love at the amateur level would be too rich for all but the true believers. The majority of the feel-good stories will be presented during the first three hours, starting at noon EST.
From Luke Decock at The News & Observer,
The replays Tracy was so happy to see emerged from a whirlwind of organized chaos confined within a trailer parked outside the arena and attached to the building by a spaghetti bowl of cables of every color and thickness.
It was the result of the coordination of a camera operator, one of seven. And a videotape operator, one of four. And an audio engineer and technical director, each switching between 14 camera feeds and five videotape machines.
All of it coordinated and orchestrated by a director and a producer, both of whom had long moved on to other tasks by the time the replay showed up on the air.
The relatively simple act of watching a hockey game on television offers no hint of the complexity behind the operation that plans, produces and puts the game on the air.
The National Hockey League begins arriving in Winkler, Man., Thursday as the small town gears up to host the 2008 edition of CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada.
CBC Sports personalities Ron MacLean, Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell and Dick Irvin, along with several former hockey heroes, will be in Winkler for the daylong festivities to be broadcast on Saturday from 11 a.m. CT.
The city of nearly 10,000 in the Pembina Valley region about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg is buzzing with excitement as organizers make final preparations for the festivities.
CBC had a contest for the best version of the Hockey Song, written and sung originally by Stompin’ Tom Connors.
Watch the winning video in case you missed it during the HNIC pre-game Saturday night.
NHL’s television partner has released some of their ratings today, showing growth in viewership over last season. As of January 22, 2008:
- national household ratings up 50%
- total viewership up 36%
Additionally, the NHL All Star Game was the #1 rated NHL telecast for Versus ever, aside from post-season play.
Full content of the press release is below, all figures provided by Neilsen Media and Versus research.
Chris Chelios via the Detroit Free Press,
“I think our biggest issue ... is getting some more exposure to our game, and I think we just signed a three-year deal with Versus. ... We need a better TV contract, more exposure on TV, and we’re not getting that. It’s not going to hurt for a team to go over to Europe for some of the stars to be seen over there. But our problem is in the U.S., selling buildings out and exposing the game.”
more on the Wings…
from the LA Times,
Scott Gomez of the Rangers and the East All-Stars acknowledged the appeal of international play but wondered if the NHL should solve problems at home before venturing to Europe.
“There are some cities that maybe we can do more as a league,” he said. “I think the main thing about the league is that the product on the ice is just outstanding. The speed is at a new level. It doesn’t do justice on TV. That’s the first thing we have to do, get the game better on TV.”
Bettman seemed to diminish speculation the NHL might return to ESPN in even a limited presence. He said the league has a “cordial and cooperative relationship” with ESPN, which ended their association by declining an option for 2005-06. He added, “We talk about things all the time but nothing more specific than that.”
read on (reg. req.)... Some of the topics have been covered today, but I thought pointing out the ESPN situation was important.
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