Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Those calls are still in my ear as the Blue Jackets contemplate a housecleaning in their broadcast booths. The contracts of television play-by-play man Jeff Rimer and analyst Danny Gare, and of radio play-by-play man George Matthews and analyst Bill Davidge, will expire July 1. As of this writing, these men do not know whether they will be retained. They are in limbo, and they oughtn’t to be….
It is a slap in the face, in their industry, to be left hanging. And it has to change. So does the front-office meddling. No broadcaster should have his or her thoughts policed to the degree that Jackets broadcasters have been shackled.
from Bob DiCesare of the Buffalo News,
Versus appeared to realize its embarrassing predicament. The studio show ran late, into other programming, just so the network could at least provide viewers with the final score. And when the ’Canes scored twice in the final two minutes, winning, 4-3, I just had to shake my head at the ineptitude of the NHL operation.
The league’s television ratings have never been great, which is why the NHL finds itself on an outpost such as Versus (although, to be honest, the network has come a long way.) What could be better for cultivating or maintaining interest than to shift viewers from one Game Seven to another, stirring appetites for the next series? What other sport diverts fans from its product when its product’s in full bloom? Imagine settling in for the second game of an NFL playoff doubleheader only to find out the game won’t be shown because the league’s granted exclusivity to a regional sports network in, say, Indianapolis.
Someone who answered the phone at Versus on Wednesday said the network has received numerous calls on the issue. He then gave me a phone number for the programming department. A recording informed me the number was not in service. I left a message at another Versus number. Still waiting.
from Bruce Ciskie of the Fanhouse,
The word “fail” sure seems to be commonly associated with Versus, doesn’t it? Fair or not, the network gets a lot of flak from hockey fans for its coverage of the sport.
Last week, the NHL’s cable television partner bailed from the epic ending of the Carolina-New Jersey game so we could listen to their people drone on about a game that hadn’t started yet. To make matters worse, they were back at it again Tuesday, as two epic Game 7s were contested in the Eastern Conference.
Surely, no one had a problem with Versus deciding to air the Rangers-Capitals game. We’re not stupid out here. We know that this stuff is driven by ratings, and we get that the Rangers and Capitals will likely draw the network a bigger number than the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils would.
That said, we do expect Versus to keep their word.
My opinion- What do you expect from a network that has Dwayne (Eklund) making hockey predictions!
Earlier today I pointed to the Semi-Conference Playoff schedule and now I have added the exclusive Versus games (in bold below)...
NEW YORK (April 28, 2009) – The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and national broadcast coverage for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semifinal round, which begins Thursday, April 30, when the Vancouver Canucks host the Chicago Blackhawks. On Friday, May 1, the Detroit Red Wings host the Anaheim Ducks and the Boston Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes. Saturday, May 2, the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One of that series. NBC and VERSUS provide national television coverage in the United States, and CBC, TSN and RDS will televise nationally in Canada. Every Conference Semifinal game can be heard on Sirius XM Radio, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NHL
via Puck The Media,
After a weekend which saw the best opening round Stanley Cup Playoff ratings in awhile, the NHL came back down to earth this weekend. According to Sports Business Daily the network’s telecast of Game 6 - Penguins vs. Flyers drew an overnight rating of 1.2/3, down from both the 1.7 overnight for Game 3 of the series, but also down from 1.3 overnight from last year’s comparable telecast (4/19/08 - Flyers vs. Capitals).
There was more bad news on Sunday. NBC’s broadcast of Game 6 - Capitals vs. Rangers drew a 1.0/2 overnight rating, down big-time from last year’s comparable telecast (4/20/08 - Red Wings vs. Predators) but the same overnight as last week’s Game 2 telecast.
from Graeme Hamiton of the National Post,
It was midway through the second period of Wednesday’s Montreal-Boston game and the Canadiens were on a power play, trying to claw back from a 2-1 deficit. More than one million people across the country were watching on TV, wondering whether the Canadiens could avoid playoff elimination.
The action on the ice was furious, but things were equally hectic within the Bell Centre. Inside the Hockey Night in Canada production trailer, producer Doug Walton and director John Szpala sat in front of a wall of 22 monitors that showed the play from all angles. It was their job, with a crew of about 40 technicians, cameramen and announcers, to transform on the fly the jumble of images into a seamless broadcast.
“Ready seven. Seven,” Mr. Szpala said, instructing a technician to take the feed from camera seven, giving viewers a close-up of Montreal’s Alex Kovalev losing a puck battle against Boston’s Zdeno Chara. “Ready two. Two.”
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
I don’t like writing cellphone posts unless it’s breaking news or what have you. But I have about had enough of Versus’ so-called coverage of the NHL postseason. How is it that they pull away from a 3-3 game in Carolina to put on a crummy open to a game in Anaheim that wasn’t going to start for another 30 minutes, much less another Esurance commercial we all know by heart?
I have to agree with George. I am not sure why Versus makes the decisions they do, but they sure are not catering to the knowledgeable hockey fan.
from Dave Strader at PhoenixCoyotes.com,
Hello again from on the road covering the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Versus.
This trip has been a true case of Planes, Trains and Automobiles for me. As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I drove my car from Glendale, Ariz., to Troy, Mich., before the playoffs began. After three flights to three different cities and several taxi cabs, I’m now on the train from New York City to Philadelphia for Game 4 between the Penguins and Flyers.
Last night at Madison Square Garden was a great playoff atmosphere. As I mentioned on our telecast, there are so many great venues and fans around the NHL, but there is something unique about MSG
more of this very entertaining story…
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
Gather round, class: Professor Edwards wants to tell you about how the Bruins are like patriots who have thwarted the tyranny of the Habs. Or something like that. If you can remember the last hockey goal call that began “234 years ago yesterday, a bunch of rag-tag farmers stood up against the greatest fighting force in the world,” we’d like to hear it.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
But tonight, Edwards crossed the line in our book.
He basically compared the Bruins 4-2 win in Montreal to war.
We assume Edwards has never had anyone in his life impacted directly by war. Because if he had, he would not have made such a stupid, ignorant statement.
more and either watch the video below or watch it at the links you are about to click…
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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