Kukla's Korner Hockey
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2014 – On the strength of an NHL record 93 postseason games – including 46 one-goal games and 26 overtime games – a new playoff format that emphasized divisional rivalries, and a Stanley Cup Final that featured the nation’s two largest media markets, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs became the second-most watched NHL post-season since NBC and NBCSN began their exclusive coverage in 2006, according to Fast National data provided by The Nielsen Company. Every game was televised nationally by the NBC Sports Group.
In addition, the Stanley Cup Final, won in five games by the Los Angeles Kings over the New York Rangers, was just the fifth Final in 20 years to average more than 5.0 million viewers. Digitally, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered live stream records in virtually all metrics for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Final and Game 5.
Hockey Night in Canada as we know it is over. There will always be hockey to watch, but the change of broadcaster and the creation of a multi-channel hockey universe means an end to the collective memory of the great game on Saturday nights.
-Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star where you can read more on Hockey Night In Canada.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 14, 2014 – The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup last night with a double-overtime 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The thrilling contest averaged 6.0 million viewers; making it the most-watched Game 5 in six years and helping NBC win the night in primetime, according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company. Los Angeles and New York both scored their second-best local-market ratings ever for an NHL game on NBC or NBCSN.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 12, 2014,
Last night’s Game 4 delivered a 2.8 overnight rating, ranking as the third-best Stanley Cup Final overnight on NBCSN ever. The overnight for the Rangers 2-1 win over the Kings trails only Games 2-3 of last year’s Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Bruins.
There is no cable comparison to Game 4 last year as that game aired on NBC, but the 2.8 overnight is up 65% from 2012 (1.7), which featured Devils-Kings, and up 40% from 2011 (2.0), featuring Canucks-Bruins.
Locally, Los Angeles delivered a 7.3 rating, the market’s best ever on NBCSN for an NHL game, surpassing 2012 Game 4 vs. the Devils (6.6).
New York scored its second-best NHL rating ever on NBCSN with an 8.1 rating, trailing only 2014 Game 6 vs. Montreal on the Eastern Conference Final (8.5).
Following are the Top 10 markets for last night’s game.
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.
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.
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