Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Willam Houston of the Globe and Mail,
There’s plenty on the line for the NHL. NBC has not committed to the 2008-09 season and the success of the outdoor game will help the network decide about continuing to televise hockey beyond this season.
“As we would with any property, we’ll make an evaluation as the season goes along,” NBC spokesman Brian Walker said. “We’re hopeful the outdoor game and the new flex scheduling have a positive impact on ratings.”
It would make sense for NBC to stay with the NHL in 2008-09 if only to get U.S. viewers more connected with hockey in advance of the network’s coverage of the 2010 Olympic tournament in Vancouver.
What concerns NBC, however, is giving over as many as five prime-time spots in May and June to the Stanley Cup final when the ratings are minuscule.
Also, about a month or so ago, a hockey blogger wrote, “A mutual option must be agreed upon by the January 1, 2008” regarding NBC and the NHL. I said it then and will say it now, not true.
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
Cherry said on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada that he “understands” why Simon stomped on Pittsburgh Penguin Jarkko Ruutu’s leg during a game last weekend. The incident led to Simon’s 30-game suspension last Wednesday, the longest in NHL history for an on-ice incident.
“He broke the code, you never do anything like that, but you can understand it somehow,” said Cherry.
read on and/or watch the video…
NHL Network, the first national network dedicated entirely to hockey, today announced it has secured the exclusive U.S. rights to the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, Dec. 26, 2007 – Jan. 5, 2008. The upcoming tournament marks the first time the World Junior Championship will be telecast live on NHL Network in the United States.
NHL Network in the U.S. will televise live coverage of the entire medal round of the 2008 World Junior Championship, including both quarterfinal games, both semifinal contests, the bronze-medal game and the gold-medal game. All games will be televised in HD and will receive at least one primetime re-air on the network.
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
Costas said that while he hasn’t covered hockey recently, his job on the broadcast will be similar to the role he performs at the Kentucky Derby and golf tournaments.
“Other guys have more expertise in these sports than I do, not that I don’t enjoy them,” Costas said. “It’s my job to provide overview and set the scene. That’s how I’ll approach it here. I’m not going to analyze the game. I’ll present the concept. It really is an event.”
An event that has clearly captured the imagination of Costas.
“It’s unique,” Costas said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited.”
The other three broadcasters and NBC Sports producer Sam Flood were in agreement that they’re really excited about the game, which could set a North American record for attendance at a hockey game.
NHL TV Ratings are up! Thanks to Ted Leonsis, you can view all the numbers…
Watch the NBC promo for the Winter Classic on January 1, 2008.
added 1:03pm, NBC Sports today announced that Bob Costas will host NBC’s broadcast coverage of the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Costas has a history broadcasting hockey, serving as the play-by-play commentator for the Syracuse Blazers of the old Eastern Hockey League in 1973-74 and also occasionally filling in for the late, great Dan Kelly on KMOX’s St. Louis Blues radiocasts in the last 70s and early 80s.
from Neil Best at Newsday,
Let’s be clear on this: With three local squads on basic cable, and with Versus and NBC also showing games, there is no shortage of hockey action on your TV.
So only passionate fans of a team outside the area or avid fans of the entire league need consider forking over $169 for the season (more than what MLB charges for its online, out-of-market service).
For people in those categories, there are benefits over the comparably priced TV version of Center Ice. They include portability (if you have a good laptop), the ability to see four games at once, real-time stats and archived games.
A couple of early games on the NHL schedule today. Check NHL.com for broadcast information.
From Blackantehm Military News,
“My mom and dad in Michigan are watching,” said Army Spc. Graham Besonen. “It’s important for them to see me and know I’m safe. I’m really a Red Wings fan, but I came to enjoy a hockey game and for my family to see me.”
Most of the pictures were sent to Versus at least a week prior to the game. However, the network wanted to make sure all of the troops were recognized. Just prior to the start of the game, a group photo was taken and e-mailed to Baker. During the third period, the picture was shown on TV.
“I was really impressed with Versus and the NHL putting our pictures on during the game,” said Army Sgt. Rich Allen. “I’ve always been a hockey fan, and to be deployed and see myself on television during a game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The door is open, then, for ESPN.
According to an ESPN source, the network could be interested if it saw a fit in terms of cost and content. The network would require playoff hockey and one night of exclusivity during the regular season. “It’s totally in the NHL’s hands,” the source said.
As one media critic expressed it, does the NHL want to be No. 7 on ESPN or No. 1 on Versus? The league does indeed receive more loving care from Versus than it did on ESPN, despite the half-hour show ESPN2 used to give it nightly, but its absence from the cable heavyweight has taken hockey one step further from the national conversation.
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.
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