Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
Good news: Both sides confirm negotiations are ongoing after talks broke down earlier this month; and Jade Ekstedt, spokesperson for DirecTV, said the parties are “very aware” that the clock is ticking to the start if the season.
The less-than-good news: Getting Versus back on DirecTV by the first official puck drop isn’t looking particularly promising at this point, according to the network’s president.
from CBC Sports,
Nothing goes better with Hockey Night In Canada than former coaches and goaltenders.
Already home to the likes of outspoken Don Cherry and analytical Kelly Hrudey, the venerable CBC broadcast rounded out its roster Wednesday with the addition of Guy Carbonneau, Glenn Healy and Kevin Weekes.
from Chad Finn of the Bruins Blog,
Fred Cusick, the popular play-by-play voice for the Bruins for more than 40 years, has died, his family confirmed to the Globe this afternoon. He was 90 years old.
Cusick, who is scheduled to be inducted to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame tomorrow night, was a signature voice of the Bruins during their 1970s heyday.
His simple trademark call of “Score!” whenever Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely and countless other Bruins put the puck in the net served as familiar punctuation on their goals.
TSN welcomes a new recruit to its roster with NHL coach Craig MacTavish joining the NHL ON TSN broadcast team as a guest analyst for the 2009-10 season.
MacTavish will have 25 appearances in studio, making his broadcast debut on Monday, Sept. 21 during the pre-season game featuring Pittsburgh @ Montreal at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN2.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
As another NHL season gears up, the pioneer of sports cable TV in the United States wonders where hockey has gone in his country. “I used to watch all the hockey with John Buccigross and Barry Melrose on ESPN,” says Bill Rasmussen, who founded the innovative cable network 30 years ago this month with his son, Scott. “I can’t tell you where to find hockey right now. It’s sad.
“I can’t help but think [the NHL] is missing something in walking away from [ESPN]. Look what ESPN does for Major League Baseball on Baseball Tonight – wall-to-wall, full-season coverage of the entire season and playoffs. The NHL had that ancillary programming on ESPN and just walked away from it. I just don’t understand.”...
“The NHL just died in the United States the first time they left ESPN for SportsChannel [in 1988-89]. Then they came back to ESPN. Now they’re with Comcast, and people don’t know where to find them. I think they’ve struggled to get a handle on what ESPN is, whether they think there are too many demands from a schedule point of view. I don’t know. It’s become a lot more complicated than it used to be, that’s for sure.”
NEW YORK – Live NHL hockey returns to NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada on Monday, Sept. 14th, when the New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks open the NHL pre-season schedule at 10:30 p.m. ET from Terrace, B.C., winner of the Canada-wide Kraft Hockeyville contest. The game is the first of ten live pre-season games appearing on NHL Network U.S. and six on NHL Network Canada in anticipation of the 2009-10 NHL regular season, which opens Thursday, Oct. 1.
continue for the full pre-season TV schedule for both the US and Canada…
If you have Directv, what are your future plans? Are you looking at moving to a different provider and if so, when will you make that decision?
I know I am holding off on ordering Center Ice for this season, waiting to see how this conflict will end. Even if Directv does not bring back Versus, I will probably stay with them, for the simple reason that I think their HD delivery is top-notch and is much better than the PQ Comcast offers.
I know Dish is another choice, but I am really not that interested in switching over to another satellite provider.
Also, KK member Hippy Dave gave his views on this topic a few days ago in the KK Member section.
from Mike Reynolds of MultiChannel News,
Versus president Jamie Davis said the network’s distribution fallout with DirecTV is about positioning, not price.
Davis said network talks with the nation’s No. 1 DBS operator broke down over DirecTV wanting to remove it from some 6 million subscribers. Before the plug was pulled on Sept. 1, Versus, which had resided on the Total Choice Xtra package, counted 14 million DirecTV subs among its 75.5 million base.
“DirecTV wanted to take Versus away from 6 million subscribers who were receiving it for no additional cost. That was simply not acceptable for us. We hope to resolve things amicably, but that’s a non-starter.” Davis, noting that the network wasn’t called by the DBS operator late Monday that it was about to be “turned off,” said there haven’t been any discussions since the service was disconnected Tuesday morning.
When a three-year extension was announced with Versus in 2008, your commissioner was all smiles and claimed interest in the game would grow in the U.S. along with the Versus viewership.
Well, surprise, surprise, that looks to be yet another ruse in a long line of poppycock propaganda that insults the intelligence of hockey fans across the board whenever it’s shamelessly used.
It’s time the NHL got its hands dirty to ensure its investment with the Versus product pays off, rather than sitting idly by and telling the rest of us everything will be alright.
-Rory Boylen of The Hockey News. More from Rory on this topic plus what else, the Phoenix situation.
Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., owns Versus. They regularly try to charge us amounts well in excess of what is fair and reasonable to carry the programming they own. Their reason is obvious: they want to stifle competition from DIRECTV. Comcast’s unfair terms undermines DIRECTV’s ability to offer our customers the best possible value. If we simply accept these terms, we would have to absorb the unreasonable costs Comcast wants to charge us, and in turn we will be forced to increase the rates our customers pay. We do not want this to happen. In fact, Comcast has forced us to remove Versus because we would not accept the terms they demanded.
We are currently in contract negotiations and will continue to work with Comcast until the matter is resolved. Rest assured that we are making every effort to ensure that you continue to be satisfied with your service.
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 email@example.com