SBD/June 2, 2011/Media

Bruins-Canucks Opener Marks Best Stanley Cup Final Game One Overnight In 12 Years

Game One rating up 14% from last year's Blackhawks-Flyers opener
NBC earned a 3.2 overnight Nielsen rating for last night's Bruins-Canucks NHL Stanley Cup Final Game One from 8:00-11:00pm ET, marking the best Game One overnight in 12 years, dating back to Stars-Sabres Game One in '99 on Fox. From '00-08, Game One of the Stanley Cup Final aired on cable TV. The 3.2 overnight is also up 14.3% from a 2.8 overnight for the net's Blackhawks-Flyers Game One last year, which aired on a Saturday night. The game peaked at a 3.8 rating during the last half hour of the telecast, when Canucks LW Raffi Torres broke the scoreless tie with 18.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Boston led all U.S. markets with a 25.5 local rating, while Providence finished second with a 16.7 rating. Canadian markets are not included in the Nielsen ratings (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

ICONIC VOICE
: SI.com’s Richard Deitsch wrote “few in broadcasting have enjoyed their job more than” NBC and Versus announcer Mike Emrick, who is calling his 13th Stanley Cup Final this year. Emrick has “earned enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame and cemented himself as the announcer most associated with the sport in America.” NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood: “No one calls a hockey game better, no one paints a better picture, and no one is better at building up a moment. He is the voice of hockey in this country, and as talented a play-by-play guy as there is in any sport.” Deitsch wrote Emrick “litters each broadcast with a panoply of verbs and imbues the audience with facts and stories that come only with intense preparation and a scholar’s appreciation of history.” Emrick said, “My role is to be a conduit between the skill of the players and the understanding of the fans. I’m just more or less someone who can describe something, and hopefully with passion. If you have a good product, you don’t have to do a lot of selling” (SI.com, 6/1).

WHO WON GAME SEVEN AGAIN? In Boston, Eric Wilbur noted a promo NBC ran prior to last night’s Game One promoted “Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Lightning and Canucks” (BOSTON.com, 6/2).

NOT THE CENTER OF ATTENTION
: In Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann notes there was “not a word about hockey” during the 6:00pm ET edition of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” Tuesday night. It was “entirely understandable” that ESPN was “going to spend a goodly portion of the hourlong show pumping up the start of the NBA Finals, which were to be aired on its corporate sister, ABC.” However, the NHL “receives nowhere near the coverage it merits based upon the money it generates.” Hofmann: “That the NHL knows that is clear. That the NHL has decided to live with it is also clear. When its recent television deal was announced, the whole package went to NBC/Comcast/Versus.” Hofmann writes it is “an interesting mindset.” Hofmann: “On the one hand, the NHL is growing. … But on the other hand, if ESPN is any kind of barometer of mainstream American sporting thought, well, what?” (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/2).
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