Kukla's Korner Hockey
Surely strength is not the first word that comes to mind when describing the league’s historical relationship with big broadcasters. For years sports-TV pundits either teased the NHL or prayed for it. As it lost its relationship with ESPN — the sole entity possessing enough power to tell sports fans what to like and how to think, to dictate their tastes (such as they are) rather than follow them — hockey lost its footing in the sports mainstream. And ESPN seemed to bury the league out of spite. Lamentably, First Take will never take up Toews vs. Crosby, ESPN.com will never start a Winnipeg sub-site and Thomas Vanek will never sit down with Jim Gray to announce where he plans to sign.
It’s hard not to notice, though, that the NHL made its new bones by following the same blueprint that ESPN once used, albeit in a different business. The Worldwide Leader, which will clear an estimated $9 billion in revenue for 2014, came to best a field of broad networks at a game they had once dominated by owning a niche. The plan is perfectly logical: Make yourself utterly indispensable to a group of people, even a small one, and you can win. The big-tent days have probably passed. But here in our little igloo, it’s only getting hotter.
-Jack Dickey of Sports Illustrated where you can read more on this topic.
If you missed it last night.
We come from the land of the ice and snow...
from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean,
There will be some changes for the Predators television broadcast team next season.
Longtime color analyst Terry Crisp will no longer travel with the team, and will move to a "behind the desk" role during home broadcasts.
Stu Grimson, who had been handling radio broadcasts, will take Crisp's spot next to Pete Weber as color analyst, a team spokesman confirmed to The Tennessean.
from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated,
With the Stanley Cup Final in full swing, I empaneled four respected NHL media voices for a short roundtable discussion on the business.
John Buccigross, SportsCenter anchor, ESPN.com NHL columnist, Sarah Kwak, NHL writer, Sports Illustrated, Bob McKenzie, NHL insider, TSN Canada and Aaron Portzline, NHL writer, Columbus Dispatch
SI.com: How would you evaluate the quality of hockey coverage in the United States on all platforms, and why did you answer as you did?
Kwak: I actually think the quality of coverage in the States is pretty good. It's the quantity in quality places (traditional major media outlets) that I think is lacking, particularly in the regular season. And because of that, I don't think there's a huge amount invested into hockey coverage.
When I first started on the NHL beat seven years ago, at my first Stanley Cup Final, it seemed like all of the major newspapers sent their hockey beat reporters to the final -- even if their home team wasn't playing. But each year since, there seems to be fewer and fewer U.S. national writers covering the full Final. That said, I don't think there is any shortage of good, quality opinion and analysis out there, especially on the Internet.
There are some local newspaper reporters/bloggers who are doing good work. But the thing about the Internet is that it's not always easy to distinguish U.S. vs. Canadian coverage, and it's not easy to distinguish smart, informed analysis and opinion from filler. Generally speaking, the Canadian coverage is better, particularly because, as I mentioned before, they invest in hockey and make it a priority.
McKenzie: To be honest, in terms of the Internet -- Twitter, media sites etc. -- I don't really differentiate between Canada and the United States for coverage. I don't see any big discrepancies in the quantity or quality of hockey coverage from those on Twitter or working for publications/sites in one country or the other.
Twitter has allowed for a lot more voices to be heard and, for the most part, the more the merrier. The good people, regardless of whether they're from Canada, the U.S. or Europe, shine through. Those who don't have a lot to offer don't flourish. Whether it's a blogger or a beat writer or a feature writer, I love how many options there are to be informed and entertained with hockey coverage.
The platform where I believe the biggest difference has been made is on conventional television. (Disclaimer on that, of course. I do a little work for NBCSN, so it's hardly an objective view, but I think the quantity and quality of hockey coverage with the NHL's national deal in the U.S. is light years better than it has been for a long time.) My sense, and it's more anecdotal than empirical, is the number of games and the manner in which they're presented can't help but contribute to the growth of the game in the United States. I also think the local team broadcasts have worked on quality control and, in many cases, are far better now than they were before.
via a press release from NBC...
NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 2
Last night’s Game 2 (7:15—11:45 p.m. ET), in which the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 5-4 in double overtime to take a 2-0 series lead, averaged 6.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched Game 2 on record (since at least 1994). The game was up 60% vs. last year’s Game 2 on NBCSN (Bruins-Blackhawks, 4.0 million), and up 121% vs. 2012’s Game 2 on NBC that also featured the Kings (Kings-Devils, 2.9 million).
• Viewership for the game peaked in the final quarter-hour (11:30-11:45 p.m. ET) with 7.6 million viewers. The 7:15-7:30 pre-game quarter-hour, which immediately followed Belmont Stakes coverage, averaged 9.1 million viewers. The game delivered a 3.7 HH rating.
• Game 2 dominated primetime. NBC was No. 1 for the night among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in A18-49 (2.0) and all other key measures. Game 2 ranked No. 1 in A18-49 in all six primetime half-hours, beat the other major broadcast networks combined in A18-49 rating (2.0 vs. 1.5).
• New York delivered a 10.5 HH rating for Game 2, the highest-rated NHL game ever on NBC or NBCSN in the market, and up from a 10.1 for Game 1, which was the previous record. Los Angeles scored a 8.9 HH rating, the second-highest such game ever in Los Angeles, behind only the 2012 Stanley Cup Final Game 6 (13.6), which was when the Kings clinched their first-ever championship. L.A. did a 7.1 HH rating for Game 1.
• Last night’s Game 2, which ended in the second overtime, delivered 9.0 million minutes of live streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra, the most ever for an NHL game, according to Adobe Analytics. It surpassed last year’s Stanley Cup Final triple-overtime Game 1, which produced 8.9 million minutes of consumption. Game 2 was watched by 219,677 unique viewers.
Whether you like Don Cherry or not, you are entitled to your own opinion about the polarizing host of Coach’s Corner.
But what has always been a bit headscratching is the reaction of some Grapes Bashers to Cherry’s penchant of honouring police and soldiers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
What’s the issue here?
You don’t like it? You have a clicker. Use it.
The topic came to mind on Saturday night when Cherry paid tribute to the three RCMP officers who were gunned down in cold blood in Moncton on Wednesday: Const. Dave Ross, 32; Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45; Const. Douglas James Larche, 40.
As much as we all love the sport, some things are more important than hockey. We once again we reminded of that courtesy of Coach’s Corner. At least that’s the opinion here, whether you agree or not.
-Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.
Watch Coach's Corner from last night below. The talk regarding the RCMP officers starts at the 4:00 minute mark.
Hope you like Allice In Chains...
Scott Oake of Hockey Night in Canada with two Inside Hockey features.
First up is a feature on Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzzin and below a feature on Ryan McDonagh...
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 5, 2014 – The first game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings averaged 4.777 million viewers, making it NBC’s second-most watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 ever and the second-most watched Game 1 overall since 1999. NBC won the night in primetime among P18-49 with a 1.9 rating.
The game (8:00-11:17 p.m. ET), in which the Kings defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime, drew 4.777 million viewers and a 3.0 HH rating. Game 1 was up 65% in viewership compared to the last time the Kings were in the Stanley Cup Final (2.902 million in 2012) and up 212% vs. the last time the Rangers appeared (1.532 million, ESPN, 1994; not including RSN viewership in New York). The only Game 1 on NBC to surpass last night’s viewership was last year’s triple-overtime thriller between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, which averaged 6.358 million.
The game peaked at 5.7 million viewers from 10:45-11:00 p.m. ET.
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