The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes TV ratings "will still be okay" with the Bruins, Lightning, Capitals and Sharks the four teams remaining in the NHL Playoffs. The Stanley Cup Final will not be the "media-market bonanza" of last year's Blackhawks-Flyers matchup, but Boston and the Bay Area both are top 10 U.S. media markets. Vancouver "may not count in U.S. ratings books, but a Canucks appearance in the final would bring Canadian audiences of five million or more -- ideal just as the league prepares to go to Canadian broadcasters for a new deal" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/13). The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington wrote, “Lots of great hockey going on but NBC has to be rooting for Boston. Tampa, San Jose and Vancouver won't move the needle” (TWITTER.com, 5/13). Meanwhile, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said TV ratings this postseason are "very strong and have been up virtually everywhere, both nationally and regionally, and it's a testament of the game" ("Chronicle Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 5/12).
PAINT THE TOWN RED: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell reviewed the U.S. debut of Red Bulletin, Red Bull's monthly magazine, and wrote the "stories are interesting by virtue of the fact [of] Red Bull's strategy of owning strange events -- a donkey cross race, a street ball tournament, and a freestyle drumming competition." There are "other surprisingly good stories on a concrete block breaking champion, a Red Bull sponsored base jumper, and a story of a man bringing back a bigger wooden board to revolutionize surfing." The magazine costs money "because Red Bull's media arm is supposed to be its own separate business" (CNBC.com, 5/12).
AUGUST RUSH: In Houston, David Barron reports when the Longhorn Network launches Aug. 1, ESPN VP/Programming Dave Brown and Senior Coordinating Producer Stephanie Druley, a Univ. of Texas alumnus, "will preside over a staff of about 60 people in Austin." The network will air 24/7, "with a nightly news show that will focus on Texas sports, non-sports campus issues and Big 12 updates." Non-sports programming will account for 10% of programming, while the network also "will show high school football to the extent that it can do so under University Interscholastic League rules, which prohibit live Friday night regular-season telecasts." Brown noted that the Longhorn Net "will air a live show from UT's daily football practice," and football games "will be accompanied by two-hour pregame and postgame shows" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/13).
NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports there has been "no progress" in the "stalemate between AT&T U-verse and Fox Sports Midwest's over 20 Cardinals telecasts, meaning that the Cards' games Friday and Sunday in Cincinnati are in line to be blacked out on U-verse." FS Midwest added 20 Cardinals games this season that "had been the property" of KSDK-NBC, and "has charged systems extra for those telecasts." But AT&T "has held out, saying it does not want to have to pass the fee on to its customers" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/13).