Category Archives: Comcast SportsNet

Regional Ratings Update

Yesterday, I had the depressing news of Sabres TV ratings dropping like a rock. So for today, here’s some positive news.

First up, we have the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have put some strong numbers this year and last Thursday was no exception. From Sharks Play by Play man Randy Hahn -

The Columbus vs. Sharks game last night was the highest rated Regular Season Sharks game (2.22) in the history of CSNCA and peaked at 2.88!

Hard to believe that a game against the Jackets would draw big but it did. One caveat is that the game is the highest ever on Comcast SportsNet California. The Sharks have spent more of their time on CSN Bay Area, moving to CSNCA a couple of years ago. Regardless. that’s still a pretty impressive feat for them.

Next up, we have a report on the Winter Classic Alumni ratings on CSN Philadelphia. From the Delaware Co. Daily Times –

A lot of people apparently delayed getting ready for New Year’s Eve because outdoor ice hockey drew a huge audience for Comcast SportsNet the afternoon of Dec. 31.

CSN topped all Philadelphia television stations in audience during its airing of the alumni game that preceded the Jan. 2 Winter Classic. The 6.2 rating of the game also meant high ratings figures for CSN’s pre- and post-game shows with respective counts of 2.3 and 3.7. The pre- and post-games rating show the difference in viewership when those shows sandwich a game. The same shows on Jan. 2, when the Winter Classic was seen locally on Channel 10, scored an 0.9 rating, good but not as noteworthy as the Dec. 31 numbers.

A 6.2 destroys what most teams get for games on a regular basis. Very impressive numbers, continuing to prove the Flyers popularity in Philly.

Finally, here’s a couple of ratings stories out of Boston. a href=’’>First up, there’s a chart showing the Top 20 regular season Bruins broadcasts in NESN history through 2011. 16 of those games are from the past two months. But 2012 is breaking more records for NESN. From NESN –

NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, set another regular season Boston Bruins ratings record on Saturday afternoon with an 8.9 average household rating in the Boston DMA (341,088 total in-home viewers) for the Bruins’ Stanley Cup rematch with the Vancouver Canucks. NESN’s previous best household rating for a regular season Bruins game was set on Nov. 23, 2011 when NESN garnered an 8.4 HH rating for the Bruins’ 4-3 shootout win at Buffalo.
The Vancouver game earned an astounding 23 share in the Boston DMA, also setting a new NESN record for a regular season Bruins game. Share is the percentage of all households with a television in use that are watching a program. This means nearly one in four homes with a TV set on was watching the Bruins game on NESN. The network’s previous record share was a 16 for the Bruins 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 17, 2011.
Just as impressive as NESN’s household rating on Saturday was the game’s ratings among key demographic categories. NESN earned an 8.0 rating (33 share) for adults ages 25-54 and 11.1 rating (40 share) for men ages 25-54.
NESN’s current season Bruins average is now up to a 5.2 household rating, up 86 percent over last season after the same number of games (34).

The Bruins just keep tearing it up. You have to wonder how big the ratings would’ve been for that game in primetime but its a moot point. The game was a lead in for NESN’s Hockey Day in New England and it surely helped boost the two college games that aired afterwards.


NHL Hypes Regional Ratings

This is a huge press release from the NHL, detailing various business and broadcasting numbers. I will post the full release after the jump. But first, I’m going to highlight some of the regional ratings that are included since much of the other information mentioned is dated and already known -

First Quarter Filled With TV Ratings Highlights

Eleven local Regional Sports Networks experienced double- and triple-digit growth, including:

• Nashville (+200 percent)
• Carolina (+125 percent)
• Florida (+100 percent)
• Tampa Bay (+71 percent)
• Philadelphia (+60 percent)
• Boston (+57 percent)
• Minnesota (+53 percent)
• San Jose (+44 percent)
• Buffalo (+26 percent)
• Edmonton (+21 percent)
• New York Rangers (+14 percent)

There’s some huge bumps in there, but keep in mind that for many of the Southern teams, ratings couldn’t go much lower. In the case of the Predators, their local ratings are rarely published, so we don’t know where they previously ranked on the totem pole. Clearly, Florida is seeing a boost from their strong start but they have a long ways to go when it comes to being respectable ratings wise. It will be interesting to see if Carolina can continue that momentum since they have been struggling on the ice. A quick update. The Carolina and Nashville ratings include the Atlanta market for the first time. This helps explain their jumps a little bit. Either way, its good to see more people tuning in. Thanks to Dirk Hoag at On the Forecheck for the info.

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NBC Sports Moving To Stamford

SportsBusiness Daily reports that NBC Sports is moving most of its operations to Stamford, CT, the home of Versus. The move will affect 300 people and helps align NBC and Versus even closer, ahead of their re-branding. From the article -

Currently, NBC Sports, Versus and Comcast SportsNet operate out of several offices in Manhattan, Connecticut and Philadelphia. Golf Channel’s operations will remain in Orlando.

This move, which was first reported in a Connecticut-focused blog called Daily Ructions, would put all of NBC Sports under one roof, in a building which used to house a Clairol hair dye factory.

Versus already operates a studio out of Stamford and NBC Sports’ digital and Olympics Web team has offices there, too. NBC is building a studio for the NHL in Stamford, as well.

NBC would join other media companies in Stamford, including WWE, which has its headquarters and studio there, and YES Network, which has a studio in the city of roughly 125,000 people.

Sources said NBC Sports was attracted by tax breaks Connecticut offers to the TV and film industry. Plus, NBC Sports should save a significant amount of money moving employees from high-rent areas in Manhattan and downtown Philadelphia to a building just off of I-95.

Much of NBC Sports’ senior staff will move out of NBC’s famed 30 Rock offices and be based out of Stamford, which is around 35 miles from New York City and a 45-minute ride on MetroNorth to Grand Central. All NBC Sports sales executives will remain in New York, and there will be some offices in 30 Rock to allow executives to work out of Manhattan on occasion.


Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Comcast SportsNet, NBC, NHL, Television, Versus


Some Regional Notes

Here’s a few regional television notes. I had tweeted some of these earlier but they deserve their own post:

  • MSG announced its new host of New York Islanders telecasts a few days ago. Peter Ruttgaizer is getting the job as Deb Placey’s successor. Ruttgaizer had been with Altitude as an Avalanche studio host and reporter the last three seasons.
  • While Rob Carlin would’ve made an obvious choice to replace Placey as he had already done some work during Isles telecasts, he’s off to Washington to replace Russ Thaler as host of the Capitals telecasts on CSN Mid-Atantic.
  • I had already mentioned that Dale Arnold has returned to NESN as Bruins host but NESN announced their complete 2011-12 Bruins coverage plans this morning. One of my favorite regional shows, The Instigators will return on October 27. I’m curious to see if Mike Milbury makes any cameos on the program as he was its star while he was with NESN. The network is also bringing back its weekly Bruins show Big Bad Bruins and it will air episodes of NHL Network’s Lord Stanley’s Summer throughout October.

Russ Thaler To Join Versus?

Here’s a quick note to mention on this Tuesday. is reporting that Russ Thaler may be headed to Versus/NBC Sports Network. Up until a few days ago, Thaler worked at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic as a web correspondent and as an anchor for pre and post-game coverage of the Washington Capitals. He’s also hosted Washington Post Live and Sports Central for the network. It’s unknown if Thaler would cover hockey for Versus, but since he has in the past, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was involved in their hockey programming at some point. Versus lacks in-house hosts as only Bill Patrick and Liam McHugh are currently on their roster as regular hosts for the channel.


Some Thoughts On NBC Sports

No, I haven’t disappeared or abandoned this space. I’m simply on vacation. Regular postings will be the norm soon.

Since, I have some free time I do want to write my thoughts about some news that’s come out about Versus and the upcoming NBC Sports Network. As I’m sure most know by now, NBC is replacing Fox Soccer Channel’s MLS broadcasts next season. This is a small but nice gain for NBC. It could pave the way for NBC to make a bid for the World Cup. NBC has Telemundo in it’s stable which would help any bid. NBCSN needs more content and the MLS delivers on that.

Variety has mentioned that NBC plans to feature several new programs on Versus in the near future including a sports business show featuring Darren Rovell and a Mike Florio helmed football program to complement the previously announced Turning Point. It’s good that NBC is using their deep bench to upgrade Versus and hopefully this will lead to more original programming.

The expected 6PM daily news show will be interesting to see how it develops. The plans sound similar to the old Fox Sports News as NBC will use its CSN networks to bring stories and content to the program. FSN struggled with that especially as programming costs ballooned. FSN was always a good show but never got off the ground nationally and couldn’t compete with SportsCenter. It’s hard to see how NBC will be more successful in this at least until there’s better lead in programming.

One key to helping promote the show is the possibility of NFL games on NBCSN. Even if it’s only for eight weeks, it would be a powerful promotional platform. Another possible get is the Big East college rights. While NBC lost out in gaining the Indy 500, NASCAR’s going to be up for bidding next year. More programming is the key to growing NBCSN. There are some worries that the NHL may get lost in this as NBC adds sports. I dont see that happening anytime soon. I see the league reaping the benefits of being on a better programmed network. That should be a boost for ratings and help NBCSN gain better cable carriage. It will be an interesting next couple of years as NBC gets aggressive in courting more sports.


NOTES: More on NBC Sports Network, MacT Gets A Job & The End of Puck Daddy Radio?

It’s the day after NBC’s big Versus announcement and there’s still plenty coming out about it.  Variety has a great article out this morning.  There’s some news in it when it comes to the NBCSN’s future programming -

Further taking advantage of the NFL’s popularity, the NBC Sports Network will launch studio show “NFL Turning Point” — an analysis of the previous week’s games. Show will air at 6 p.m. weekly.

While it’s only weekly programming, any new original programming is welcomed since the current Versus is sorely lacking in that area.   The Variety article also mentions that the PGA Tour will be up for bidding shortly. There’s a long ways to go to make NBCSN a credible sports channel but it seems to be on the right track.

Somewhat lost in the NBC rebranding plans was the announcement that Comcast SportsNet isn’t changing.  It had been reported many times that CSN was going to be folded in with NBC but that isn’t going to happen in the near term.  Dick Ebersol was behind the CSN changes but with him gone, perhaps that went out the window.  Comcast has image problems but their RSN’s are tightly intertwined with the cable company making it harder to separate them.  Another issue is that many of the CSN stations have multiple owners varying from sports teams to other media companies.  I wouldn’t rule out a name change in the future for CSN, but for now, there’s no reason that they can’t just share some graphics and do some heavy cross promoting.

We also have this YouTube interview from NBCUniversal Direct.  The interview features NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus talking about the branding changes that are on the way and the new logos.


TSN recently added a new insider but they have now lost a studio analyst.  As expected, Craig MacTavish has been named as the head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.  This leaves TSN with a couple of big holes as Pierre McGuire has also yet to be replaced.


There’s some news in the radio world this morning.  Radio company Westwood One is merging with competitor Dial Global.  Westwood One is a powerhouse in the world of live sports programming and formerly held the national broadcasting rights to NHL Radio.  The NHL currently lacks a terrestrial radio partner as their only deal is with SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Speaking of SiriusXM, the merger of the two services in Canada could mean the end of The Score Radio station according to the Toronto Sports Media Blog.  The Score Radio features the popular Puck Daddy Radio program hosted by Yahoo! Sports hockey blogger Greg Wyshynski and The Score personality Rob Pizzo. According to TSM, even the Score’s own personalities are still in the dark about the pending changes.  We shall see what happens.

Sources & more info:

NBC Sports’ Mark Lazarus talks Versus rebranding and future plans – On The Air on

MacTavish Named Head Coach Of The Chicago Wolves.

Westwood One to Merge With Dial Global – MarketWatch.

The End Of The Score Radio? | Toronto Sports Media Blog.

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Comcast SportsNet, NBC, NHL, Radio, Television, TSN, Versus


Emrick, Snider Among US Hockey Hall Inductees

The 2011 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees were announced today.  They are Chris Chelios, Gary Suter, Keith Tkachuk, NBC Sports broadcaster Mike Emrick and Comcast Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider.

For Emrick, this is his second big honor in the past year.  He recently won his first Sports Emmy Award for Best Play-By-Blay.  In the past, Emrick has won both the Lester Patrick Award and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.

Snider is already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.  As chairman of Comcast Spectacor, his duties include being the chairman of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Comcast Spectacor manages several arenas through it’s Global Spectrum subsidiary and they also run a large food service company, Ovations, which handles concessions at many entertainment venues.  Spectacor’s operations also include the regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.


Versus To Be Re-Branded As NBC Sports Network

Several media outlets are reporting that Versus will be re-named the NBC Sports Network. The move has been widely expected and as previously reported, the changeover won’t happen until January 2012. The January 2 name change coincides with NBC’s Winter Classic telecast.

The next step will be creating a comprehensive marketing plan to promote the new network. Fans should expect to see plenty of advertising to promote the new image during Versus’ telecasts and on Comcast’s regional sports networks. It was expected that the regional Comcast SportsNets would be renamed with “NBC Sports” replacing the Comcast brand as the RSN’s are now also under NBC Sports management but that no longer appears to be the case.  Instead, NBC may share graphics and presentation features with CSN keeping the Comcast branding.

The new NBC Sports Network logo can be seen above. All I can say about that is meh. It still looks like something from the past. The NBC Sports branding has been dated for years and this new logo doesn’t really change that. Outside of a slight change in the font, it’s largely the same as the current NBC Sports brand. Personally, I was hoping for a better update similar to how CBS Sports has created a modern look for their identity. I’m sure something a little more modern could’ve been used with the iconic peacock. This one largely fails and the Versus logo actually looks much more current.


Versus set to become the NBC Sports Network –


Pacific Division TV Season in Review

The Pacific Division ends our season in review of NHL television teams.  I hope you’ve enjoyed our look back at the 2010-11 season in terms of each team.  Our final review is after the jump.  For our previous reviews, click on the following links -

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