Kukla's Korner Hockey
from James Mirtle of From The Rink,
Would they turn down a blogger given this is one of the NHL’s biggest media events of the year? Or would there be some sort of auxiliary press box, deep beneath the seats, where the “lesser” media could still cover the game?
As it turns out, the Bell Centre’s well-equipped to deal with issues like this. There are more than 300 seats in the massive press box encircling the rink, and few offer a worse view than my No. 162:
Today at NHL.com I answer some of the emails I have received in the last week or so.
from Bruce Ciskie of NHL Fanhouse,
One of my favorite hockey-related shows on NHL Network is Voices. As a hockey broadcaster myself, it is neat to watch how the best in the business prepare to go on the air, and how they interact with the best athletes on the planet.
Watching Voices made me start wondering who the best really were. With that in mind, I took advantage of a Center Ice subscription and an active remote, watching every team’s local broadcast as many times as I could stomach.
I came to a few conclusions.
Mike Emrick is so good he deserves his own category. I feel bad excluding him from this list, but I do it because he’s that much better than everyone.
NEW YORK / PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 27, 2009) – Today, Comcast Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, and the NHL Network announced an agreement to offer the first On Demand access to NHL and hockey dedicated programming. Under the terms of the agreement, NHL Network subscribers can access in-depth hockey coverage On Demand including NHL game highlights made available only hours after game completion and at no additional charge.
via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Canadians tune in when the NHL all-star game is in a Canadian city.
With Montreal as the host, Sunday’s all-star game drew its largest television audience since 2000, when the game was played in Toronto.
The CBC telecast was watched by 1.516 million viewers, just less than the 1.557 million who tuned in for the 2000 game.
The CBC drew its largest audience ever for Saturday skills competitions, 1.358 million, bettering 1.327 million in 2000.
added 5:48am, via Sports Media Watch,
Versus drew a 0.8 overnight rating for coverage of the NHL All Star Game on Sunday, up 12% from last year, according to USA Today. While it is tough to quibble with a double-digit increase in ratings, the 0.8 is still very unimpressive. As USA Today notes, “six weekend ESPN/ABC X Games shows drew higher ratings than the NHL All-Star Game.”
Last night Ron MacLean of HNIC had his annual ASG sit-down with Gary Bettman.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The free lunch for NBC is over. That’s the message the NHL will give to the network when it begins negotiating a new national television contract to replace the one that expires after this season.
Since the lockout, the league has had a deal with NBC that essentially gave the network its NHL property for free. In a deal similar to the one that the Arena Football League had, NBC doesn’t pay the NHL any money, but guarantees that it will cover production costs. Any money made by the broadcasts first goes to covering those costs and if any profits are left over after that, 80 percent go to the league and 20 percent go to NBC.
But that arrangement for NBC is about to end, according to those who are familiar with the league’s television contract. With paying customers in the form of TSN and CBC in Canada and Versus in the United States, the league feels it has the leverage to begin charging a national broadcaster for its product.
continued plus other hockey notes…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Plenty of ideas were offered on how to improve the all-star format.
Reporter Scott Oake passed on a proposal by San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton, who suggested giving the players a cash incentive. Members of the winning team would not be required to pay into the National Hockey League Players’ Association escrow account.
“Then you’d see a game to rival any of the 82,” Oake said.
Don Cherry had his own ideas. Give NHL players the responsibility of selecting the all-stars rather than fans. That four Montreal Canadiens filled six of the Eastern Conference starting spots was hardly a realistic representation of the NHL’s best, he said.
more on the CBC coverage of the weekend in Montreal…
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
The numbers (ratings) seem to say a couple of things: Local fans have noticed that this year’s team is better than last year’s squad, which competed hard but lacked the depth of talent to be in the race, and they’re increasingly interested in the good story lines (Benedict Foote), strong opponents (Calgary) and players worth watching (Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, whose Capitals drew a 2.35 rating).
If form holds true, the best ratings are going to come after the All-Star break. And if this team continues to trend upward, we might soon discover what a lot of people said nine years ago:
If the Blue Jackets ever have a good team, this is going to be one heck of a hockey market.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org