Kukla's Korner Hockey
VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League, will put a microphone on NHL legend and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, Wayne Gretzky, during the network’s February 11 telecast of the Phoenix Coyotes/Dallas Stars match-up from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The game will air on VERSUS at 7 p.m. ET and in HD where available.
“Throughout the season, we always try new production enhancements and are constantly adding elements to our telecasts to get fans more engaged in the game,” said Mike Baker, Coordinating Producer for the NHL on VERSUS. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our viewers an insider’s look at the sport with on-the-bench commentary from the greatest NHL talent as he interacts with his players and coaches throughout the game.”
Also, the Ducks/Wings game yesterday on NBC drew a 0.9 overnight rating.
NHL’s television partner has released some of their ratings today, showing growth in viewership over last season. As of January 22, 2008:
- national household ratings up 50%
- total viewership up 36%
Additionally, the NHL All Star Game was the #1 rated NHL telecast for Versus ever, aside from post-season play.
Full content of the press release is below, all figures provided by Neilsen Media and Versus research.
Chris Chelios via the Detroit Free Press,
“I think our biggest issue ... is getting some more exposure to our game, and I think we just signed a three-year deal with Versus. ... We need a better TV contract, more exposure on TV, and we’re not getting that. It’s not going to hurt for a team to go over to Europe for some of the stars to be seen over there. But our problem is in the U.S., selling buildings out and exposing the game.”
more on the Wings…
via the AP,
The NHL and Versus have agreed to extend their contract by three years, the cable network confirmed Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
The network, formerly known as OLN, began televising NHL games during the 2005-06 season. It paid $65 million for the first year, $70 million for the second, and exercised a $72.5 million option for this season.
Ratings for NHL games on Versus are up this season. Through 29 games, average viewership has increased 34 percent from 195,666 to 261,760. Versus is airing 57 regular-season games this season.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey audiences won’t challenge the numbers produced by football, baseball and basketball any time soon, but the bleeding caused by the cancelled 2004-05 season has stopped.
At the midway point of this season, national audiences on Versus are up 32 per cent from this time last year.
Versus is drawing numbers comparable with ESPN2’s viewership in 2003-04, which was the last year of its deal with the NHL.
From Blackantehm Military News,
“My mom and dad in Michigan are watching,” said Army Spc. Graham Besonen. “It’s important for them to see me and know I’m safe. I’m really a Red Wings fan, but I came to enjoy a hockey game and for my family to see me.”
Most of the pictures were sent to Versus at least a week prior to the game. However, the network wanted to make sure all of the troops were recognized. Just prior to the start of the game, a group photo was taken and e-mailed to Baker. During the third period, the picture was shown on TV.
“I was really impressed with Versus and the NHL putting our pictures on during the game,” said Army Sgt. Rich Allen. “I’ve always been a hockey fan, and to be deployed and see myself on television during a game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Versus has an ad promoting today’s If-you-don’t-have-our-channel-it-sucks-to-be-you game between the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, and the picture is, to say the least, one of those images that would make a “We didn’t land on the moon” conspiracy theorist giddy as a schoolgirl:
Paul sent this one to me with a simple question—is this really Chris Chelios?—and when he suggested that it looked more like Brendan Shanahan, save the 06-07 Easton gloves, I agreed. As a hockey picture hound, however, I went to town on the image, looking for inconsistencies…
Sharkspage points out the NHL/Versus video promos our out on youtube,
The clips of Mark Recchi’s retirement, Briere’s wrist shot, Ray Emery’s pugilist mentality, and Eric Staal taking the ice are the best of the bunch. Game on.
I have received a large amount of emails asking me about the broadcast schedule for the NHL games in London.
Here you go and as always, you can check NHL.com for a complete schedule.
Note the September 29th game will also be available on FoxSports West
note: original post date was 9/25/07, Saturday’s game is on the Center Ice schedule.
In case you haven’t noticed, VERSUS has their NHL schedule up. I see game 2 in London will be televised beginning at 12 noon 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 firstname.lastname@example.org