Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stuart Levine of Variety,
Versus may be off DirecTV as of Sept. 1.
Comcast-owned sports cabler that has made strides recently with the NHL playoffs and Tour de France is in a fight with DirecTV over an increase in carriage fees.
According to research firm SNL Kagan, Versus earns about 18¢ per subscriber and is asking for more.
The net is available in 75 million homes, up from 62 million three years ago.
Versus says it’s asking a fair market price for a network on the rise and is hoping a deal gets worked out by next week.
To see what other sports networks receive per subsciber, check out this post at AVS Forum.
As we know, most of these talks go down to the wire and then some. Hopefully for the sake of NHL fans who have Directv (me), this will be settled soon.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Make sure you’re not only free the night of Oct. 1, but that your television works properly. That night, the NHL returns in style to kick off the 2009-10 season, with four nationally televised games over three networks.
The NHL released its national television schedule Wednesday, and it begins with doubleheaders on Versus, TSN and CBC featuring Alex Ovechkin, Joe Sakic’s jersey retirement ceremony, Jay Bouwmeester’s first game as a Flame and the new-look Montreal Canadiens.
added 2:37pm, for more detailed information on this topic, make sure to check out Puck The Media.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch, .
..the NHL still cannot cut a deal with its old broadcast partner, ESPN. The network helped the league gain popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It also stuck with the NHL in the early part of this decade when the game had become almost unwatchable due to the un-penalized obstruction.
Post-lockout hockey is an entertaining product, but the casual sports fan—the one the NHL needs to attract—isn’t programmed to search it out.
There are things I don’t like about ESPN, but it lends credibility to a sport. The league can tout its improved ratings on Versus, but it’s not a destination channel.
added 12:44pm, Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy has some suggestions for the NHL Network.
from Drew Remenda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
Every once in a while we come under fire for our work. That comes with the job. Every one of us has been called on the carpet by our superiors for transgressions on the air. In those situations it’s usually because we were harsh and negative about the Sharks. We have never been told what to say but we are reminded that we have to strike a balance between journalistic objectivity and positive exuberance for all things teal. We are reminded we are not journalists. To be smart and don’t insult the intelligence of the fans but at the end of the day the people should know who you work for. The problem with that philosophy is that it’s hard to cover the parade when you are marching in the band.
Are you ready for the Battle of the Blades?
via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald,
So what’s this about the Panthers allowing fans to sit in the radio booth with Randy Moller this season?
Fans who pay $2,500 will get to sit with Moller, appear on air for one minute during an intermission, give Moller a favorite movie line or catch phrase to use on broadcasts (790 listeners can do this for free); get four lower-bowl tickets, a jersey, compact disc of the broadcast, VIP parking, a pre-game dinner and autographs from a favorite Panthers player.
But no, they will not be allowed to interject commentary.
With Bill Lindsay moving to television to replace Denis Potvin, the Panthers will have Moller work alone.
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
Whether your favorite announcer is a current one such as Rick Jeanneret, Randy Moller, Chris Cuthbert or Gord Miller, or a historical great like Danny Gallivan, Bob Cole or Foster Hewitt, there are all sorts of different calls and sounds for all sorts of different tastes.
Thinking back to your favorite calls of all-time, there will be some that just make you think: “that was an awesome goal.” There will be ones where you can recite the announcer’s call word-for-word because it was expressed so well.
And then there are the ones that also give you goosebumps, make you feel proud and, perhaps, give you a lump in your throat every time you hear it…even if you weren’t around when it was done live.
In my mind, the best call ever made in hockey is a no-doubter.
While doing some research on the story, I found this video of how the great Foster Hewitt started his broadcasting career.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Islanders president Chris Dey last week told radio announcers Chris King and Steve Mears their contracts will not be renewed for the coming season. Madison Square Garden Network made television announcers Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe available for a radio simulcast, so Dey chose to cut payroll by letting King and Mears go.
King, 48, has been part of every Islanders radio broadcast for the past 15 years, including the last 11 years on a full-time basis as analyst and color commentator. Mears, 29, has handled the radio play-by-play duties for the past three seasons.
Although Rose and Jaffe are a superb television team, their style is tailored to that medium, describing instant replays, diagramming plays and conversing about the game. A radio broadcast is more detailed and more wordy in terms of play-by-play description, while the TV crew relies more heavily on the pictures to tell the story.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
But the league struck only a two-year deal with NBC for one very important reason. Its cable deal with Versus expires in two years and the league is hoping that by having both its over-the-air and cable contracts up for renewal at the same time it will have more options when it comes to its next television contracts.
“It was the right deal at the right time,” said one industry insider.
Could that mean the league is poised to return to ESPN in two years? After all, ESPN is owned by ABC, so the league could package both its over-the-air and cable packages in one deal.
A new deal with ESPN would be a welcome relief for those who don’t have access to Versus and are essentially shut out of NHL games. The league left ESPN after the lockout in favor of Versus after ESPN publicly questioned the value of hockey on its network.
NEW YORK – July 15, 2009 – The National Hockey League and NBC Sports today announced an extension through the 2010-11 season of their successful revenue-sharing partnership—one that has achieved viewership milestones, programming and production innovations, awards and critical acclaim. The joint announcement was made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports.
“The NHL/NBC partnership has been terrific. Our association has led to such technical innovations as the ‘Inside the Glass’ reporting and to such programming advancements as the extremely popular Winter Classic,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final was broadcast television’s most-watched hockey game in 36 years, which makes clear the NHL and NBC are building an audience, are building momentum and are perfectly positioned to continue growing the game.”
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