NHL All-Star Game Overnight Rating Flat On NBC Sports Network
NBC Sports Network earned a 1.1 overnight Nielsen rating for yesterday's NHL All-Star Game from 4:00-7:00pm ET, flat compared to game last year. While viewership numbers are not yet available for this year's game, the '11 game ranks as the most-viewed All-Star game ever on cable TV (THE DAILY). In Tampa Bay, Tom Jones notes when Rangers coach John Tortorella was interviewed during yesterday's All-Star Game, he "joked about fining a player $1,000." NBC analyst Pierre McGuire "told Tortorella that the NHL Players Association might not like that." The coach deadpanned, "They don't like anything.'' Jones writes it was the "best moment of, sadly, a boring game." Jones adds what made the broadcast "somewhat annoying is listening to the analysts rave about such moves as if this were a game with real checking and defense" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/30).
GOING STRONG: In Ottawa, Tim Baines asked the CBC's Don Cherry, who is 77 years old, "how long can you keep this going?" Cherry responded, "I'm going to keep it going as long as I'm having fun. I'm as excited now as I was for the very first Coach's Corner." Baines asked Cherry if there is a point when the CBC "offers you a lifetime contract." Cherry: "No. In fact, a few years ago, the boss of CBC called me reprehensible and despicable. So they tolerate me now. That's all I can say." Baines asked Cherry if the net gives him "feedback on comments you make?" Cherry: "They said to me this thing with (Stu) Grimson and the two other guys, you've got a right to say it, but we don't agree with you. I've got to admit CBC has been pretty good to me. I said to them: 'When I go and you're going to fire me, it won't be because I misinterpreted something. I mean what I say'" (OTTAWA SUN, 1/29).
AIRING BEEF: The OTTAWA SUN's Baines noted Maple Leafs President & GM Brian Burke is "steamed with Cherry for frequent criticism of Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson." Sources said that Burke is so mad that he is "considering airing his beefs with CBC." Cherry said, "I like Brian Burke. I have nothing against Brian Burke. But Brian Burke doesn't like me." Cherry added, "Brian Burke doesn't like what I say about the Leafs. But what am I supposed to say about them? They haven't made the playoffs in (seven) years" (OTTAWA SUN, 1/29). In Toronto, Steve Simmons noted the list of Burke’s battles "is ever growing and frankly, it says much more about Burke than it does about the people [he] is squabbling with." Simmons: "I can count seven national media people of prominence, including Cherry, who have been frozen out, cut off, or had their bosses contacted by Burke over what was said about the Toronto Maple Leafs" (TORONTO SUN, 1/29).