Sunday, January 9, 2011

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO AIR MARYLAND-DUKE PREGAME SHOW ON SUNDAY, JAN. 9, AT 7:30 P.M.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s premier source for television and online sports coverage, announced it will present a special half-hour edition of Geico SportsNet Central to preview the Maryland at Duke NCAA men’s basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 9, at 7:30 p.m. The pregame show will lead in to Comcast SportsNet’s live coverage of the Atlantic Coast Conference match-up, which is part of the network’s ACC Sunday Night Hoops schedule, which begins at 8 p.m.

The special SportsNet Central presentation will be led by host Chick Hernandez and analyst Ron Thompson, who will be live from Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. The pregame coverage will be highlighted by special guests, including former Terps’ guard Greivis Vasquez, and a one-on-one interview with Terps’ Head Coach Gary Williams. The program will also provide complete pregame news and analysis and present a detailed history of the rivalry.

CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com will continue to provide expanded coverage of the Terrapins all season. Led by Terps Insider Chris Knoche and a stable of experienced local reporters, Comcast SportsNet is the one-stop source for online news, videos, blogs and interactive features surrounding the Maryland Terrapins.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.

Comcast Sports Group operates 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC MOST-WATCHED REGULAR SEASON GAME IN 36 YEARS

Forwarded from the Washington Capitals Media Relations Department from the NHL League office:

Saturday night’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on NBC (8-11 p.m. ET) was the most-viewed NHL regular season game in 36 years with an average of 4.5 million watching in primetime as the Washington Capitals defeated the host Pittsburgh Penguins in front of more than 68,000 at sold out Heinz Field. The 4.5 million viewers represents a 22-percent increase over last year’s game played in Boston’s Fenway Park (3.7 million viewers). Four of the five most-watched NHL regular season games since 1975 are now NHL Winter Classic broadcasts. Most-Watched NHL Regular-Season Games Since 1975
· 4.5 million Jan. 1, 2011 NBC Capitals-Penguins
· 4.4 million Jan. 1, 2009 NBC Red Wings-Blackhawks
· 3.8 million Jan. 27, 1996 FOX Six-game regional coverage
· 3.8 million Jan. 1, 2008 NBC Penguins-Sabres
· 3.7 million Jan. 1, 2010 NBC Flyers-Bruins
The 2.3 national rating and 4 share for the NHL Winter Classic achieved a 10 percent increase from last year (2.1/4, 1-4 p.m. ET). The game earned a 32.0/46 in Pittsburgh and a 7.6/13 in Washington D.C. The 32.0 rating in Pittsburgh is up a whopping 81 percent over the inaugural Winter Classic in 2008 that featured the Penguins and earned a 17.7 in the market.

The milestone was achieved despite the fact that, due to weather, late on Friday the announced start time of the event was changed from 1 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET resulting in the NHL Winter Classic going head-to-head with eight U.S. hockey markets, including overtime games involving New York, Boston and Buffalo.

“By all measures, this will be the most successful NHL Winter Classic yet,” said NHL COO John Collins. “We are thrilled with the strong viewership and growth on NBC, especially considering the short notice on the time change and the head-to-head hockey competition we ended up facing in eight of our U.S. markets. The impact of the NHL Winter Classic goes well beyond television. The event greatly enhances all of our global businesses, from NHL.com and NHL Network, to advertising and sponsorship, and of course, the NHL Winter Classic delivered significant economic impact to Pittsburgh.

“The scene in Pittsburgh was simply spectacular – a real celebration of hockey – and the weather will no doubt become part of NHL Winter Classic lore. Each NHL Winter Classic is unique and special in its own way. In Buffalo in 2008, our players showed we can play in the snow and Saturday night the Penguins and Capitals showed we can have a hard-fought and entertaining game in the rain. It was a memorable night as we saw once again why the NHL Winter Classic has quickly earned its place as a New Year’s Day tradition and one of the most anticipated major national sports events of the year.”

The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic also won the night for NBC against the other broadcast networks in the highly-coveted Adults 18-49 demographic. The event earned a 1.8/5 in the demo, besting Fox (1.6/5), CBS (1.2/3) and ABC (0.9/3). AOL Fanhouse on the event: “The NHL once again knocked it out of the park.”

ESPN.com on the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: “An awesome event…Every outdoor game has been different so far. We've seen snow, we've seen rain, we've been in baseball fields and football fields. I think that's part of the attractiveness of the event.”

Sidney Crosby on the NHL Winter Classic: “Playing hockey in front of that many people, it's something that probably none of us ever dreamed of doing. It would have been nice to be on the other side of things, but it's still a privilege to be part of that. And we had amazing support. The event was great. I think everyone enjoyed it, and obviously we've seen year after year, it's getting bigger and bigger.”

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau on the NHL Winter Classic: “This is as close to the Stanley Cup as we've gotten. We are not denying that it was more than just two points. It was a fabulous game.”

The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic continues the league’s media growth and momentum.
Additional recent television milestones for the NHL include: · In the 2010 Playoffs, Chicago’s Game 6 Stanley Cup Final-clinching win over Philadelphia on NBC was watched by 8.28 million, making it the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in 36 years. Overall, NBC’s four broadcasts in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final were the most-watched in the U.S. in 13 years.·

The 2010 Playoffs on VERSUS were the most watched on U.S. cable in eight years. VERSUS this year dropped the puck on its sixth year of NHL coverage with the most-watched opening night game (Flyers at Penguins, 10/8/10) on U.S. cable in eight years and the most-watched NHL regular season cable telecast (Penguins at Flyers, 12/14/10) in VERSUS history. · All four Winter Classic broadcasts on NBC have been among the most-watched NHL regular season games in history.

VARLAMOV, DOAN AND LIDSTROM NAMED NHL 'THREE STARS' OF THE WEEK

Washington Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Jan. 2.

FIRST STAR -- SEMYON VARLAMOV, G, WASHINGTON CAPITALS Varlamov stopped 55 of 56 shots in backstopping the Capitals to a pair of victories, including the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. He began the week stopping 25 shots for his second shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 28. Named the Capitals' starting goaltender for NHL Winter Classic earlier in the day, Varlamov recorded 32 saves in Washington's 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in front of 68,111 outdoors at Heinz Field Saturday night. The 22-year-old Samara, Russia native improved his career regular-season record to 26-8-8 in 45 appearances.

SECOND STAR -- SHANE DOAN, RW, PHOENIX COYOTES Doan led all scorers last week with eight points (five goals, three assists) in four games, extending his consecutive-game point streak to six. Doan scored the Coyotes' lone goal in a 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks Dec. 28 and notched three points (two goals, one assist) in a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 29. He tallied two more goals, including the 700th point of his NHL career, in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 31. His first goal, at 6:20 of the third period, ended Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak's shutout streak at 129:29. Doan finished the week by recording two assists in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild Jan. 2. The Coyotes captain, still in quest of his first career hat trick, upped his career goals total to 285, including 37 two-goal games. The only player with more career tallies without a three-goal game is Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy (287).

THIRD STAR -- NICKLAS LIDSTROM, D, DETROIT RED WINGS Lidstrom tallied eight points (two goals, six assists) and extended his point streak to seven games as the Red Wings posted a 2-1-1 record. Lidstrom recorded a goal and three assists in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 27, notched one goal and one assist in a 7-3 win over the Dallas Stars Dec. 29, tallied one assist in 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders Dec. 31 and had one assist in a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 2. The 40-year-old Red Wings captain and six-time Norris Trophy winner ranks second among NHL defensemen in scoring with 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 39 games.