Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Cole’s Notes at the Vancouver Sun,
Dear Gary Bettman:
On behalf of the travelling members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, I would like to lodge a complaint about the amount of money the NHL’s deal to telecast playoff games in the United States on the Versus network is costing writers, and the damage it is doing to our livers….
Club soda and cranberry juice doesn’t pay the rent, so we are forced to consume copious quantities of beer and other libations just to keep the bars from throwing us out in favour of more lucrative customers. Over three hours — or six, if there happen to be two games on, back-to-back — this runs into serious money, not to mention dangerous levels of alcohol consumption and more chicken wings than are good for our slender figures.
Mr. Kukla, I am writing you at 3:30am to voice a complaint about the Versus broadcast of the Sharks game on Friday night.
I attended my prom tonight and instead of going to an all night drinking party, a bunch of us couples (yes the girls like hockey too) headed back to my house to watch the game that I had saved via Directv DVR. Guess what, no game on VERSUS HD like the NHL.com schedule had listed. So instead of watching a great game, we were stuck watching golf.
Why did VERSUS do this and if they were going to show the game on the regular VERSUS channel, why didn’t they let us know about it?
Do you have a way I can let them know how badly they messed up my plans, my parents even had food ready for us and we had this all planned out. Instead, we turned off the DVR and the party broke up earlier than expected.
Yes, numerous emails, people screaming, go back to ESPN!
Versus, how can you NOT show a Stanley Cup playoff game in HD?
I don’t want to hear about the commitment to golf… How about the commitment to the fans of the NHL!
You ask numerous hockey bloggers to promote the games, without compensation, so I guess this should not be total surprise.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
There are several ways of looking at Hockey Night In Canada commentator Don Cherry’s putdown of Jermain Franklin, a TSN reporter who asked a question of San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson and was ridiculed on Cherry’s Coach’s Corner for doing so.
You could point out that Cherry is not a journalist, therefore, isn’t qualified to judge Franklin, although Cherry is certainly entitled to his opinion.
Or, given the number of weak questions asked on Hockey Night In Canada, Cherry’s sudden interest in the media should start at home. He could even compile a DVD—Hockey Night’s Greatest Hits: Stupidest Questions Vol. 1.
Watch Coach’s Corner from last night…
from the Hamilton Spectator,
Different societies have different status symbols. North America has cars, houses and jewellery. Many African countries have the cellphone. In some parts of Asia, it’s a rare white truffle.
In pro hockey? It’s the towel.
If you’ve been watching Hockey Night In Canada even a little bit, you’ve seen the one. The white one with the round HNIC logo that’s draped over a player’s shoulder while he’s doing an intermission interview.
Unbelievable as it may sound in a sports world where pocket change is counted in the thousands of dollars and most players make an average Canadian’s annual salary in a matter of minutes, in dressing room currency these swaths of woven cotton are absolute gold.
NEW YORK – NBC Sports and the National Hockey League today announced that they have extended their partnership through the 2008-09 season with NBC exercising its option on the NHL. The joint announcement was made today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with the NHL,” said Ebersol. “There have been positive signs for the league, both on and off the ice. Ratings were up this year; the Winter Classic in Buffalo was a huge success; advertising sales were healthy; and the product on the ice has never been better, led by young, marketable stars such as Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. We believe this is a sport that will continue to grow.”
Bettman said, “This is great news for the NHL and its fans. NBC has been a great partner and its innovations to the broadcasts have helped bring fans inside the game like never before.”
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.
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