Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal,
If you missed this contest, choosing to spend quality time with family, all we can say is, big mistake. It was a turbulent, fast-paced, anxiety-producing evening. Yes, that’s exactly like a Friday night with family, but still, you missed a classic.
No matter which side you were on, you spent the last five minutes of this game yelling at the TV. Hockey gets a bad rap as a TV sport—whiners moan they can’t see the puck, and critics complain its ratings place somewhere between “Last Call with Carson Daly” and a board of assessors’ meeting on public access. But NBC’s coverage was enthusiastic (we’ve grown to love sideline—sideice?—reporter Pierre McGuire) and its camerawork was spectacular.
The behind-the-net video of Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury flopping around, holding off a furious last-minute Detroit charge made us feel like we were right there on the ice.
more & thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Perhaps CBC’s tepid ratings until now stem from confusion over content. Hockey Night in Canada seems to believe the show is Don Cherry with a little hockey game on the side. A few deluded souls believe the players and game should take prominence over He Who Will Not be Ignored. Once again, Game 7 featured another homage à Cherry as he fished an octopus out of the Detroit River. This after the laboured Dos Equis beer spoof and a season of otherwise bowing and scraping to his schtick….
Hockey Night will also have to consider the polymorphous Ron MacLean, Cherry’s caddy. One minute he’s the crack reporter on The Hot Stove, all fedoras with the business card and a pencil behind the ear. Then he’s the frozen Deepak Chopra, spouting homilies about Pittsburgh’s rookie head coach Dan Bylsma, “He learned there was a busload of adversity and a flight of opportunity along the way.”
The next moment he’s the unabashed fan, gushing over the players on the ice Friday night.
from Puck The Media,
Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC drew a terrific 7.51 Million Viewers on Friday night, with a 3.0/11 among Adults 18-49. It made NBC easily the top draw on Friday night, and is likely the highest-rated hockey game in many, many years, and may be the most-watched hockey game of the decade…
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Bettman gets crucified, sometimes in media, sometimes from members of his own ownership group for the league’s bastardized TV approach in the U.S., but one can argue it’s starting to take hold.
NBC has been getting good to very good ratings for the games and Versus has had franchise record numbers and is starting to grow to the critical mass the league needs. It’s not ESPN mass as Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz recently pointed out in a not-so-glowing assessment of the league’s TV ventures in the states, but even Mr. Wirtz, a newbie to the owners chair despite a family history in the game, should understand that there’s a history that needs to be understood.
The perception is that the NHL walked out on ESPN, but the truth is the sports giant put the league to the curb. After a few years of trying to make it go, ESPN and hockey had gone nowhere together and the company was offering the league the same deal that NBC had on the table. The highlight for them being a zero rights fee.
The company was betting that the league would take it because not being on ESPN was thought to be a death blow for the sport.
DECIDING GAME 7 OF STANLEY CUP FINAL TOMORROW, 8PM ET ON NBC SPORTS
“It is the ultimate in professional sports.” – NBC’s Olczyk on a Stanley Cup Final Game 7
“The Penguins have more mood swings than a teenage girl.” – NBC’s Milbury
“In practical terms, a Stanley Cup Final can’t erase what this city is going through, but as a means to help them feel pride in their city, to help provide some relief and some excitement, it’s important to Detroit.” – NBC’s Olczyk on Detroit
“For the NHL and NBC, it’s ideal. There couldn’t be a better script. A classic Game 7 will make this one of the all-time great series in Final history.” – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
from Christine Brennan of USA TODAY,
Hockey has always been known as the world’s fastest game, a description the sport should play up at every turn as the attention span of the U.S. sports fan lessens year by year. Not only is there more beautiful passing and skating, and less fighting, in hockey’s playoffs than its regular season, it also should be noted that the NHL doesn’t hog your time like the NBA.
When there are five minutes left in an NHL game, that means it will take about five minutes to finish the game, give or take a 30-second timeout or two. When there are five minutes left in an NBA game, it’s time to order a pizza.
No new technology is needed, though, to accentuate hockey’s best attribute: Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, traditionally the best Game 7 in sports. For the first time in three years, the NHL gives us the ultimate finale Friday night. At the end, we can only hope it’s close, that someone is pulling the goalie, that an empty net looms ominously at one end of the ice.
Best of all, the game won’t have to compete with the NBA, which plays tonight, meaning all those basketball fans won’t have to wonder what they missed.
from Mike Wilkinson of the Detroit News,
Can President Obama make the next save for the Red Wings?
After once helping to delay the transition to all-digital TV, the Obama Administration has already said there won’t be another, posing potential problems for local folks who want to catch the deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals with their rabbit-ear antennas.
The once-delayed transition to digital occurs on Friday, and a spokesman for WDIV-TV (Channel 4) said the station will no longer transmit an analog signal after 9 a.m. For thousands of Metro Detroiters who still haven’t gotten a converter box—and don’t have cable or satellite TV—that means they’ll have to find somewhere else to watch the Wings battle the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Cup.
from Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life,
It was the NBA and NHL finals out ahead of the other networks last night, as the Orlando Magic earned their first win of the series and the Pittsburgh Penguins ensured that the Stanley Cup finals will go seven games.
ABC’s basketball coverage led the night with a 3.9 adults 18-49 rating and 11 share, according to Nielsen overnights, followed by NBC’s hockey coverage in second at 2.2/6.
As a reminder, ratings for live sporting events are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data. They also do not include accurate West Coast viewing or post-primetime viewing in the East. Final numbers will be out later today.
added 12:08pm, More numbers at Puck The Media.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
The Stanley Cup final is turning out to be a bit of a ratings dog for CBC, with audiences down 15 per cent after the first five games.
If things continue and Detroit finishes up the series Tuesday night, this could be one of the least-watched Stanley Cup finals in years. But there’s a mystery here: Why?
The hockey’s been pretty good and there’s no shortage of stars on the ice. With the exception of Saturday’s blowout, which no doubt sent hundreds of thousands looking for quality reruns, the series has been competitive.
Even CBC is baffled by the ratings drop.
“We’re slightly mystified and slightly disappointed,” says CBC Sports head Scott Moore. “Maybe it’s a case of been there, done that and Saturday’s blowout certainly didn’t help.
“But beyond that we’re not really sure what’s happening.”
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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