Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Peters of CBSSports,
Here are the five big things you need to know about the NBC NHL schedule for 2016-17, including how many times each team will be on:
1. Blackhawks will appear a league-high 21 times nationally, Flyers get 20 games
The league's most popular brand in terms of TV viewership, ticket sales and merchandise is unsurprisingly going to get a lot of run on NBC's platforms. On top of playing in their third Winter Classic next season - Jan. 2 against the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium - the Blackhawks will have 25 percent of their regular-season schedule visible to a national audience. They are the biggest ratings driver the league has and NBC is going to milk that for all it's worth. This is the same amount of Blackhawks games they ordered for last season....
The Philadelphia Flyers, however, also have an extremely robust national TV schedule. They'll be on 20 times next season.
It should be noted that both Philadelphia and Chicago have all of their non-nationally broadcast games broadcast on regional Comcast Sports Networks, which are under the same umbrella as NBC Sports. That allows NBC to pull their feeds without having to send a full broadcast crew to those games.
STAMFORD, Conn. – July 21, 2016 – Coming off of the most-watched full NHL regular season on cable in 22 years, NBC Sports Group is scheduled to present 106 NHL regular-season games during the 2016-17 season – the most ever across NBC Sports Group heading into a season – featuring 14 games on NBC and 92 games on NBCSN. All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated users via TV Everywhere.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Almost one year into a landmark digital media rights partnership, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday they believe the deal has benefited both sides.
The six-year contract, which was signed Aug. 4, 2015, allows Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the technical arm of Major League Baseball, to serve as the host of all of the NHL's digital properties, among them NHL.com, NHL.TV and NHL Network.
"[MLBAM] has been extraordinary," Commissioner Bettman said during an appearance with Manfred at Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. "Bob Bowman (MLBAM president and chief executive officer), who not only created but presided over it since its inception … has made it the leading enterprise for streaming live sports. They're cutting edge, extraordinarily professional. They're great at what they do."
Commissioner Bettman said a review of the NHL's digital-media presentation led him to MLBAM. There also was a comfort level professionally and personally with Bowman, whom Commissioner Bettman said he's known for almost 25 years.
"We were reviewing all of our options both on the strictly vendor side and also what other more integrated solutions or possibilities were there for us," Commissioner Bettman said. "Based on our knowledge and understanding and respect for what [MLBAM] had accomplished, we thought that this would be the best opportunity for us to provide the best experience for our fans to connect to the game using technology both today and into the foreseeable future.
from the Montreal Canadiens website,
When hockey players decide to hang up their skates, their desire to stay connected to the sport they played and were so very passionate about since childhood, is still as strong as ever before. Some end up working directly with their respective teams, while some decide to work on the other side of the microphone as TV or radio analysts. Many Habs alums now cover the Canadiens in one way or another, and we caught up with a few of them to learn more about their transition to the media. This week, we have Jose Theodore, who is an analyst for TVA Sports...
What was your perception of hockey journalists when you played? Has it changed now that you’re on the other side?
JT: As a player, it was definitely difficult to accept being criticized by those who had never played in the NHL, those who never had to make the same sacrifices it takes to get there. As a player it was an aspect of the relationship that I had a hard time accepting. It has not really changed nowadays because people will also always criticize the fact that I didn’t have to go through specific training or schooling in order to do my job. But when it comes to analyzing a game or situation, we former players know what we are talking about. I think that's why the television networks want us. We are not here to steal anyone’s job but at the same time our opinions are well respected.
more questions and answers...
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
We sat down at length with the new late-night host of Hockey Night in Canada to talk about his path, his ideas, and the dream job he'd never dreamed of.
Here is Part 1 of our conversation.
SPORTSNET.CA: So, you get the host gig. Do you call Ron or George?
DAVID AMBER: I have not spoken with George. I called Ron after I found out the situation to touch base with him. I’ve known Ron having worked on Hockey Night for five years, and he’s always been a great mentor, not just to me but a lot of us in the business. He’s very thoughtful and kind and always has interesting perspective that can help you with your job. A supportive person professionally for me. So I reached out to him and we had a great conversation. It’s funny. People say, “Oh, are you excited to be working alongside Ron?” But we won’t be beside each other. He’ll hand the baton off, and I’ll run with it at night.
Will longer sit-down interviews be incorporated into your hosting duties?
I really hope to. One of the first conversations I had with Rob Corte [VP of Sportsnet and NHL production], I said, “As excited as I am to be a studio host, I’d like to do more and go out in the field and do sit-down interviews when appropriate." Longer-form interviews—that’s something I really enjoy doing, and there’s always stories to be told. The essence of what we do is storytelling. Bringing fans in and giving them a behind-the-velvet-rope look at athletes and their situations, what makes them tick.
TORONTO (July 4, 2016) – With plenty of free agency fireworks to talk about, Canadians made this year’s FREE AGENT FRENZY on TSN a record-breaker. Overnight data from Numeris confirms TSN’s seven-hour FREE AGENT FRENZY broadcast on Canada Day (July 1) attracted an average audience of317,000 viewers – making it the most-watched FREE AGENT FRENZY ever.
FREE AGENT FRENZY marked a 7% increase in average audience compared to last year’s edition. In total, 2.3 million unique Canadian viewers tuned in to watch TSN’s FREE AGENT FRENZY, with audience levels peaking at 531,000 viewers just after 12:30 p.m. ET.
Throughout FREE AGENT FRENZY, TSN Digital platforms attracted more than 500,000 video views and nearly 1.3 million unique visitors. All summer long, fans can head to TSN.ca for news on free agent signings and trades as they break during the off-season.
On Twitter, #FREEAGENTFRENZY was a top trend in Canada throughout the day.
SECAUCUS (June 30, 2016) – As the 2016 free agency period begins this Friday, July 1, at 12 p.m. ET, NHL Network will provide its most-ever live coverage of the first day of free agency, with seven live hours of breaking news updates, analysis from an expert panel and interviews with newsmakers from throughout the NHL.
Starting this Friday at 11 a.m. ET, NHL Network will simulcast Sportsnet’s Hockey Central: Signing Season, followed by NHL Tonight: 2016 Free Agency live at 1 p.m. ET. NHL Network’s coverage will be anchored by Jamison Coyle and Steve Mears, with reaction and analysis from EJ Hradek, Brian Lawton, Bill Lindsay and NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen, who will all be stationed in various studio locations at NHL Network’s headquarters, plus insight from NHL Network and Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman in Toronto. At the end of the day, NHL Tonight: 2016 Free Agency Recap Show will review the notable signings to date and the latest news on remaining unsigned players.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
NHL overcoaching – three on the bench, one upstairs, one breaking down video – has turned hockey on its ear. Once a game played by driving forward toward the opposition net, it is now a game where most attack comes from behind that net.
The obsession with shot-blocking has created a new game where goalies, once usually the smallest and quickest players on the team, are now sought for their size, the theory being that should a puck ricochet through the bodies it will bounce off the giant wearing the oversize equipment.
Howie Meeker thinks, as does Bob Gainey, that going down to block a shot should be a penalty. We completely agree.
By sticking endlessly to “systems,” coaches lose trust in players who freelance, who take it upon themselves to change the game, who try things that don’t always work.
Today’s coaches say they want only “200-foot players,” suggesting that yesterday’s players, Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur, for example, would be stapled to the bench until they learned how to play “the right way.”
from John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal,
After five years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Fox Sports and the NHL finally have reached an agreement for in-market streaming, according to several industry sources....
The streaming deal is wrapped into other deals involving rights outside of a team’s home market. All told, Fox is paying an annual rate in the low eight figures combined for the streaming and outer-market deals, sources said....
The NHL deal is significant in that Fox Sports now has in-market streaming deals with all the big sports leagues that offer it. It signed its first in-market streaming deal with the NBA three years ago and completed the MLB deal earlier this spring. It has not released any consumption information or adoption rates for its local NBA or MLB streams, so getting a sense of viewer interest has been hard to gauge.
The NHL breakthrough came in recent months as some of Fox Sports’ linear TV NHL deals were expiring. Fox was in the midst of negotiating a new outer-market rights deal for its RSNs — a deal that enables Fox to carry, for example, Kings games in Los Angeles’ “outer market” of Hawaii and Blues games in St. Louis’ “outer market” of Kansas City.
Fox and the NHL also were negotiating around the NHL’s planned new Las Vegas franchise and coverage areas. Fox carries Ducks and Kings games in the Las Vegas market, but will have to give up rights to that market when the new team starts in 2017. By contract, Fox was due to get a rebate from the teams since it was going to have to scale back its distribution from Las Vegas.
from Dave Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Rogers Media cut a wide swath through its hockey broadcast personnel on Monday, dismissing at least six on-air personalities including Glenn Healy, who was the between-the-benches analyst on Hockey Night in Canada’s No. 1 crew.
P.J. Stock, Billy Jaffe, Chantal Desjardins, Corey Hirsch and Leah Hextall are also gone in a housecleaning prompted by a disastrous miscue by Rogers’s upper management regarding Canadians’ appetite for hockey, a mistake compounded by mediocre play from Canada’s NHL teams. And the 5 p.m. NHL pregame show on Saturdays on Sportsnet 360 was cancelled.
There was no immediate word on further job losses, although company insiders were expecting a larger number of behind-the-scenes people to be dropped as well. The bad news came just a few days after word leaked that George Stroumboulopoulos was fired as the main host on Hockey Night in Canada and would be replaced by his predecessor, Ron MacLean.
Also gone from Hockey Night in Canada is Damien Cox, who appeared in the second-intermission news and discussion segment with Elliotte Friedman. He moves to Toronto radio as Bob McCown’s permanent co-host on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Prime Time Sports. Surviving the Hockey Night purge are Friedman, Kelly Hrudey and Nick Kypreos.
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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