Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the AzCentral,
Despite the Versus extension there remains the possibility of a shared cable agreement with the NHL, but any ESPN deal likely would come with a rights fee and more compensation for Versus.
ESPN Senior Vice President of Communications Chris LaPlaca said via e-mail that he did not think ESPN was “engaged in negotiations at this point, in light of NBC extension and current Versus deal. We would be very happy to talk with the league in the future should the opportunity arise. In the meantime, we do have a digital rights agreement with the league and our recent hiring of Don Cherry to join Barry Melrose on SportsCenter gives you an idea of our commitment to the sport on that platform.”
more on the NHL broadcasts…
from Doubt About It,
So no, my problem isn’t with the Flyers. Not their players, and not even their fans. The fights at the end of the game? Whatever. It happens. My problem is with Versus tonight. It is bad enough to watch your team lose in the playoffs, but it is even worse when you have to basically listen to the opposing team’s broadcast.
Think I am being overzealous? Consider that when the Flyers played in Pittsburgh, Versus showed footage of Flyers fans in bars at Philly. Was similar footage shown of Penguins fans Tuesday night or tonight? Unless I missed it on the way to the fridge or the John, I dont think so. Nothing. Nada. Instead they showed all the Flyers fans signs and continually remarked how “funny Flyers fans are”.
thanks to the Pensblog for the pointer…
A couple days ago, Steve pointed to the story about the interest Versus might have in “puck tracking” (i.e. flashbacks to the infamous glowing puck). Today, William Houston at the Globe & Mail notes that any such plans would be limited:
Versus is pursuing a puck-tracking technology that, according to USA Today, could be used as soon as the next NHL season. This would be for replays rather than live coverage. Anything involving a live application - such as the FoxTrax from the 1990s - would require the NHL’s approval and participation.
*hat-tip to Puck Daddy for the pointer
Stamford, CONN. (May 13, 2008)—VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the NHL and the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, garnered a 1.7 National HH rating for its telecast of the Flyers/Penguins Game 2 Conference Final round match-up on Sunday, May 11. It was the most-watched telecast ever in network history among total viewers (2,345,834) and the highest rated and the most-watched NHL telecast ever on the network.
Viewership for the May 11 telecast topped the previous record set during the 2008 Conference Semifinal round with Game 4 of the Rangers/Penguins series on May 1 (1,184,519 total viewers) and the rating surpassed the previous high (1.1) set during the 2006 Conference Final round with Game 7 of the Buffalo/Carolina series.
Just received a phone call from Versus, Game 1 of the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh Series will be in HD on VERSUS!!
Good new all around! And yes, they heard you!
added 2:25pm, Just wanted to thank Versus for working with me and making it right for HD hockey fans. Hope everyone enjoys the game.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
In an interview this week, we asked Cole how he felt about the criticism.
“When you pick up the paper, and you get ripped, well, okay, you have to live with it,” he said. “But you have to keep saying to yourself, well, maybe the whole world isn’t thinking this way. Then you get reassured when you meet hockey fans and they’re so kind to you. That makes you feel good.”
Despite criticisms that he misidentifies players too often, Cole’s work this season has received kudos from people in the business.
Just got off the phone with Versus and game 1 of the ECF will not be broadcast in HD. They have a commitment to show the golf show from the TPC.
So the Pens/Flyers game will only be in SD, so set your DVRs properly if recording.
added 9:36pm, As a few KK readers pointed out, the Flyers have a schedule up Friday’s game that lists both Versus and MOJO HD. That will help some folks out, others will not be so lucky.
When I spoke to Versus today, they told me no other channels would be broadcasting the game in HD in the US.
Update 2:18pm ET May 9th: Good news update… HD for the game!
Just heard from Versus and the opening game of the ECF between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is still not in HD.
I will keep you updated as it becomes available.
Update May 8th, 12:35pm: More information available here.
I just got off the phone with Versus and they tell me Thursday’s game between the Wings and Stars will be in HD.
However, the Friday game between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is still up in the air. They are trying to work something out with the Golf Channel which shares air time with VersusHD on Friday nights.
from Damien Cox at his Spin Blog at the Toronto Star,
The teams remaining are all among the top U.S. television markets, and they are all pretty strong cities for hockey as well, or at least cities with long traditions in the game.
Philadelphia represents the fourth largest TV viewing area in the U.S., followed by Dallas (No. 5), Detroit (No. 11) and Pittsburgh (No. 22).
Of those four, obviously the Penguins would be the ideal finalist, for that team features the league’s No. 1 individual marketing tool in Sidney Crosby. The league’s determination to keep that franchise in Pittsburgh, with a new arena coming on stream, has certainly paid off.
A Penguin-Red Wings final would be glamourous, a chance for a boffo conclusion to the season. The least glamorous matchup would be Dallas-Philly, but even that would deliver two major TV markets for the NHL.
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