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Category Archives: Carolina Hurricanes

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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Rants, Raves And Some News

Here’s a some rants, raves and some news on a Tuesday morning:

  • NHL Live debuted an improved set yesterday. They are still stuck in a shoebox studio but it is a definite improvement. The regular addition of Bill Pidto as host should help as he has great chemistry with E.J. Hradek. They still need to work on getting better guests and better fan interaction. Since the move from XM, the show has lost much of that.
  • NHLN’s ticker continues to bother me. I don’t need it running the entire time during games. Also, the dreaded Twitter scroll from the NHL Awards and Draft is back. Like then, it just shows the same tweets over and over again. I’m not against showing tweets, but they usually aren’t relevant at all and showing the same ones for five hours straight is silly since Twitter is all about real time news and thoughts.
  • Jamie McLennan made his NHL Network debut last night. He’s been doing work for TSN Radio in Toronto. I would rate his debut as a C+. A better broadcast partner than David Amber would’ve helped as would another analyst in the studio. That said, I’d like to see more of him.
  • NHLN is still struggling when it comes to content during its intermissions. Instead of allowing McLennan some TV time, we were treated to a months old NHL.com video segment featuring Hradek and Mike Johnson at the R&D Camp during the second intermission. It was some stale television. The good news is that Kathryn Tappen will make her NHLN debut with an interview segment tonight.
  • Props to the Leafs TV team as they had a solid broadcast. Props also go to teams that have jumped on the streaming bandwagon. The Leafs streamed their game last night, but it was mired with technical issues. The Sabres streamed their game with a Jumbotron feed with audio fed from the radio broadcast. That’s all you need. It appears that the majority of teams will stream at least one preseason game this year and that’s a good thing.
  • In case you missed it, TSN officially announced the addition of Marc Crawford yesterday. He will make his debut on Wednesday night when Boston faces the Senators. As I mentioned before, he’s a great fit to replace Craig MacTavish. Also, it appears that Aaron Ward will make regular appearances on the TSN panel this season with Mike Peca busy as general manager for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.
  • In some interesting news, Puck The Media breaks the news that Bob Harwood is joining the Hurricanes as a reporter. This seems like a missed opportunity for some of the league’s national rights holders as Harwood is a terrific reporter. With CBC needing some more talent, it makes you wonder why they didn’t go after Harwood. Surely, he’s a better fit than Mitch Peacock. Same goes for NHLN which is where Harwood worked during the Stanley Cup Final. He was a definite upgrade to their broadcasts. Congrats to Bob and to Carolina for an excellent addition to their already strong broadcast team.
 

Some Rookie Camps On TV & Streaming

With everything that’s gone on today in the hockey world, it seems trivial to even post this but I started working on it last night. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and fans of all the players in Lokomotiv plane crash. It’s been an emotional couple of months to be a hockey fan.

As we get closer to the start of the season, rookie camps are getting underway. As I mentioned before, MSG will be airing New York Rangers games at the Traverse City Prospects tournament . Those games have now been picked up by NHL Network in both the United States and Canada.

Here is the NHLN schedule: ALL TIMES EASTERN

  • Sat. Sept. 10: NYR vs. St. Louis Blues 7:00 PM
  • Sun. Sept. 11: NYR vs. Dallas Stars 6:00 PM
  • Tues. Sept. 13: NYR vs. Carolina Hurricanes 3:30 PM

The MSG schedule includes a game on Sept. 14 but that is not currently on NHLN’s schedule. It’s possible that it will be added later.  The games will also be repeated multiple times on NHLN so there will be plenty of times to catch them.

The Penticton Young Stars tournament gets underway on September 11.This year’s tourney features the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks. Traditionally, the games are streamed online and the Oilers website is showing that at least their first game will be streamed. Rogers Sportsnet West and Pacific are currently scheduled to air a couple of games from the tournament.

Here is the RSN schedule: ALL TIMES PACIFIC

  • Sun. Sept. 11 EDM VS. VAN 7:30 PM
  • Mon. Sept. 12 VAN VS. CGY 4:00 PM
 

Notes on NHL Territories and Sponsorships

It’s a holiday weekend here in the States but there’s some interesting news from the past week that should be noted. First up, let’s get to some news on NHL territories

ATLANTA TO GET CANES & PREDS ON TV

Since the Atlanta Thrashers are no more, that television market was up for grabs. Atlanta always struggled to gain viewership but it’s a large market and it shouldn’t be ignored. Nashville is the most obvious team to get the territory and they will get 40 games on the air there through Fox Sports South and SportSouth. But the Preds won’t have the territory to themselves, as the Hurricanes will also get to air 40 games in the market according to Canes beat writer Luke Decock. Decock also says that the Canes are looking into holding a preseason game in Atlanta next year. The Predators have also reached out to former Thrashers season ticket holders, trying to lure them to town.

WINNIPEG’S BROADCAST TERRITORY

There’s been lots of talk about the Jets and their broadcast territory and how it overlaps with Calgary and Edmonton. The three teams will share Saskatchewan, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Jets games will be blacked out in Alberta while Flames and Oilers games will be blacked out in Manitoba outside of national broadcasts and Centre Ice. As for Northwestern Ontario, it appears that Winnipeg will share that with Ottawa and Toronto as both Ontario teams claim it as part of their broadcast territories.

SPONSOR NEWS IN COLUMBUS, VANCOUVER AND NEW YORK & THE BEER WAR

While this blog mainly focuses on hockey media, I try to include some business stuff as well, especially sponsor deals. Everyone knows that the Columbus Blue Jackets are having some financial issues but there’s a new buzz in the air with their new players. This has helped translate to a boost in ticket sales and renewals with several large sponsors. Columbus Business First reports that the Jackets have renewed deals with Coldwell Banker King Thompson, Columbia Gas of Ohio and Medical Mutual of Ohio. The article mentions that several more deals are on the way and that the team will meet its target for sponsorships for the upcoming season.

Over in Vancouver, the Canucks are losing a large sponsor. The Vancouver Sun is reporting that BC Ferries is dropping their Canucks sponsorship. BC Ferries has sponsored the team for years but not without controversy as the company is publicly owned and they have refused to reveal how much they have spent on the sponsorship and on seats for Canuck games.

Meanwhile, the New York Islanders might have just signed the oddest sponsorship deal in the league. CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports that the Isles have inked a deal with Tattoo Lou’s to be the official tattoo shop of the team. The deal will put two tattoo artists and one piercer inside the Nassau Coliseum during 10 games. It’s the second odd deal for the Isles as the Isles had an official cupcake shop last season. The tattoo deal ranks up there with the San Jose Sharks and Bad Boys Bail Bonds as perhaps the oddest partnership in the league. Bad Boys has had dasher ads in San Jose and has sponsored some giveaways.

And finally, I’ve brought up the NHL official beer sponsor litigation several times and yes, it’s still going on. Last week, the parties were back in court and even NHL executive Bill Daly was on hand for the proceedings. The Toronto Star has a story on the latest court hearing and says Molson Coors is moving ahead with their plans to be the sponsor for the new season. It’s amazing that this case is dragging on so close to the start of the season and you have to wonder how much it will affect the league and it’s partners when it comes to advertising and marketing.

 

Southeast Division TV Season in Review

The Atlanta Thrashers may be no more, but I can still review their year when it comes to television broadcasting.  Over the next week or so, I’ll be reviewing each team’s home broadcasts by division.  I had the opportunity to see every team’s broadcast multiple times so I think I have a pretty good feel on each.  These are all just my opinion.  In some cases, better rink side reporting and intermission reports can make a difference too since they make a broadcast more enjoyable.  I’ll be starting with the Southeast Division.

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