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NHL on NBC is a TV show that televises National Hockey League games on NBC and is produced by NBC Sports.

HistoryEdit

NBC previously televised the National Hockey League on three different occasions.

1960sEdit

NBC was the first United States television network to air a national broadcast of a Stanley Cup Playoff game. They provided coverage of four Sunday afternoon playoff games during the 1966 postseason. On April 10 and April 17, NBC aired semifinal games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. On April 24 and May 1, NBC aired Games 1 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings. Tim Ryan served as the play-by-play man while Ted Lindsay served as the commentators served as the color commentator for the games, with Brian McFarlane as the intermission host

NBC's coverage of the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals marked the first time that hockey games were televised on network television in color. The CBC would follow suit the following year. NBC's Stanley Cup coverage preempted a sports anthology series called NBC Sports in Action hosted by Jim Simpson and Bill Cullen, who were between-periods co-hosts for the Stanley Cup broadcasts.

1970sEdit

From 19721975, NBC not only televised the Stanley Cup Finals (in actuality, a couple of games in prime time), but also weekly regular season games on Sunday afternoons. NBC also aired several regular season and playoff games in prime time during this period (namely, during the 1972-75). Tim Ryan and Ted Lindsay (with Brian McFarlane as the intermission host) served as the commentators for NBC's NHL coverage during this period. Since most NHL teams still didn't have players' names on the backs of jerseys, NBC persuaded NHL commissioner Clarence Campbell to make teams put on players' names on NBC telecasts beginning with the 1973–74 season to help viewers identify players.

NBC's NHL coverage during the 1970s was probably most notable for the introduction of the animated character Peter Puck. Peter Puck, whose cartoon adventures (produced by Hanna-Barbera) appeared on both NBC's Hockey Game of the Week and CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, explained hockey rules to the home viewing audience.

Besides Peter Puck, the 1970s version of The NHL on NBC had a between periods feature titled Showdown. The concept of Showdown involved with 20 (16 shooters and four goaltenders) of the NHL's greatest players going head-to-head in a taped penalty shot competition. After the NHL left NBC in 1975, Showdown continued to be seen on Hockey Night in Canada and local television broadcasts of U.S.-based NHL teams.

Prior to January 14, 2006, NBC's last regular season NHL game occurred on April 6, 1975. The game in question featured the Minnesota North Stars at the Chicago Blackhawks.

SchedulesEdit

1972-73Edit
Date Teams
January 7 Boston at Chicago
January 13 New York Rangers at St. Louis
January 21 Minnesota at Detroit
January 28 Detroit at Montreal
February 4 Pittsburgh at Minnesota
February 11 Montreal at New York Rangers
February 18 Montreal at Toronto
February 25 St. Louis at Detroit
March 4 Chicago at Boston
March 11 Toronto at New York Rangers
March 18 Detroit at Chicago
March 25 St. Louis at Philadelphia
Note: All start times at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
1973-74Edit
Date Teams
January 19 New York Rangers at Chicago
January 27 Philadelphia at Boston
February 3 Montreal at Detroit
February 10 Los Angeles at Atlanta
February 17 Philadelphia at Montreal
February 24 Boston at Buffalo
March 3 Chicago at Detroit
March 10 Philadelphia at Boston
March 17 New York Rangers at Boston
March 24 St. Louis at Philadelphia
March 31 Toronto at New York Rangers
April 7 Pittsburgh at Atlanta
April 14 Montreal at New York Rangers
Note: All start times at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
1974-75Edit
Date Teams Play-by-play Color commentators Studio host
January 5 St. Louis at Buffalo Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay Brian McFarlane
January 11 Philadelphia at Montreal Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay Brian McFarlane
January 19 California at Chicago
January 26 Philadelphia at Boston
February 2 Detroit at New York Rangers
February 9 Montreal at Buffalo
February 16 Boston at Philadelphia Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay Brian McFarlane
February 23 New York Rangers at Philadelphia Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay Brian McFarlane
March 2 Chicago at Boston
March 9 Montreal at New York Rangers
March 16 Los Angeles at Philadelphia
March 23 St. Louis at Vancouver
March 30 New York Islanders at Atlanta
April 6 Minnesota at Chicago
Note: All start times (with the exception of the January 19 and February 9 telecasts) at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Edit

Year Round Series Games covered Play-by-play Color commentators
1973 Quarterfinals Montreal-Buffalo Game 4 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Semifinals New York Rangers-Chicago Game 2 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Montreal-Philadelphia Game 4 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
1974 Quarterfinals Atlanta-Philadelphia Game 1 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Montreal-New York Rangers Game 4 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Semifinals Boston-Chicago Game 2 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Philadelphia-New York Rangers Games 4, 7 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
1975 Quarterfinals Toronto-Philadelphia Game 1 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Pittsburgh-New York Islanders Game 4 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Semifinals Montreal-Buffalo Game 1 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay
Philadelphia-New York Islanders Games 3, 6 Tim Ryan Ted Lindsay

1990sEdit

From 19901994, NBC only televised the National Hockey League All-Star Game. Mike Emrick and Bill Clement called the action.

The Montreal Canadiens were slated to host the 1990 All-Star Game, but however withdrew their bid to considerations due to the superb hosting by Quebec City of Rendez-Vous '87. This had allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins, who wanted to host an All-Star Game in 1993, to move up three years early. For its part, Pittsburgh's organizers added much more to previous games, creating the first "true" All-Star weekend. Firstly was the addition of the Heroes of Hockey game, a two-period oldtimers' game between past NHL greats. The second was the addition of the National Hockey League All-Star Skills Competition, a competition between the players invited to the All-Star Game. The Skills competition was created by Paul Palmer, who adapted the Showdown feature seen on Hockey Night in Canada from 1973 to 1980. All-Star players would be rewarded with $2,500 for any win in the skills competition.

To accommodate the altered activities, the game itself was played on a Sunday afternoon instead of a Tuesday night, as was the case in previous years. This allowed American broadcaster NBC to air the game live across United States - marking (surprisingly) the first time that a national audience would see Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux play. Referees and other officials were also wired with microphones in this game, as were the two head coaches. Finally, NBC also was allowed to conduct interviews with players during stoppages in play, to the chagrin of the Hockey Night in Canada crew, whose attempts to do likewise were repeatedly denied by the league in past years.

In 1991, NBC broke away from the telecast in the third period to televise a briefing from the Pentagon involving the Gulf War. SportsChannnel America included the missing coverage in a replay of NBC's telecast. NBC by the way, owned 50% of Rainbow Enterprises, the parent of SportsChannel America.

2000sEdit

Terms of the dealEdit

In May 2004, NBC reached an agreement with the NHL to broadcast a slate of regular season games and Stanley Cup Finals. The plan called for NBC to air at least 6 weeks of regular season games (3 regional games each week) on Saturday afternoons. Also, NBC was to show 1-2 playoff games per weekend during the playoffs. Up to 5 games of Stanley Cup Finals would air in prime time (OLN/Versus received the other two as part of its package). NBC's primary game each week, as well as Stanley Cup Finals, would air in high definition.

Unlike previous network television deals with the NHL (like Fox, who had the rights from 19941999 and ABC, who had the rights from 19992004), NBC paid no upfront rights fee, instead splitting advertising revenue with the league after meeting its own production and distribution costs. On the other hand, the league avoided the arrangement some minor sports leagues have, where they pay networks for broadcast time and produce their own telecasts, but keep any advertising revenue.

NBC's out-of-market games were available on NHL Center Ice through 2006–07.

2004–05 NHL lockout Edit

NBC's initial contract with the NHL ran for 2 years, with a network option to renew for 2 more. NBC's NHL coverage was delayed a year because of the 2004–05 NHL lockout, which wound up cancelling the entire season. NBC instead, decided to replace 5 of its scheduled NHL broadcasts with alternate sports programming (such as reruns of NASCAR Year in Review and The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge). NBC also decided to give 1 of the slots back to local affiliates.

2004–05 schedule (all would have been regional games) Edit
Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern)
1/22/05 Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers

Chicago vs. St. Louis
San Jose vs. Colorado

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

1/29/05 Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Colorado vs. Detroit
Anaheim vs. Minnesota

1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m.

2/5/05 Chicago vs. Boston

New Jersey vs. Philadelphia
Dallas vs. St. Louis

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

2/19/05 Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers

Detroit vs. Tampa Bay
Dallas vs. St. Louis

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

2/26/05 NY Islanders vs. New Jersey

Colorado vs. Philadelphia
San Jose vs. Detroit

1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m.

4/9/05 NY Rangers vs. Boston

Chicago vs. St. Louis
Anaheim vs. San Jose

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. (would have been seen only in the Pacific Time Zone, Alaska and Hawaii)

2005–06 NHL seasonEdit

The NHL on NBC's new agreement debuted on January 14, 2006, with three regional games (New York vs. Detroit, Colorado vs. Philadelphia, and Dallas vs. Boston) to substantial praise among hockey fans and writers, who often compare national TV network's presentation to Hockey Night in Canada, which is broadcast in full on the NHL Center Ice package (although some writers even speculated that NBC's playoff broadcasts were superior to CBC's, largely because of announcers and HD coverage of games prior to the Finals).

2005–06 schedule Edit
Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator crews
1/14/06 New York Rangers vs Detroit
Colorado vs Philadelphia
Dallas vs Boston
2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Brian Hayward

Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, and Cammi Granato

1/21/06 Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh
Detroit vs Colorado

San Jose vs Los Angeles

2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. (West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii only)

Mike Emrick, John Davidson, and Pierre McGuire

Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, and Cammi Granato

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Brian Hayward

1/28/06 Detroit vs Dallas

Pittsburgh vs New York Rangers

Tampa Bay vs Philadelphia

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire

Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, and Cammi Granato

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Brian Hayward

2/4/06 Detroit vs Colorado
Dallas vs St. Louis
New York Islanders vs Pittsburgh
2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire

Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, and Cammi Granato

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Brian Hayward

4/8/06 New York Rangers vs Boston
Colorado vs St. Louis
Anaheim vs Los Angeles
2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire

Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, and Cammi Granato

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Brian Hayward

4/15/06 New York Rangers vs Philadelphia
Boston vs Atlanta

Minnesota vs. Dallas

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire

Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti, and Cammi Granato

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Brian Hayward

2006–07 NHL season

For the 2006–07 season, NBC broadcast three regional games per weekend of coverage during the regular season. They also scheduled ten coverage windows during the playoffs (not including Stanley Cup Finals). The additional broadcasts were expected to replace the Arena Football League, which NBC dropped after the 2006 season. NBC also produced two games per week in high definition, up from one in 2005-06.

The newly titled NHL on NBC Game of the Week premiered for a second season January 13, 2007 with three regional games (LA vs. STL, BOS vs. NYR, PIT vs. PHI) at 2:00 p.m. ET. Games started at various times, ranging from 12:30 to 3:30 during the season (this variation primarily resulted from NBC's commitments to the PGA Tour and other programming).

2006–07 Edit
Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator crews
1/13/07 Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia
Boston vs. NY Rangers
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis
2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

Chris Cuthbert and Brian Hayward

1/28/07 Colorado vs Detroit
Dallas vs Anaheim
Philadelphia vs Atlanta
3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

Chris Cuthbert and Brian Hayward

2/11/07 Colorado vs Dallas
Tampa Bay vs New Jersey
Chicago vs Columbus
3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

Chris Cuthbert and Brian Hayward

2/18/07 Washington vs Pittsburgh

Chicago vs NY Rangers
San Jose vs Dallas

3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

Chris Cuthbert and Brian Hayward

3/4/07 Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh

Colorado vs Detroit

12:30 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

3/11/07 Boston vs Detroit
Carolina vs NY Rangers
12:30 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

3/25/07 Boston vs Pittsburgh
NY Rangers vs NY Islanders
12:30 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader, Brian Engblom, and Darren Pang

4/1/07 Detroit vs Columbus
Los Angeles vs San Jose
12:30 p.m.

6:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti

Chris Cuthbert and Brian Hayward

4/8/07 Chicago vs Dallas 1:00 p.m. Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Joe Micheletti
The NHL on NBC moved to Sundays after its season premiere (listed above) for the final 8 dates of the season. NBC's nine games amounted to the league's most extensive U.S. broadcast television coverage since 1998, during Fox's tenure.
2007 playoffs controversyEdit

On May 19, 2007, during the Stanley Cup playoffs, NBC angered many fans and journalists when it pre-empted coverage of the overtime period of the tied Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres, instead going directly to pre-race coverage of the 2007 Preakness Stakes (a horse racing broadcast generally contains about two hours of pre-race coverage, with the actual races lasting two or three minutes). Coverage of the overtime period was shunted to Versus, the league's cable partner, although viewers in the Buffalo and Rochester markets were able to continue watching the game on WGRZ and WHEC, their local NBC affiliates.

The move was originally seen not only as a snub of small-market teams (such as the Sabres), but of hockey in general. However, NBC and the NHL later revealed that the Preakness deal had been made several years before and contained mandatory advertising commitments during the pre-race build-up. Both sides could have agreed that the entire game would air only on Versus or begin earlier in the day, but the NHL wanted at least one Eastern Conference Finals game to air on NBC, and said that it does not schedule with the assumption that games will go into overtime. Moreover, an earlier start time could not be arranged because the broadcast window was fixed in advance, and both the NHL and NBC needed the flexibility to pick the Western Conference Finals for that window if they so desired.

In 2006, NBC televised Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Buffalo Sabres and the Carolina Hurricanes on the same day as the Preakness Stakes. Before the game, Bill Clement advised the audience that in the event that the game went into overtime, it would be televised on Versus, or OLN as it was known at the time. The Buffalo Sabres won the game in regulation.

NHL on NBC FaceoffEdit

For the 2006–07 season, NBC added an online, broadband-only pregame show to its NHL coverage. This is similar to what it does with its Notre Dame football coverage. Titled NHL on NBC Countdown to Faceoff, it airs for a half-hour before every NHL on NBC telecast on NBCSports.com. The show features a breakdown of upcoming action, as well as reports from the game sites and a feature on an NHL player.

2007 and beyondEdit

On March 27, 2007, NBC Sports and NHL agreed to a 1 year contract extension with a network option for a second year.

Beginning in 2007–08, NBC has "Flex Scheduling", similar to NFL broadcasts. The league selects at least 3 potential games at the start of the season for most of NBC's regular-season coverage dates.

13 days prior to the game, NBC selects 1 to air as its Game of the Week. The other 2 games move outside of NBC's broadcast window and return to teams' regional carriers. Since the league made network coverage a priority in the 1990s, regionalized coverage had been the norm; NBC is the first network to try regularly presenting 1 game to the entire nation. Additionally, studio segments now originate from the game site instead of 30 Rockefeller Center. All games are produced in 1080i high definition.

On New Years Day, January 1, 2008, NBC began its 2007–08 schedule with an outdoor hockey game (the AMP NHL Winter Classic) between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The game went head to head with some of the New Year's Day college football bowl games, but none of the feature Bowl Championship Series games. While never expected to beat or directly compete with football ratings the timing was designed to take advantage of the large audience flipping between channels to watch the different bowl games. It was the first such game to be televised live by an American network and the NHL's first outdoor regular season game since the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens played the Heritage Classic, which aired on CBC. CBC also showed the 2008 outdoor game. Although originally maligned as a mere publicity stunt by some in the media, the 2008 Winter Classic drew a 2.6 Nielsen rating in the U.S. (or about 2.9 million viewers), the highest rating for a regular-season contest since February 1996, when Fox was the league's network partner. By comparison, CBS received a 2.7 rating for the Gator Bowl, which also had a 1 p.m. start.

New Year's Day aside, all regular-season telecasts now air on Sunday afternoons.

In April 2008, NBC announced the activation of its option to retain broadcasting rights for the 2008–2009 season. NBC's scheduling will be similar to the 2007–2008 season (flex scheduling for regular-season games, up to five games of the Stanley Cup Finals—changing in 2009 to include Games 1, 2 and 5-7) except that all (or nearly all) of the Sunday-afternoon games will begin at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Coverage again included an outdoor game, which was between the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009.

In 2010, NBC would retain the rights to the NHL. They continued to broadcast the Winter Classic, Sunday-afternoon games at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, six weekends of playoff action, and Games 1, 2, and 5-7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Innovations Edit

Some of NBC's innovations include putting a star clock underneath the scoreboard at the top of the screen. During each game, NBC takes one player from each team and clocks how long that player is out on the ice each time he comes out for a shift. Also, goalies like Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury may wear cameras inside their masks, much like Major League Baseball on Fox asks catchers to do. Finally, NBC puts one of its analysts in between the two teams' benches for what they call Inside the Glass reporting. In addition to providing color commentary, this allows the analyst to observe and report on the benches, as well as interviewing the coaches periodically.

PersonalitiesEdit

RatingsEdit

ReferencesEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at NHL on NBC. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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