Kukla's Korner

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Category: Hockey-Broadcasting

Greater TV Exposure Needed

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.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: espn, nbc

Don Cherry Talks Even When He Isn’t On HNIC

I am listening to Detroit Sports radio this morning, specifically 97.1.  Pat Caputo is hosting and much of the talk has been the Brown hit on Hudler last night.

HNIC is taking a lot of heat, since the majority there felt the Brown hit was a ‘hockey hit’, but that is not the point of this post.

Caputo brings up Don Cherry and says Cherry is a bigot and if the roles of the players were reversed, what would Don be be saying then, maybe something like “Cheap hit by a Euro…”.

The problem is, and I dvr’d the HNIC broadcast and watched it this morning, Don Cherry was not on the air last night!!!  So Pat, what game were you watching?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Make The Call Columbus

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.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Versus Got It Wrong

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.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Is Versus Providing You With Enough Hockey Coverage?

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!

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Semi-Conference Schedule With Versus Exclusive Games

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

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Watching NBC

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.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Bring The Game To You In HD (HNIC)

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.”

continued & check out the graphic setup too…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Don Cherry On The Antics Of Avery

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, sean+avery

Enough Of Versus

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?

continued and George isn’t finished, another post here.

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.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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