Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
That was a heck of a hockey game NBC missed Saturday afternoon, though there won’t be any tears shed at peacock headquarters. Even though The Messiah Tiger Woods wasn’t at the top of the leaderboard at The Players championship, NBC still drew a 2.8 rating for golf on Saturday and a 3.4 on Sunday.
In Gary Bettman’s most vivid dreams, the NHL gets those kinds of ratings. In reality, hockey’s high water mark this playoff season on NBC is 1.4.
On this side of the border, hockey dominates everything as it always does. But there will be a lot of tight collars at the CBC if the Vancouver Canucks join the rest of Canada’s NHL entities on the golf courses of North America after tonight. The Canucks are driving ratings, but the rest of the field isn’t doing much to stir Canadian interest.
Saturday’s Washington-Pittsburgh game, in the prime Hockey Night In Canada slot, drew 1.37 million viewers. That’s a strong number, but a little more than 100,000 above what CBC draws during the regular season. You’d think a playoff game involving the league’s biggest stars in a series that has been nothing short of magnificent would do better.
from SnapShots at Mlive,
May 11, Fox Sports Detroit: RED WINGS GAME 5 VICTORY SETS RATINGS RECORD FOR FOX SPORTS DETROIT
Detroit-Anaheim Game Achieves 17.1 Household Rating / 35 Share in Metro Detroit
FOX Sports Detroit attracted an all-time record audience for Sunday’s Game 5 of the NHL Western Conference Semifinal series between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks.
Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the 5:00-7:45 PM telecast registered a 17.1 household rating / 35 share in the Detroit metro area, an average of nearly 330,000 homes (one rating point equals approximately 19,270 households).
via Puck The Media,
From VERSUS’ NHL Twitter Feed:
Versus coverage starts at 5:00PMET w/ ANA at DET! Go to versus.com/nhl & scroll to the bottom to find your VS channel!
The only problem is the game is not on Versus. The game is on regional networks in the US, plus the NHL Network, TSN and RDS.
via Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Hockey Night In Canada was to get the official freeze out from the Washington Capitals last night at Mellon Arena.
CBC producers were told yesterday that cameras not only weren’t welcome in the team’s dressing room, but the public broadcaster would not be granted between-period interviews during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-final between the Caps and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Caps still are upset that the CBC aired footage prior to Wednesday’s Game 3 that included strategic information on the team’s dressing room white board.
A team official said the ban is “indefinite” and will preclude CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman from interviewing players during intermissions both last night and for tonight’s Game 5.
update 9:32am, It is my understanding the Capitals now will allow intermission interviews.
from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,
Stock – and his beard – add a little much-needed zest to the show, and that’s clearly why the CBC Sports executives hired him two years ago. But not everyone shares the Hockey Night in Canada bosses’ enthusiasm for Stock, who also hosts a daily sports talk show on Team 990 and contributes regularly to CBC-TV’s local supper-hour newscast.
You don’t have to look far – just nose around a few sports blogs – to find folks who don’t like Stock’s revved-up, sometimes not-so-grammatical approach to broadcasting. His rocking style has also elicited a few barbs from media critics, with one Globe and Mail columnist penning a particularly bitter anti-Stock diatribe during last year’s playoffs.
Part of it might be envy. Stock, who was most famous for his abilities as a pugilist over the course of his NHL career, only made his broadcast debut three years ago on Team 990, Montreal’s English-
Versus promised people in the Detroit and Anaheim markets that they would be switching to the Wings/Ducks game as soon as the puck dropped since their early game, Chicago/Vancouver was going into OT.
I guess they did switch, but only on their SD channel. People who were watching the HD channel on Versus, in this case, channel 603 via Directv, did not get the switch.
Versus needs to let people know exactly what they are doing, spell it out beforehand instead of forcing people to start searching for the game they promised to show.
added 10:37am, from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
Watching the Stanley Cup playoffs on Versus is like watching a community theater production of “Les Miserables.” The source material’s emotional potency and the magnetic qualities of its aesthetics make it, at a minimum, eminently enjoyable.
So says Buffalo Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret.
With all the off-ice news going on today, I thought maybe you would like to think hockey again and pick the top five Rick Jeanneret calls from the 2008-09 season.
If so, head to BuffaloSabres.com and make your choice, video is included…
from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,
“A lot of people don’t even realize that Versus exists,” Hawks’ owner Rocky Wirtz said Tuesday before Game 3 at the United Center. “You just have to grin and bear it. It’s a league-mandated decision.”...
“Hopefully the league will realize that access can only help the game instead of trying to funnel it through a very small eye of the needle,” Wirtz said. “We didn’t make a lot of money on our WGN deal, but the idea was that eventually we would.”...
“Hopefully, the league will look at this,” Wirtz said. “What we’re competing with is everybody’s free time. There are a thousand things they could be doing besides watching the Hawks.”
from Tim Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
So far, the best NHL playoff match-up this year has been the slugfest between the broadcasters themselves.
CBC is still the favourite. After all, they brought hockey to the airwaves and have defined our national game, both on and off the ice.
But things can change fast in the playoffs, where momentum is sometimes more important than skill.
TSN started the year with some fancy stick-handing, snatching the Hockey Night in Canada theme song from the clutches of the CBC.
Then, the scrappy sports broadcaster secured the rights to more NHL games than ever before.
Finally, just as the playoffs rolled around, TSN managed to finesse a deal with the NHL leaving CBC broadcast rights to only one Canadian team per conference.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Slap Shots has learned that NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly and director of business affairs Glenn Healy met with ESPN executives earlier this year, with Bettman’s knowledge and authorization. We’re told ESPN, which did in fact treat the NHL like an unwanted stepchild while it was the league’s cable rights-holder, showed substantial interest in bringing the sport back to the network.
But that interest, which included an offer of a rights fee that was reported to the commissioner, has not been seriously returned from the league, at least not yet. Versus would have to relinquish its national cable exclusivity in order to strike a deal with ESPN. From what we’re told, NBC opposes a deal with ESPN because of ABC’s parentage of the cable network.
From what we’re told, Bettman places a fair amount of stock into what NBC thinks, though we cannot imagine why.
According to sources, the NHL made approximately $3 million last year out of its profit-sharing arrangement with NBC. That’s $3 million, total, or $100,000 per team. Not even Phoenix needs that, not when the NHL’s signature series is all but shut out by the NBC, not when there’s no ESPN to showcase it.
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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