Kukla's Korner Hockey
Stamford, CONN. (May 13, 2008)—VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the NHL and the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, garnered a 1.7 National HH rating for its telecast of the Flyers/Penguins Game 2 Conference Final round match-up on Sunday, May 11. It was the most-watched telecast ever in network history among total viewers (2,345,834) and the highest rated and the most-watched NHL telecast ever on the network.
Viewership for the May 11 telecast topped the previous record set during the 2008 Conference Semifinal round with Game 4 of the Rangers/Penguins series on May 1 (1,184,519 total viewers) and the rating surpassed the previous high (1.1) set during the 2006 Conference Final round with Game 7 of the Buffalo/Carolina series.
Just received a phone call from Versus, Game 1 of the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh Series will be in HD on VERSUS!!
Good new all around! And yes, they heard you!
added 2:25pm, Just wanted to thank Versus for working with me and making it right for HD hockey fans. Hope everyone enjoys the game.
Just got off the phone with Versus and game 1 of the ECF will not be broadcast in HD. They have a commitment to show the golf show from the TPC.
So the Pens/Flyers game will only be in SD, so set your DVRs properly if recording.
added 9:36pm, As a few KK readers pointed out, the Flyers have a schedule up Friday’s game that lists both Versus and MOJO HD. That will help some folks out, others will not be so lucky.
When I spoke to Versus today, they told me no other channels would be broadcasting the game in HD in the US.
Update 2:18pm ET May 9th: Good news update… HD for the game!
Just heard from Versus and the opening game of the ECF between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is still not in HD.
I will keep you updated as it becomes available.
Update May 8th, 12:35pm: More information available here.
I just got off the phone with Versus and they tell me Thursday’s game between the Wings and Stars will be in HD.
However, the Friday game between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is still up in the air. They are trying to work something out with the Golf Channel which shares air time with VersusHD on Friday nights.
from Cole’s Notes at the Vancouver Sun,
Dear Gary Bettman:
On behalf of the travelling members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, I would like to lodge a complaint about the amount of money the NHL’s deal to telecast playoff games in the United States on the Versus network is costing writers, and the damage it is doing to our livers….
Club soda and cranberry juice doesn’t pay the rent, so we are forced to consume copious quantities of beer and other libations just to keep the bars from throwing us out in favour of more lucrative customers. Over three hours — or six, if there happen to be two games on, back-to-back — this runs into serious money, not to mention dangerous levels of alcohol consumption and more chicken wings than are good for our slender figures.
Mr. Kukla, I am writing you at 3:30am to voice a complaint about the Versus broadcast of the Sharks game on Friday night.
I attended my prom tonight and instead of going to an all night drinking party, a bunch of us couples (yes the girls like hockey too) headed back to my house to watch the game that I had saved via Directv DVR. Guess what, no game on VERSUS HD like the NHL.com schedule had listed. So instead of watching a great game, we were stuck watching golf.
Why did VERSUS do this and if they were going to show the game on the regular VERSUS channel, why didn’t they let us know about it?
Do you have a way I can let them know how badly they messed up my plans, my parents even had food ready for us and we had this all planned out. Instead, we turned off the DVR and the party broke up earlier than expected.
Yes, numerous emails, people screaming, go back to ESPN!
Versus, how can you NOT show a Stanley Cup playoff game in HD?
I don’t want to hear about the commitment to golf… How about the commitment to the fans of the NHL!
You ask numerous hockey bloggers to promote the games, without compensation, so I guess this should not be total surprise.
The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a lottery system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2008 Entry Draft, will take place tonight at the NHL’s New York office. NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada will televise the results of the Draft Drawing live at 8 p.m., ET. The 30-minute show, produced by TSN and hosted by TSN’s James Duthie, with Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie and analyst Mike Milbury, also will be available on VERSUS, NHL.com and on XM Radio (Ch. 204).
Also, the NHL Network has a night of hockey for us, minus the games. All times listed are ET.
Earlier today, Don Cherry of CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada”, Mike Emrick from VERSUS and NBC, Pierre McGuire from TSN and NBC and Mike Milbury from NBC and TSN were on a tele-conference discussing the 2008 NHL Playoffs.
You can download the audio [mp3 link] if you like, or listen on the player below. (Be aware that it may take a few minutes to load.)
Update 4:41pm ET: Complete written transcript now available below.
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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