Kukla's Korner Hockey
SECAUCUS, N.J. (Sept. 22, 2015) – With 15 days to go until the start of the 2015-16 NHL regular season, NHL Network today announced the on-air talent lineup for its three signature studio shows, NHL Live™ Powered By Constellation, NHL Tonight™ and On The Fly™.
The roster of analysts includes longtime NHL Network personalities E.J. Hradek and veteran goaltender Kevin Weekes, plus Hall of Famer and three-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Stevens, 20-year veteran and two-time Stanley Cup winner John MacLean, two-time Stanley Cup champion Dave Reid, 2003 Stanley Cup winner Mike Rupp, longtime NHL executive and GM of the 1994 Stanley Cup-winning New York Rangers Neil Smith, 14-year head coach, 2004 Stanley Cup champion and Team USA 2016 World Cup head coach John Tortorella, and 16-year veteran Martin Biron, 15-year veteran Brian Boucher, and 12-year veteran Mike Johnson. The accomplishments among the group of former players, GMs and coaches include a combined 11 Stanley Cup championships, 74 Playoff appearances and over 6,800 career NHL games played.
SECAUCUS (Sept. 16, 2015) - As NHL training camps open this week, NHL Network announced its upcoming programming schedule ahead of the 2015-16 season, featuringmore than 40 preseason game telecasts in 15 days, a new studio show schedule, and 12 live regular season games in October.
NHL Network's slate of preseason games will begin this Sunday, September 20, with the New Jersey Devils against the Boston Bruins at 7:00 p.m. ET. On Thursday, September 24, NHL Network and NHL.com will exclusively air the fourth annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, a showcase of the top U.S. players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, called live by Steve Mears, E.J. Hradek and Brian Duff from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo at 7:00 p.m. ET. The full list of NHL Network’s 2015 preseason game schedule can be viewed here.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
FOX’s Sun Sports, the regional television home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, today announced Brian Engblom has joined its roster of Lightning on-air talent for the 2015-16 season. In his new role, Engblom will serve as color analyst for all Lightning television broadcasts.
Alongside play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham, Engblom will provide a seasoned voice to Lightning’ television broadcasts. Prior to joining Sun Sports, Engblom served as “Inside the Glass” analyst on both NBC and NBC Sports Network broadcasts, as well as the network’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. During his time at NBC, Engblom has also served as an analyst on NHL Live, NBCSN’s pre and post-game NHL studio show. During that time he also served as color analyst for Winnipeg Jets games on TSN in Canada.
“I am thrilled to be going to such a terrific organization on and off the ice,” Engblom said. “I’ve missed working for a team and that affiliation is something that I really haven’t had in my 20 years broadcasting at the national level. Lightning fans are fortunate to have a young, terrific team. The next step is the most fun, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Think of how you consume baseball. Just like hockey, you have your national television packages and your regional networks. And many of us have the Extra Innings package on cable or satellite (Memo to Rob Manfred: You still need to fix the absurd and archaic blackout rules).
I would like to see the NHL include mobile streaming as part of its Center Ice package, just like MLB does with Extra Innings. You no longer pay extra to get games on mobile devices in baseball; the NHL has not included its often-clunky GameCenter Live when you subscribe to the TV package.
But go mobile now: MLB.TV is just flat-out super on your laptop or iPad. Full HD. Both teams’ broadcasts. Integration of box scores. Highlights from earlier innings. Same for the MLB At Bat app on your iPhone. You can see all the key plays of any game shortly after they happen.
In hockey, the NHL app is lifeless at times. Highlights on team websites too often lag during games. And a 15-second clip often runs after a 30-second ad. It’s frustrating beyond belief. You can’t follow a game on GameCenter Live and social media at the same time because the video lags well behind real-time.
The deal will have MLB taking over NHL.com and all the teams’ individual websites. It will have MLB running the NHL Network and the possibilities there are endless. “Quick Pitch” and “MLB Tonight” are must-see shows every day on MLB Network. On the hockey side, “NHL Live,” “NHL on the Fly” and “NHL Tonight” are shows you have to see but the production levels are outright amateurish and not close to the level of the solid on-air talent the NHL Network has.
If you missed the release from NBC, read it here.
STAMFORD, Conn. -- July 27, 2015 – Coming off the second-most watched Stanley Cup Final on record, and the third-most watched NHL postseason in the last 18 years, NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 105 NHL regular-season games during the 2015-16 season, featuring 12 games on NBC and 93 games on NBCSN. The 105 regular-season games are the most ever scheduled across NBC Sports Group heading into a season. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.
Schedule highlights include:
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
SPORTSNET.CA: When did you know you wanted to call games?
Jim Hughson: Nothing was preordained. I went to university, didn’t finish a degree, went back to work in the radio business. I just wanted a job. Just moved around making $50 more a month where I went to.
When the opportunity came to move to Vancouver at a big radio station, I jumped at the opportunity and started working before I found out how much money I was going to make. I got the opportunity to fill in for [Canucks voice] Jim Robson. When he would do television games on Hockey Night in Canada, I would do the radio games. That was the first time I thought: This could be really cool. I like the idea of working in the winter and doing hockey games and play-by-play. I’d done some of that in junior. I also liked the idea of having the summer off.
SN: Does calling a championship make you nervous?
JH: I don’t think it’s a nervousness; it’s an awareness. There’s a real clarity, especially in the playoffs. You want to do a real good job; you want to know exactly what’s going on and not miss anything. It’s a nervous energy. You can feel it in the building; you can feel it in the teams. It’s not similar to playing, but there’s a real heightened awareness of what’s happening.
from Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter,
In hockey-mad Canada, TV audiences for NHL games are tumbling, thanks in part to cord-cutting and digital media.
It turns out the country's national game is hardly immune to a generational shift in overall TV viewing habits. "In our research, we noticed that for the NHL, as well as for other pro leagues, there is a migration to online and mobile at the expense of TV. I mean why not, we see that for many kinds of content," Kaan Yigit, president of Toronto-based Solutions Research Group, told the Hollywood Reporter.
For cable giant Rogers Communications, which last year threw CAN$5.2 billion (US$4.1 billion) at the NHL for the exclusive national TV and Internet rights to NHL game broadcasts in Canada over the next 12 years, the recent Stanley Cup playoffs began well, thanks to five Canadian NHL teams in action during early rounds.
But ratings slid in the final two rounds as Canadian teams fell by the wayside, according to Numeris audience data. An average audience of 2.39 million for the final round fell 12 percent from the average audience of 2.72 million viewers for the 2014 championship final round.
from Antony Bruno of Broadcasting & Cable,
Both aired in the same timeframe, with the NBA’s championship series running from June 4 through June 16 and the NHL’s games from June 3 through June 15. Both were aired on major broadcast networks, with ABC presenting the NBA games (along with ESPN) while NBC owned the NHL series (along with NBC Sports). And both best-of-seven series lasted only six games.
But the similarities end there. The NBA Finals massively outpaced the NHL Finals in terms of advertising revenue, generating over $220 million in estimated spending compared to the $43.6 million the Stanley Cup Finals attracted, which has implications both in terms of network revenue impact and brand advertiser effect.
The impact on the different networks airing these finals is striking. The NBA series contributed nearly 60% of ABC’s total advertising haul for the timeframe they aired. Meanwhile the NHL series contributed just over 17% to NBC’s ad revenue over their airing dates (yet was about 50% of NBC Sports’ revenue).
These figures will likely come into play when it comes time for the networks and the leagues to negotiate new carriage contracts. The NHL in particular has only recently returned to network TV after several years of cable banishment. While its advertising take looks paltry compared to basketball, baseball, and football playoffs, the NHL has seen an increase in revenue over the years. Last year was particularly lucrative as the Finals featured teams from two huge media markets—the LA Kings and NY Rangers. Whether relatively smaller markets like Chicago and Tampa Bay can continue the trend to NBC’s approval is a factor worth following.
from Chris Zelkovich of Yahoo,
Ratings were down across the board, but Rogers is claiming success on its $5.2 billion gamble on the National Hockey League.
"We made money in the first year, which I think is slightly miraculous," said Scott Moore, Rogers' head of Sportsnet and NHL properties. ``It was a big nut to cover as far as rights fees go. We did it with only nine months to turn everything around and start new advertising relationships."
It's not clear on how Rogers accomplished that considering that the Stanley Cup playoffs are what usually produce profits for NHL broadcasters, with the regular season acting as a loss leader.
But Moore said advertisers were happy despite ratings 12 per cent lower than last season's final series. He admitted that some advertisers received make-goods -- rebates for failing to reach audience targets -- but ``we built that into the pricing so that doesn't affect our revenue. Our advertisers were happy.
"Overall the Stanley Cup playoffs were by far the Number 1rated show every single night they were on for two straight months."
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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