Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Battle of New York,
STAMFORD, Conn. (August 15, 2007)—VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, today announced the television schedule for the 2007-08 regular season and the addition of Bill Patrick as the new studio host of “Hockey Central.” The network opens its coverage with a southern California showdown between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings in London on September 30 at 12 p.m. ET. Then, on October 3, VERSUS’ coverage returns to the U.S. with a double-header featuring a match-up between Anaheim and Detroit at 7 p.m. ET and Dallas and Colorado at 9:30 p.m. ET. Bill Patrick will be making his “Hockey Central” debut on October 3. All of the network’s regular-season games are exclusive and VERSUS’ regular-season schedule features an exclusive Game of the Week wherein VERSUS will be the only place on television to watch the NHL game in the U.S. at that time. Every NHL game on VERSUS will be produced and shown in hi def where available.
from Evan Weiner at the NY Sun,
To that end, Bettman has reached over to the NBA and hired Jody Shapiro to see if he can get the league more eyeballs in front of television sets for NBC and Versus games. Shapiro is the former vice president of business development at NBA TV and once headed Home Team Sports in the mid-Atlantic area…
Shapiro has been around the cable TV block and knows all the players. He also has dealt with cable TV multiple systems operators in getting the NBA network on both basic expanded and digital cable throughout the country. One of Shapiro’s charges is to get an NBA or NFL-type hockey network on MSOs throughout the country. The NHL already has a network up in Canada.
more NHL broadcast talk…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Najak said a decision on the second-intermission Satellite Hot Stove hasn’t been made. Najak and Moore agree it needs more energy, opinion and debate. The departure of Al Strachan in 2005 and John Davidson in 2006 took an edge off the commentary and lowered the level of tension.
“We’re looking for the right chemistry,” Najak said. “If it does come back, it will come back with the right chemistry of people.”
Don Cherry’s first-intermission Coach’s Corner will return.
Moore said: “I told Don: ‘You’re like a thoroughbred. I’ll ride you until something breaks and then I’ll put you out of your misery.’ “
more on the HNIC changes… Heck, I thought the combination of Duhatschek, Morrison and Lebrun was just fine. Very informative and I looked forward to the 2nd intermission of HNIC.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey Night In Canada’s first high-profile signing of the off-season will be Craig Simpson, who is leaving coaching to resume a broadcasting career as a game analyst at Hockey Night, multiple sources say.
Simpson is expected to quit his job as an Edmonton Oilers assistant coach to work in the booth with play-by-play announcer Jim Hughson.
Insiders view Simpson’s addition to Hockey Night, expected to be announced shortly, as a major cornerstone to the rebuilding of the show.
via the Bruins Blog,
NESN announced today that Milbury, the former Islanders executive, will serve as a studio analyst this season. Milbury will be part of NESN’s pre-game, intermission, and post-game analysis.
“I’m very happy to be joining the NESN team,” Milbury said in a statement. “This opportunity is giving me a chance to be connected once again with the organization that I cheered for growing up and broke into the league with both as a player and a coach.”
from Market Wire via Yahoo,
Shaw Communications Inc. announced that it will offer the NHL Centre Ice package to its Shaw Digital Cable and Star Choice Direct-to-Home satellite customers beginning with the 2007/08 hockey season.
continued... I know this has been an issue for some hockey fans in Canada…
THE NHL AND CANADA’S LEADING DIGITAL TELEVISION SERVICE RENEW AGREEMENT TO DISTRIBUTE NHL CENTRE ICE IN CANADA
Long time listeners of AM 640’s “Leafs Lunch” (which certainly includes us around here) will know that Bill Watters and Jeff Marek are adding to their schedules, now doing their hockey talk and more from 4-7pm ET. Today is the debut for their new program.
Whatever you do, don’t tell veteran broadcaster, hockey executive and former player agent Bill Watters that it’s not possible to get excited about life at age 64.
On Tuesday, the Orillia native embarked on another chapter of his life, with the debut of The Bill Watters Show on Toronto’s AM640 radio.
The show will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and go head-to-head against The FAN590’s Prime Time Sports, hosted by sports radio legend Bob McCown.
Best of luck in the new venture!
from Multichannel News,
Versus can ice its National Hockey League deal after the upcoming season, a move that could allow ESPN to skate back into the pucks sport.
The Comcast-owned service has the right to end its NHL deal after the 2007-08 campaign, according to league deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who also said the hockey circuit can pull out of the deal based on whether Versus reaches certain distribution thresholds.
Daly, though, expects Versus to pick up the three-year option that would give the network TV and broadband rights through the 2010-11 season.
Another look at the NHL/ESPN talks..
from the Buffalo News,
It is difficult to assess whether the NHL and ESPN are in serious talks or whether the league is just protecting itself in case NBC walks away from its partnership after next season.
According to sources, NBC is happy with its NHL deal. It is a money-maker. However, it isn’t happy with the primetime ratings for the Stanley Cup finals. It has had the bad luck of seeing a Canadian team make the finals for two straight years, which deflates U.S. ratings because Canadian viewership doesn’t count.
If two U.S. teams qualify for the 2008 Cup finals, NBC is sure to see a ratings spike that would almost certainly mean it will exercise its option for the 2008-09 season. It might exercise it anyway.
via the Vancouver Sun,
Ray Ferraro didn’t have to worry long about being dumped by NBC as an analyst for NHL telecasts. He’ll be back with Rogers Sportsnet this coming season and is poised to sign a handsome and lengthy contract with Hockey Night In Canada beginning with the 2008-09 season.
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