Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Ir you are like me and listen to Leafs Lunch on a regular basis, here is a bit of news- Leafs Lunch wll be moving to afternoon drive-time beginning next Tuesday. Leafs Lunch will still be on at noon, but for only one hour.
Read all about it at the Toronto Star...
William Houston at the Globe & Mail (Thursday’s edition),
TSN is moving closer to reaching a contract extension with the NHL. A new agreement for national cable rights is expected to be completed in a few weeks. “They’re focusing on it getting done before the start of the season,” a source said.
Highlights to look for:
* More games involving Canadian teams, including more Toronto Maple Leafs games;
* The opportunity for a Canadian match-up in the playoffs;
* Broadband streaming rights to games televised on TSN.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The online publication SportsBusiness Journal reported this week that the NHL has started preliminary talks with ESPN about replacing NBC as a television partner in 2008-09.
In response, an NBC spokesman said it was premature to speculate on what the network will do with its 2008-09 option.
What’s more, NBC will employ a flexible NHL schedule in 2007-08, from which it will pick the best matchup — a move that should push up ratings.
“This is the first opportunity that NBC will have to really fight for the rating number that it considers to be its target,” an NHL source said.
Still, if the NHL is talking to ESPN, it’s almost certain NBC has informed the league it is preparing to pull out.
Networks make programming decisions months in advance. It’s unlikely the NHL would have approached ESPN unless it knew NBC was not planning to pick up its option.
Update 2:30am ET:
More thoughts from TIB,
Giving up exclusivity for publicity would be a smart move for the young network. ESPN, which has mocked the channel on occasion, would now be helping remind its audience it not only exists, but carries similar content. Somewhere Alanis Morissette is smiling.
Despite the jokes directed at Versus, Comcast has done a good job getting it onto more cable systems since the NHL deal was signed, and continuously improving the hockey broadcasts as they’ve gone along.
from the Vancouver Province,
Turn out the lights. The NBC-NHL party is just about over. The U.S. TV network has one year plus an option left on its deal with the hockey league and with numbers sinking faster than the Lusitania the rats are already jumping ship.
The NHL on NBC now makes “Joanie Loves Chachi” look like an Einstein-like programming decision.
In response, the network has now cancelled its studio show and has reduced three games on Saturday to just one on Sunday.
Gone are Brett Hull, Bill Clement and Ray Ferraro.
“Of course I was disappointed,” says Ferraro. “Three minutes into the call and you know you’ve got to start earning a living some place else.”
read on & some HNIC news too…
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.
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