CBC Releases NHL Conference Quarterfinal Broadcast Information

Here is what to expect on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada over the next couple of weeks.

The road to the Stanley Cup begins Wednesday, April 11 and CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA is the exclusive home of both Canadian playoff teams as they begin their quests for hockey’s biggest prize. Along with Canada’s Stanley Cup hopefuls, CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA has two more marquee 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs matchups featuring some of the game’s brightest stars, all in High-Definition and available live online at cbcsports.ca.

“Watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is a Canadian tradition for everyone from dedicated hockey fans to casual viewers,” said Julie Bristow, CBC’s Executive Director of Studio and Unscripted Programming. “With 50 days and nights of coverage from the drop of the first puck to the final horn in the Stanley Cup Final, we’re proud to continue the great tradition of providing viewers with innovative world class coverage and analysis that is second to none.”

The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA features a host of innovative social media applications that will make every game an interactive experience for viewers across the country. One such feature is the Hockey Night Playoff Pulse, which invites fans to engage online with cbcsports.ca through the ultimate “second screen” experience with in-game polls and pools where fans can challenge each other through Facebook and Twitter, plus live updated leader boards.

“Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is part of the Canadian fabric and, as the exciting action gets underway on Wednesday, we know millions of fans will be following closely to see who gets to hoist the Cup in June,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA NHL playoff broadcast coverage kicks off with the Stanley Cup Countdown on Tuesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. local (8:30pm NT), in front of a live studio audience. Host Ron MacLean and analysts Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock will breakdown all eight first-round series and analyze the chances of the 16 teams vying for the Stanley Cup. Elliotte Freidman will also have breaking news from around the league.

The puck officially drops Wednesday, April 11 as CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA kicks off its schedule with a must-see doubleheader. Ron MacLean hosts the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs along with Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock as coverage gets underway at 8 p.m. ET when Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings visit Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The broadcast team for this Western Conference Quarterfinal includes play-by-play commentator Mark Lee and analyst Kevin Weekes (please see below for complete first round broadcast schedule and distribution).

Following the Detroit/Nashville game on Wednesday night, CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA heads to Rogers Arena in Vancouver at 10:30 p.m. ET as Henrik Sedin and the Canucks square off against Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings. This Western Conference Quarterfinal best-of-seven showdown will be called by play-by-play commentator Jim Hughson, analyst Craig Simpson and reporter Scott Oake.

The excitement continues on Thursday, April 12 with another two games, beginning at 7 p.m. ET with Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers hosting Daniel Alfredsson and the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. The legendary Don Cherry and Coach’s Corner make their playoff debut during the first intermission, while play-by-play duties will be handled by Bob Cole who will be joined in the booth by analyst Garry Galley, with Glenn Healy providing analysis from between the benches and Cassie Campbell-Pascall reporting from rinkside.

Just after the puck drops in New York on the main CBC-TV network, CHEX has live coverage as Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals take on Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins at TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET. Dean Brown will call the series alongside analyst Greg Millen supported by rinkside reporter Andi Petrillo.

On Saturday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. ET, CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA sets the stage with Scotiabank Hockey Tonight, the pre-game show, followed by game two of the Ottawa/New York series.

The Vancouver/Los Angeles series will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi presented by Chevrolet with Harnarayan Singh handling play-by-play duties. The Punjabi broadcasts will be available on Rogers Cable channel 799, Shaw Digital TV channel 328, Shaw Direct (channel TBD), TELUS Optik TV channel 131 and on Bell TV and FIBE TV channel 232 and will also be streamed live and on-demand on CBCSports.ca.

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Some Weekend Ratings

There were two pressing questions this weekend in regards to sports ratings. How would Hockey Night in Canada fare without the Leafs as the primary game and how big of a hit would TSN’s curling coverage take without Canada in the final. We now have an answer to both.

CBC Audience Research tells me the 7pm Eastern slot on Saturday night, led by Penguins @ Senators, had an average audience of over 2 million viewers (all numbers BBM 2+ overnights AMA). That’s impressive considering the Leafs were relegated to Ontario. The Leafs vs. Senators game last week, which went national, had an average audience of 2.1 million. Just over 2 million is about the average audience for the 7pm Eastern game this season. The last time CBC went with a 4 game regional split (on November 5), 2.04 million tuned in. The Leafs were the primary game that day. I know Crosby had a major effect on Saturday’s ratings, but maybe CBC will consider sending Leafs games to Ontario-only more often next season if the team is mediocre again.

The late game, between the Canucks and Avalanche from Pepsi Centre, had an average audience of just over a million viewers. That’s about par for the course for Canucks games on CBC.

In curling an average of 750, 000 watched the World Women’s final between Switzerland and Sweden. Not a bad number considering Canada wasn’t playing. Almost more impressive was that 406, 000 tuned in on TSN2 to watch the bronze medal game, which was played in the morning, between Canada and Korea. That’s a better number than TSN2 scored for the Brier 3rd place game. (thanks to Bob Weeks for posting these numbers)

12th Hockey Day in Canada: Saturday on CBC

This Saturday CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada will present coverage of the 12th edition of Hockey Day in Canada, a celebration of Canada’s game. Summerside, Price Edward Island, the hometown of NHL players Steve Ott, Daryl Boyce and former NHL GM Doug MacLean, will serve as the host city.

This is the first time Prince Edward Island has hosted Hockey Day, and it is the 3rd time Hockey Day has visited the Maritimes. The Northwest Territories is now the only province/territory that has never hosted Hockey Day in Canada.

Here is the CBC’s press release with more information on their broadcast.

SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA journeys across the Confederation Bridge to bring its nationwide broadcast to Prince Edward Island for the first time, on Saturday, Feb. 11, beginning at 12 noon ET as Ron MacLean hosts live from a specially built outdoor rink in Summerside, P.E.I. MacLean will be joined by Don Cherry for Coach’s Corner, with fellow CBC stars and hosts P.J. Stock, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Dick Irvin. The NHL Alumni will also have a strong presence with Bryan Trottier, Lanny McDonald, Wendel Clark, Doug MacLean, Mark Napier, Stéphane Richer, Tim Taylor and Gerrard Gallant, along with Olympian Tessa Bonhomme.

The 2012 edition of SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA celebrates “Heroes”—from childhood idols to the organizers who make the game possible on and off the ice, to the motivators and role models who are part of the fabric of hockey. The program features a wide range of inspirational stories, from Kelly Hrudey’s profile of a 23-year-old St. Albert man who continues to play hockey while waiting for a heart transplant, to Mark Lee’s story about 90-year-old Bert Keany Sr. of Sudbury, Ont., the oldest PA announcer in the country. Another feature profiles 16-year-old hockey phenom Nathan McKinnon, the Cole Harbor star who’s playing in the shadow of Sidney Crosby, while another feature looks into the way a small island like P.E.I. has produced so many outstanding players, from Forbes Kennedy to Brad Richards.

In addition to the P.E.I. broadcasts from Summerside and Charlottetown, satellite locations will also be established in Windsor, N.S., Verdun, Que., Thunder Bay, Ont., Winnipeg, Man., Prince Albert, Sask. and Richmond, B.C. for a host of community events also taking place across the country to mark SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA:

Windsor, N.S. – CBC News’ Colleen Jones hosts the “Long Pond Heritage Classic” featuring “Original Six” teams playing a day-long tournament to raise money for the Hockey History.

Verdun, Que. – Host Andie Bennett joins the Montreal Canadiens organization for a skate drive to provide rinks with loaner skates.

Thunder Bay, Ont. – CBC Sports’ Scott Russell covers a special equipment donation as the NHLPA’s Goals and Dreams initiative and the Staal family come together to give back to minor hockey.

Winnipeg, Man. – A special family-focused SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA event live from The Forks hosted by Mitch Peacock.

Prince Albert, Sask. – Mark Connolly hosts coverage of a Pee-Wee Tournament with 16 teams from across the province.

Richmond, B.C. – Celebrities including Michael Bublé, Trevor Linden and other Canucks alumni take part in a ball hockey tournament at the Richmond Olympic Oval, hosted by Karin Larsen.

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2012 NHL All-Star Game Sets More Viewership Records

After TSN’s impressive 1.34 million rating for the All-Star Fantasy Draft on Thursday, CBC set records for its broadcasts of the All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game this weekend. An average of 2.468 tuned into the Skills Competition on Saturday night, while an average of 2.461 tuned into the All-Star Game on Sunday afternoon. These are the highest recorded ratings ever for these events on CBC. Sunday’s game compares favourably to first Winnipeg Jets game in October; an average of 1.83 million watched that game in a similar timeslot. Here is CBC’s press release.

Record-setting audiences tuned in to this weekend’s 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game and Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, according to BBM overnight data.

Broadcast live from Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All Star Game on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA drew an average audience of 2.461 million viewers, besting the previous record of 2.389 million viewers set last year. In total, more than 7.3 million people took in some or all of the game, representing 22 per cent of the population.

The Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition broadcast on Saturday, January 28 also set a new record, drawing an audience of 2.468 million. More than 6.9 million people, or one in five Canadians, saw at least part of the competition.

This marks the highest rating for an NHL All-Star Game and the Skills Competition on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA since metered audience measurement began in 1989-90.

Hockey Night in Canada Game Day garnered its largest audience to date and 760,000 viewers tuned in to Scotiabank Hockey Tonight.

“The numbers make it clear the NHL All-Star Weekend on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA continues to be a must-see event for Canadian hockey fans,” said Julie Bristow, executive director, Studio and Unscripted Programming, English Services, CBC. “To see record audiences tuning in year after year exemplifies our dedication to producing the best in Canadian sports programming and to increase the game’s fan base in partnership with the NHL.”

Overall, 10.2 million Canadians tuned-in to some part of CBC’s coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend, representing roughly 30 per cent of the population.

Note the part of the release that I have bolded. CBC doesn’t mention exactly how many people tuned into Game Day to make it the most watched broadcast of the season. This leads me to believe that Game Day isn’t doing well in the ratings. If Saturday’s broadcast had even respectable ratings, CBC would have mentioned it.

CBC, TSN and Sportsnet Have NHL All Star Weekend Covered

This weekend is NHL All Star Weekend 2012 in Ottawa. While I don’t really enjoy watching much of it (except for the Skills Competition), the Canadian sports networks are giving it their full attention. CBC, TSN and Sportsnet have all issued press releases detailing their coverage of All Star Weekend. CBC has the Skills Competition and the game itself, TSN has the All Star Draft and Media Day. Sportsnet doesn’t have coverage of any events, but is broadcasting live from the Rideau Canal and has a junior hockey game featuring the 67s on Friday.

Continue after the break for all three press releases.

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Penguins-Flyers will be on CHEX-TV tonight

It is nice to see CBC and Sportsnet are taking advantage of the digital age. Tonight Sportsnet will have 3 different baseball games on their networks at the same time, including a Toronto game. While CBC will have 2 different Stanley Cup Playoff games on at the same time.

CHEX, a private CBC affaliate in Peterborugh, Ontario, will be the only English station in Canada to air game #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers Eastern Conference Quarter Final series. Because CBC Toronto is also available in Peterborough, CHEX has the oppertunity to provide another game, without making Canucks fans mad. CHEX is available on Shaw Direct (formerly Star Choice) and Bell TV, it is also carried by most digital cable companies as part of their timeshifting package.

If you have any questions about this, or the Sportsnet article below, feel free to ask me.