Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/13/10 at 12:16 PM ET
NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 13, 2010)- VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, will drop the puck on its wall-to-wall coverage of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday, April 14. The network will start the night at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first Playoffs edition of Hockey Central followed by the first game in the Ottawa Senators/Pittsburgh Penguins series at 7:00 p.m. ET. VERSUS will air another Hockey Central show at 9:30 p.m. ET followed by Game 1 in the Detroit Red Wings/Phoenix Coyotes series at 10 p.m. ET. VERSUS concludes its first night of coverage by joining Game 1 of the Colorado Avalanche/San Jose Sharks series in-progress following the conclusion of the Red Wings/Coyotes telecast.
VERSUS is entering the postseason with tremendous momentum. The network kicked off the 2009/10 season with the most-watched opening night in network history and the March 22 Detroit Red Wings/Pittsburgh Penguins game was the highest-rated and most-watched regular season game in network history, as well as the most-watched NHL regular season telecast on cable since 2004. The network also saw a 33-percent spike in HH ratings (.4) and a 23-percent increase in average viewership (347,000) for the 12 exclusive games following the Olympic break as compared to the pre-Olympic, 40-game average (.3 HH rating and 283,000 viewers). The .4 HH rating and 347,000 average viewership for the final six weeks of exclusive games was also up 33 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to the final six weeks of the 2008-09 regular season (.3 HH rating and 288,000 viewers).
Throughout most of the postseason, VERSUS will televise at least one game per night, however most nights during the first two rounds will feature a double or triple-header. In the Conference Quarterfinals, VERSUS’ coverage is non-exclusive and subject to local blackouts. In the Conference Semifinal round, VERSUS will air two exclusive games per series and during the Conference Finals the network will air exclusive coverage of both series. VERSUS’ 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage will culminate with exclusive coverage of Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
VERSUS always seeks to institute new production enhancements to provide an even better viewing experience for fans and for this year’s Playoffs will use Liberovision technology in each postseason game. This cutting-edge analysis tool creates unique perspectives and the ability to rotate the image 360 degrees to get a better view of how the play developed. To further enhance the viewer experience, the network will also debut new theme music and a new graphics look for the Playoffs.
Each night the network televises a game VERSUS will air its NHL studio show, Hockey Central. Hosted by Bill Patrick with Brian Engblom and Keith Jones, Hockey Central provides extensive insight and commentary of the games and what’s happening around the NHL during the Playoffs. Throughout the Playoffs, Hockey Central will continue to feature guest analysts who made appearances during the regular season, including Darren McCarty, John Stevens and Mike Keenan with additional guests to be announced throughout the Playoffs.
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