Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Devin Gordon at Newsweek,
Throughout July, ESPN’s award-winning flagship news hour “SportsCenter” is devoting a chunk of every broadcast to a segment called “Who’s Now.” It’s an elimination tournament, purely theoretical, to determine which current athlete is the most “now”—although two weeks into the competition, it’s still anyone’s guess what exactly “now” means. A panel of experts, including ex-NFL diva Keyshawn Johnson, debate whether, say, the NBA’s Dwyane Wade or snowboarder Shaun White is more “now.” Viewers vote online, and the winner moves on to face Tiger Woods in the next round. And so on. Everything about the segment is so artificial, from concept to execution, that watching it is like chewing Styrofoam.
What does this have to do with hockey, not much, except to point out hockey fans in general don’t fit the mold of the average ESPN viewer. We don’t need to be spoon fed little bits and pieces about our game. We just want reporting, fair and square, but if you read the whole article, that doesn’t happen very often at ESPN.
This year NBC will have a flex schedule available and will only be televising one game per day.
Listed are the dates of their coverage and the games they can choose from…
Thanks to KK member SteveNJ for the information.
added 4:15pm, In case you need some questions answered regarding how NBC is going to deal with the flex schedule, let’s travel back to March 27, 2007 in KK history.
All of you questions will be answered by following the available links.
from USA TODAY,
NBC wants to put a cameraman in skates on the ice during NHL shootouts.
read on for some “behind the glass” talk but the article covers TV networks looking for more access when covering sporting events…
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
Yesterday I pointed KK readers to Off Wing Opinion, who had discovered a story regarding the influence ESPN has on the NHL.
If you missed it or passed it over, you owe it to yourself to read it.
from The Situationist,
The reduced exposure on ESPN can only be harmful to the NHL. By minimizing coverage and highlights, the network is effectively reducing the imprint of the game on Americans’ collective sports consciousness. Worse still, several ESPN writers and commentators have gone out of their way to emphasize the demise of hockey. Le Ann Schreiber recently noted that during the NHL’s regular season, hockey was only mentioned on-air if there happened to be “some egregious brawl” or if it was being “dissed” for its invisibility and irrelevance.
The first round of the draft is getting ready to start. KK won’t be updating with every pick, but you can watch the action live on TSN, Versus or online at NHL.com streaming online. (You can even see it blogged live online. update: also being blogged here)
Any other stories will be updated as normal, depending on how long I stay sober. (Kidding, Paul, honest!)
Good luck to everyone’s favorite teams.
From Susan Bickelhaupt at the Boston Globe,
Two years ago, the year after the NHL lockout, Versus reached an agreement with the NHL to start airing games twice a week, including the conference playoffs and the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals.
Tonight, Versus will air the NHL draft for the second year in a row. After a pregame show at 6:30, the network will have live coverage (7-10) from Columbus, Ohio.
“I think the first year there was a lot of criticism for a network that was known for more outdoors than anything else,” said Versus president Gavin Harvey. “And I think the NHL made a bold move to put this on the network, but they understood what we were, and they understood what we and [owner] Comcast wanted to do with the network. And I know that hockey fans were a little confused that first year, thinking we’re glad we got hockey back, but it’s on that other network . . . there was a lot of controversy.
“But we know, and not just from anecdotal evidence, that hockey fans are great, and they found us, and they bookmarked us. And that’s the power of the NHL.
more… (*requires registration)
from the Star Tribune,
Brett Hull is leaving NBC after only one season as an NHL studio analyst.
An NBC spokesperson confirmed the former NHL star has decided to depart the network after working with host Bill Clement and analyst Ray Ferraro. Hull is expected to take on an increased front-office role with the Dallas Stars. He has been serving as a special assistant to Stars’ President Jim Lites since April 2006….
NBC executives will now begin to explore their options for replacing Hull. One potential scenario could see NBC pursue Jeremy Roenick, who could retire after spending 18 seasons in the NHL. Roenick, like Hull, always has been known for speaking his mind.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League may be hot stuff for the fans, but the heat got out of hand Thursday night.
A CBC broadcast truck almost caught fire during the network’s telecast of the NHL Awards show from the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto.
Technical problems resulted, the worst of which affected Versus in the United States. The overheated CBC truck caused transmission difficulties forcing the U.S. cable channel to cancel its live telecast. Instead, it aired a World Combat League show and carried a tape delay of the NHL show at 11 p.m. EDT.
more on the Show and some HNIC talk…
added 7:29am, Watch a condensed version (32 minutes) of the NHL Awards Show…
The NHL Awards show was scheduled for 7pm ET tonight. Nada… 7:30pm, Nada…
8:00pm, just learned it will be shown at 11pm ET tonight. It is on CBC at 8pm as scheduled.
Versus drops the ball again, even their website listed the show at 7pm.
You can refer to an earlier post on KK on this topic too…
added 9:23pm, from the NHLPA,
NHLPA MEMBERS SELECT SIDNEY CROSBY AS THE 2006-07 LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD RECIPIENT
…at 19 years of age, becomes the youngest player ever to win the Pearson, surpassing 21-year-old Wayne Gretzky in 1982.
I will be posting the winners, so if you want to know….
John Buccigross at ESPN signs off until the fall and when asked about the NHL TV contract, this was his response…
“Both ESPN and ABC saw major viewer erosion during the postseason (NBA); both networks drew over a million fewer viewers than last year.”
The NHL is not alone. So, when you read these numbers, don’t let them affect your self-esteem. Imagine the television ratings if the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies met in the NBA Finals. That was what we had with the Senators and Ducks in the States.
You have to take Canada’s viewers in account when you talk about NHL interest—20 percent of the NHL’s teams are based north of the border. Whether it’s ratings or money, you have to combine the two. It’s a North America game and it is healthy.
Great job Bucci!!!
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