Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sports Business International,
The National Hockey League is looking to be the first US league to offer a global rights offering, according to its Chief Operating Officer John Collins.
The NHL drew record crowds, greater television viewers and new sponsors this season through marketing strategies borrowed from the National Football League. The league’s current focus is to attract sponsors that will ultimately lead to more television money, says Collins.
“If we grow our share of the sports advertising marketplace, I think somebody will step up,” Collins said as quoted on Bloomberg. “We can be the first domestic league that looks at a global rights offering.”
from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times,
Wednesday night’s telecast on Versus of Game 5 of the Red Wings-Blackhawks semifinal broke a record for the U.S. cable network, continuing a trend this N.H.L. post-season of high viewership not seen in America for more than a decade.
Versus’s coverage of the Wings-Hawks Game 5 earned a 2.1 household rating and averaged 2.32 million total viewers. That made it the most-watched telecast in the network’s history among households (1.55 million) and tied it with Lance Armstrong’s final ride (7/24/05) for the highest-rated program in network history.
via Neil Best of Watchdog at Newsday,
The NHL has not officially announced a game time for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Sunday.
Why? Most likely, it has something (or everything) to do with the NBA’s Western Conference finals, and the desire to avoid too much overlap with a possible Game 7 between the Lakers and Nuggets.
If the Lakers win it in six, figure on an 8 p.m. NHL start time Sunday.
If the Nuggets take the series to a decisive game, figure on a 7 p.m. NHL start time Sunday.
added 12:44pm, Blame Conan O’Brien for no Monday night game…
thanks to a KK reader for the Conan link…
from Jeff Ponder of NHLHockeyOnline,
The truth is that outside of Detroit and Pittsburgh, hockey fans are getting quite tired of the coverage that the Red Wings and Penguins get. At 7 pm EST on a Monday or Tuesday night, the average hockey fan would sit in front of their television set and watch some good ‘ole fashioned hockey. Little did that fan know that 26% of the televised games broadcasted, the Penguins or Red Wings would be entertaining us along with Versus analysts Keith Jones and Brian Engblom. But it did not stop with regular season coverage….
As a fan of the NHL (outside of Pittsburgh), one almost has to root for the Detroit Red Wings to repeat. Think about it hockey fans; how many times are NBC and Versus going to shove Crosby skating around with the Stanley Cup down our faces over the summer and next season? As hated as the Red Wings are, at least the typical hockey fan has gotten used to the images of Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom and Kris Draper skating around with the Cup….
added 11:11pm, The post game press conference is over, but they may loop the video overnight, so you can watch that after the jump.
I have also added the great penalty-kill by Helm below…
Now, the first video is game highlights via Versus.
from Chris Zelkovich of Sports Media Watch at the Toronto Star,
The two-month battle to determine who gets to abuse the Stanley Cup in small towns around the world is indeed a strange creature. For one, it’s the only playoff that features players who look like they’re either bearded lumberjacks or car-crash victims. It also has to be the only pro sports playoff that sees the public lose interest the more important the games become.
The first weekend of CBC’s third-round coverage produced audiences that didn’t even match the average for a regular-season Saturday night. In fact, barring a huge surge in interest, the third round won’t come close to the second-round average of 1,366,000.
from Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal,
NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly is calling for league TV partners Versus and NBC to do more to promote the NHL and NHL players, citing players’ growing frustration over hockey coverage.
“We have to push our two partners to do a better job of covering our sport … or we have to go in a different direction when that contract comes to an end,” Kelly told the Sports Lawyers Association on May 16. Kelly has called in the past for the NHL to return to ESPN.
Kelly said the fact that people in the U.S. could not watch most of the Boston-Carolina playoff Game 7 earlier this month because Versus was airing Anaheim-Detroit Game 7 “is a source of great frustration” to NHL players as well as the union.
continued & thanks to SBJ for releasing the normally paid subscription link…
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
What does a team owe its media and fans when it makes a coaching change? There are rules for opening dressing rooms after games, but after firings? The Calgary Flames employed that old political gambit of releasing bad news late on a Friday afternoon to announce that Mike Keenan was out as coach after two seasons. The Flames put out a terse press release and said GM Darryl Sutter would have no further comments till tomorrow, four days later. And that comment would not include the identity of Keenan’s replacement.
While Calgary may not equal Toronto in its media urgency, waiting four days to explain a major personnel change still smacks of arrogance for a franchise that promised it would be more fan friendly when it almost expired earlier this decade.
more plus other NHL topics, including how HNIC viewed the Kronwall hit…
from Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune,
“What’s going on in Chicago is fantastic,” said Dick Ebersol, sports chairman of a network that had a profitable fling during Jordan’s reign. “The Winter Classic at Wrigley Field was the highest-rated regular season game in 34 years. Game 1 of this series was the highest-rated game on U.S. TV, not counting finals or the winter classics, in five years. There is an uptick in hockey, especially in Chicago.”
NBC’s contract is up at year’s end, but in a feeble economy, Ebersol hopes the network and league can continue to partner by sharing risk and reward. Ever the contrarian, he touts Versus as the solution, not the problem. From America’s most powerful TV executive, this is not the stuff of fluff.
“Versus treats hockey the right way, not second fiddle as it was on ESPN,” said Ebersol. “Versus is in 20 million fewer homes, but the holes are tightening. And don’t forget, Versus is owned by Comcast. I like that strength. I also liked Bill Wirtz. The new people in Chicago have done a great job, but Bill was a character, and he cared about the sport.”
more on the Blackhawks…
Eight minutes of Don and Ron with numerous topics discussed, including the Kronwall hit.
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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