Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Neil Best at Newsday,
So no one should be surprised about the current predicament of hockey fans, in which nearly 40 million U.S. households - about 35 percent of the total - can’t watch the many playoff games on Versus.
That includes a couple of million homes in our area, 600,000 of which are Cablevision customers, who won’t see the Rangers play the Sabres Tuesday and will miss any game in the conference or Stanley Cup Finals not televised by NBC.
This is old news in other parts of the nation, where many fans freaked out last spring in the first season of the Versus (then called OLN) deal with the NHL.
At the time Versus was available in only 49 percent of cable homes in the Los Angeles area, angering Ducks fans, to cite one example. That figure is up to 59 percent now.
Versus is in only 61 percent of homes in metro Detroit, the nation’s foremost hockey hotbed.
The HD broadcast is nowhere to be found. on VSGLF, the VS dedicated HD channnel, we have golf. On INHD, which is normally the backup channel, we have an NBA game scheduled for 8pm.
So no HD for Wings fans with Comcast in the Detroit area.
If someone finds it, please pass it on.
added 8:16pm, Versus, you have to do a better job of informing your viewers about your HD broadcasts.
A little late, but just in case you are not sure what stations will be broadcasting the games tonight.
In case you ask, the Wings/Sharks game is exclusive with Versus tonight.
‘Leafs Lunch’ on AM640 (starting at noon ET) has an interesting lineup scheduled to talk about playoff hockey today including ex-players/analysts Darren Pang, Mark Messier and possibly Marty McSorley. Amusing me this morning though, was this poll on top of today’s show notes: “Will the Leafs Make the Playoffs?”
It’s still very early here on the west coast… I appreciate the comic relief wherever I can get it…
From PR Newswires,
“Adding rich social media capabilities, like user-generated video submissions, is an ideal way for the NHL and its sponsors to develop and extend their relationship with fans,” said Randy Selman, president and chief executive officer of Onstream Media. “Needless to say, we’re excited to be working with the NHL and look forward to extending our relationship and providing even greater new media capabilities, such as video search, indexing, encoding and ad insertion capabilities to more effectively monetize their content and increase viewer stickiness over time.”
more… *plus details on the contest for Canada’s “SuperFan”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Versus has used the NHL to increase its exposure by almost 20 percent, from 64 million homes to 72 million. It reportedly has pursued the NFL and Major League Baseball and could be a suitor for the NBA next spring.
If Versus continues to grow at the same rate, it would be in about 80 million homes when the current contract expires at the end of the 2007-08 season, which would make it a significant competitor to ESPN2, if not ESPN.
An NHL spokesman said Versus has an option for another three years beyond that.
“A lot of people now know where Versus is compared to two years ago,” said sports-television consultant Neal Pilson, the former head of CBS Sports.
The first game of any series is a good time for the road team to “steal” a game. Will it happen tonight?
from the Mercury News,
Versus snagged Games1 and 4 of the Sharks-Red Wings series as exclusive telecasts. For a healthy portion of Bay Area viewers - tens of thousands, based on first-round ratings - it’s a tune-out, turn-off moment.
A Versus representative said 71 percent of the Bay Area gets the network. Yes, at the only time of year the NHL truly sells itself, its TV contract eliminates much of the potential audience.
Who knows how many of those people would actually watch a game, but here’s one stark example: Game3 of the first-round series, on Fox Sports Net Bay Area, drew a 2.5 local rating (60,000 households). Game5, a 2.5 rating. Game4, on Versus, a 1.3, or 31,000 households.
Versus has the entire conference finals and first two games of the Stanley Cup finals. So if the Sharks advance, tens of thousands of interested viewers could miss the very best of the product.
RWBill, a KK member posted the audio of the Johan Franzen series clinching goal in a Wings forum today,
The audio call was from Calgary broadcaster Pete Maher, who was inducted into the HHOF Broadcast Wing last year.
You can tell why- listen to the call, a true professional all the way.
Some play-by-play guys would have barely told you the puck was in the net, or be screaming about a penalty that should have been called or maybe and offsides.
Pete did it right and I came away even more impressed!
NBC is televising up to 10 dates through the Conference Finals and will then broadcast Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup Final in primetime.
Saturday, April 28, 3 p.m. ET, San Jose at Detroit, Game 2
Sunday, April 29, 2 p.m. ET, Buffalo at New York, Game 3
Saturday, May 5, 2 p.m. ET, San Jose at Detroit, Game 5*
Sunday, May 6, 2 p.m. ET, Buffalo at New York, Game 6*
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 email@example.com