Category Archives: Social Media

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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The NHL’s European TV Mess

This blog celebrates its three month birthday today, so thanks for reading and making it grow so quickly. At its launch, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to write about. Even now, I still experiment with posts. I have found that the business of hockey posts draw very few hits while opinion and media news pieces bring in the most. At the beginning, I had no idea how I was going to draw people here. I got lucky with some breaking news. First, this site was one of the first to announce Jeff Marek’s departure from CBC. That drew a good amount of hits and was a good start. But then something bigger came along. It’s something that still draws a good amount of hits, tweets and e-mails. It was a little story about the NHL selling its international broadcasting rights. Believe it or not, that post is the most popular in this site’s short history. But what’s really sad is that the NHL’s international TV future is just as unknown today as it was three months ago.

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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in NHL, Social Media, Television


EA Sports Sees Sales Jump & The Score Is For Sale


EA Sports’ NHL 12 video game broke franchise sales records with over 450,000 copies sold during the first week of sales worldwide. That’s a jump of 19% over last year and it brings the game’s earnings to around $27 million. NHL 12 was likely boosted by a lack of competition as the NHL 2K franchise is taking at least one year off. The game also had a gain of 17% in online gaming as 6.9 million game sessions were logged.

Next up for EA is a new Facebook hockey game. NHL Superstars will launch in October as a free to play game on the social networking site. The game will allow players to create their own team of players and compete against friends online. EA has been vague on the official details but we should find out more about it soon. This will be the first NHL branded game on Facebook. The next frontier for NHL licensing would be to bring an NHL game to smart phones as it appears none are on the drawing board for the 2011-12 season.


The Globe and Mail is reporting that Canadian sports network The Score is up for sale. While The Score has never been a big player in the hockey market, its suite of mobile apps are among the most popular in Canada and has gained a loyal following in the US as well. The report states the The Score is looking to sell for a steep price of $200 million which would put the cost at more than 26 times company earnings. The Score would make for an interesting acquisition for someone since NHL rights will be up soon. With the right owner, The Score could have an impact and finally be a serious competitor to TSN and Sportsnet.


NHL’s US TV Partners Fail To Cover News As The Hockey Community Grieves

Today has been a horrific day in hockey history. For that matter, the last few months have been horrific. It’s been one tragedy after another and at least in the US, hockey fans have been left searching for news and coverage of breaking news events. The fact is that US hockey fans have no place to turn for news on TV when anything big happens. ESPN may give you a small shout out but that’s it. ESPN should do better, especially if it is “The Worldwide Leader In Sports” but we know that hockey is low on their radar. They just don’t care about it and kick it to the side of the road.

Today’s reporting on the Russian plane tragedy was a perfect example of that. Instead of reporting on this news, ESPN decided to interview cheerleaders. Sadly, I’ve come to expect that from ESPN. ESPN did finally report on it but it was largely in passing with a story on Sidney Crosby’s press conference. So what’s a hockey fan to do?

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Marek Leaves CBC – UPDATED JULY 6

Amidst all the chaos of Free Agent Frenzy, a little news has broken quietly.  CBC’s Jeff Marek is departing from Hockey Night in Canada.  Marek was instrumental in HNIC’s new media efforts.  Between his Tweeting, and his work with the i-DESK, Marek was part of a new generation for the venerable program.  While the i-DESK feature was often criticized, once by Don Cherry on the air, Marek was a perfect fit for the job and certainly boosted HNIC’s online profile.  In addition to his tv and social media work, Marek was the host of the HNIC Radio program on Sirius Canada.

Speculation has centered on Marek going to Rogers Sportsnet and perhaps joining their Toronto radio station, Fan 590.  Andrew Krystal recently departed the station so they are looking for some help. It’s an odd time to make the announcement being late on a Friday and during one of the NHL’s busiest days but perhaps his deal ended on July 1 making him a free agent just like the UFA NHLers. Regardless, I doubt that Marek will be on the free agent list long.  I wish him good luck and thanks for all of his great work with CBC.

UPDATE JULY 6 – Jeff Marek has confirmed that he’s joining Rogers Sportsnet.  In a tweet, Marek said the following – 

This morning I signed a deal to join Rogers Sportsnet to work in their hockey department on TV, radio and digital. Very excited about the opportunity to work with this great team.

Free Agent Frenzy TV Review

It’s not easy speculating and pontificating for hours.  Yet, TSN does it every Canada Day with it’s Free Agent Frenzy.  Like Deadline Day, July 1 has become a TV event all in itself.  This season, coverage aired in Canada on TSN2, while the NHL Network aired it in the United States.  It was also streamed online.

This year was all about panels.  Lots and lots of panels.  TSN usually has multiple panels just because of the fact that they need to fill plenty of air time.  This year might’ve taken the cake.  TSN’s main crew was made up of James Duthie, Darren Pang, Mike Johnson and Pierre McGuire.  Then you had the insiders, Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger at their usual location with Gord Miller.  The Reporters are always there too with the curmudgeonly Dave Hodge.  This time around, Hodge was joined by Dave Naylor, Eric Duhatschek and Steve Simmons.  As if this wasn’t enough, there was a fourth group of panels.  This one was helmed by That’s Hockey 2nite host Steve Kouleas with Craig Button and Michael Peca at his side.  That’s plenty of people to talk for hours.  But, even that wasn’t enough.  TSN also had reporters stationed with every Canadian NHL team.  And to top it off That’s Hockey host Gino Reda was staking out the headquarters of Newport Sports, the agents of top free agent Brad Richards.

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