JOHNNY WEIR & TARA LIPINSKI TAKE OVER NBC SPORTS SOCIAL MEDIA DURING DERBY WEEK

Weir & Lipinski on a Conference Call Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, at 2 p.m. ET

NBC Sports Group’s Derby Fashion & Lifestyle Correspondents to Periscope “A Day in the Life at Churchill Downs”

New Social Offerings for NBC Sports Group’s “Peacock Paddock” Include a Vine 360 Booth & 55-inch Touch Screen

141st “Run for the Roses” Saturday, May 2 at 4 p.m. ET on NBC

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2015 – To build on NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby, NBC Sports Group will present around-the-clock coverage of Derby week across all social media platforms, featuring  NBC Sports Group’s fashion and lifestyle experts and social media mavens Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. Having previously served as correspondents for events ranging from the Academy Awards to Super Bowl XLIX, Weir and Lipinski brought their fashion sense to the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner this past weekend.

NBC Sports Group presents 15.5 live hours of Kentucky Derby coverage, a record for the event, beginning this Wednesday, April 29, at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminating with the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, this Saturday, May 2 at 4 PM ET. Coverage begins on Saturday at Noon ET on NBCSN before moving to NBC at 4 p.m. ET.

JOHNNY & TARA, 5 DAYS OF SOCIAL TAKEOVERS: Every day of Derby week, beginning today, Weir and Lipinski will take over one of NBC Sports’ social media accounts. From Facebook chats and Twitter Q&A’s to an Instagram “A Day in the Life” from Churchill Downs, fans will be able to get closer to Johnny and Tara’s Derby week.

  • Monday: Johnny and Tara’s Derby Trends Pinterest Board launched today. Click here for a link to their fashion and entertainment picks.
  • Tuesday: Fans can join Johnny and Tara as they capture their experience packing for Derby week on NBC Sports’ Vine account.
  • Wednesday: Johnny and Tara will take over the @NBCSN Twitter handle to answer questions about Derby fashion and the scene at Churchill Downs.
  • Thursday: Johnny and Tara will Periscope “A Day in the Life at Churchill Downs” from the @NBCSN twitter handle, giving fans a live stream of what’s happening behind-the-scenes as they prep for Thursday’s Kentucky Derby Access show at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
  • Friday: Johnny and Tara will take over the NBC Sports Instagram, posting photos from the Pink Carpet at the Kentucky Oaks

WEIR & LIPINSKI ON KENTUCKY DERBY CONFERENCE CALL

Weir and Lipinski, joined by Rob Hyland, coordinating producer of NBC’s horse racing coverage, will preview their roles as fashion and lifestyle experts at the 141st Kentucky Derby on a conference call tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, at 2 p.m. ET.

Dial 719-325-2495 to participate; conference ID 8799355

PEACOCK PADDOCK:  As the first stop of the Kentucky Oaks Pink Carpet and Kentucky Derby Red Carpet, the Peacock Paddock will capture the atmosphere at Churchill Downs to share with fans across the country. For the first time, the Peacock Paddock will house a Vine 360 Booth, where celebrities can show off 360-degree views of their hats and outfits in a continuous loop. Video from the Vine 360 Booth will be featured in celebrity segments on NBC and NBCSN.

New features in the Peacock Paddock also include a 55-inch touch screen monitor to showcase various social media trends, Kentucky Derby parties across the country, and fashion on-site and online. As each celebrity begins the journey down the Pink and Red Carpets, they will be asked to enter the Peacock Paddock photo booth, featuring a wall of fresh red roses, and make their Derby picks. Celebrity picks will be shared on NBCSN and NBC’s telecasts, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

SOCIAL ON-AIR INTEGRATION: NBC and NBCSN’s Kentucky Derby coverage includes more social integration than any other annual sporting event on NBC Sports. Segments and integration from the Peacock Paddock will feature Kentucky Derby parties from around the country on the 55-inch touchscreen, fashion segments using Vines from the Vine 360 Booth, Celebrity picks from the Peacock Paddock photo booth and social media updates showcasing the social buzz around the country. Coverage will also feature a Facebook poll with a real-time look at who the fans at home think will win the 141st Kentucky Derby.

PINTEREST DERBY PARTY PLANNING: NBC Sports has teamed up with lifestyle influencers and Churchill Downs to deliver to fans on Pinterest everything they need to help plan their Kentucky Derby parties. Each influencer has created their own boards where they will curate pins on Derby trends, red carpet style and race-day attire, food, beverages, entertaining tips, decorations, and more.

  • Derby Trends: Johnny and Tara have fans covered with the colors, style and trends fans can anticipate seeing this year at the Derby. Follow their board here.
  • Derby Attire: Vineyard Vines, the ‘Official Style’ of the Kentucky Derby, makes it easy for fans to know what to wear at Churchill Downs or to their local Derby party. Check out their favorite looks here.
  • Derby Red Carpet Looks: E!’s Alicia Quarles will be on the scene at Churchill Downs from the Red Carpet and has provided fans a look at her favorite Red Carpet Derby looks here.
  • Derby Food: Levy Restaurants, the official food and beverage partner of Churchill Downs, provides the best Kentucky fare on their board located here.

KENTUCKY DERBY ALL-ACCESS: Horseracing aficionados and fans of the elegance and glitz of the Derby can access content from Derby week at a “social center” housed on NBCSports.com. Fans can access and sort social media content from Instagram, Twitter and Vine through various streams including horse racing experts, horses (including social accounts from the horses themselves, jockeys and trainers), glamour (celebrities and fashion experts), a photos-only section, and Vine videos.

New to Kentucky Derby All-Access this year is the “Horse Namer,” where fans can type in their names and are instantly provided with their Kentucky Derby horse name along with a horse avatar that is shareable on Facebook and Twitter. NBCSports.com/Derby will also house downloadable Derby party printables and a Pinterest widget to drive pinners to boards that will help them plan the perfect Derby party.

Facebook: Every day during Derby week at Facebook.com/NBCSports, fans will be presented with Derby information, photos and video from Churchill Downs.

Twitter: Viewers and tweeters alike will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #KYDERBY. Reminders will appear on screen throughout NBC and NBCSN’s Derby week coverage.

  • Fans throwing their own Derby parties will be asked to submit photos with #DerbyParty. The best photos will be highlighted on-air.
  • @NBCSN will live tweet the Kentucky Derby Draw Show on Wednesday.

Instagram: For behind-the-scenes access to Derby Week, fans can follow @NBCSports on Instagram at Instagram.com/NBCSports for the parties, food, fashion, and of course, the races.

Vine: NBC Sports will utilize Vine to give fans quick video look-ins at everything that makes up the Kentucky Derby. From morning workouts with the horses, to Millionaire’s Row, NBC Sports’ Vines will give fans the full Derby experience for those that can’t make it to the track for Derby week.

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NBC PROVIDES WALL-TO-WALL SPORTS COVERAGE ON DERBY DAY

On Derby Day, NBC’s wall-to-wall sports coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET with a second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game. NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET, and leads right into primetime coverage of the PGA TOUR’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Players Championship from TPC Sawgrass airs on Golf Channel and NBC from May 7-10, including Golf Channel’s Golf Central Live From The Players starting on Monday, May 4.

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2, begins at Noon ET on NBCSN, with coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC Sports Group’s live Kentucky Derby coverage begins Wednesday, April 29, with the Kentucky Derby Draw at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Also on Derby Day, NBCSN presents a second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game in primetime, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.

The 2014 Kentucky Derby marked the fourth time in six years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers. Women comprised 51% of that viewership, ranking the Kentucky Derby alongside the Belmont Stakes (featuring a Triple Crown contender) and Sochi Winter Olympics as the major 2014 sporting events with females accounting more than half of the audience.

The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.4 million viewers – the second-highest Belmont Stakes viewership on record, trailing only the 21.9 million viewers for NBC’s telecast of Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (People Meter viewership dates to 1988). In addition, the 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating, ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009.

AWARDS FOR NBC’S HORSE RACING COVERAGE: Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 15 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage including the award for Television – Live Program for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2013 Kentucky Derby. NBC’s previous wins in that category include: Preakness (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), Kentucky Derby (2007, 2012), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001).  Additionally, NBC Sports has won four Eclipse Awards in the features category: “California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion,” which aired on NBCSN in June 2014, a 2002 feature on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), a 2005 feature on Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and a 2009 feature on Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast). In addition, the 2014 Belmont Stakes broadcast was nominated for the Sports Emmy Award Outstanding Live Sports Special this year.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

GAME 7 – ALEX OVECHKIN AND WASHINGTON CAPITALS HOST JOHN TAVARES AND NEW YORK ISLANDERS IN ELIMINATION GAME TONIGHT AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Game 7 – (3) Islanders-(2) Capitals – Series Tied 3-3 – Tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Mike “Doc” Emrick Calls Islanders-Capitals Game 7 Once Again, 28 Years After Isles-Caps “Easter Epic”

Game 6 – (2) Lightning-(3) Red Wings – Red Wings Lead 3-2 – Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on CNBC

Minneapolis and St. Louis Markets Post Record Ratings for Sunday’s Blues-Wild Game 6 on NBC

NBC Sports Group To Provide Extensive Coverage of IIHF World Hockey Championship For Fifth Consecutive Year

 

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2015 – NBCSN presents the first Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, as Alex Ovechkin and the (2) Washington Capitals host John Tavares and the (3) New York Islanders in a do-or-die elimination game on Day 13 of NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive NHL playoff coverage.

Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.

Emrick handled the play-by-play commentary of the last Game 7 between the Islanders and Capitals 28 years ago, on April 18-19, 1987. Islanders forward Pat LaFontaine scored in the fourth overtime to give New York the win early on Easter Sunday morning, which became known as the “Easter Epic,” and still stands as the longest Game 7 in NHL history.

Tonight’s playoff coverage on CNBC begins at 7 p.m. ET, when Pavel Datsyuk and the (3) Detroit Red Wings look to advance in the bracket with a Game 6 win over Steven Stamkos and the (2) Tampa Bay Lightning.

Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live on NBCSN, hosted by Liam McHugh with analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick. Host Kathryn Tappen will anchor CNBC’s studio coverage alongside analyst and former player Anson Carter, and guest analyst and former NHL goaltender Brian Boucher. Boucher split 13 NHL seasons with seven teams, playing the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, including 42 playoff games with the team.

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“NHL Playoff Pass” on NBC Sports Group Press Box provides a quick daily overview of Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, plus information and highlights. The Pass will be published weekdays to preview that evening’s games. Friday editions will include weekend information.

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All Stanley Cup Playoff games will be presented on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide streaming coverage of games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”

For more information on NBC Sports Group’s overall NHL Playoff coverage, please click here.


THE PASS – MONDAY, APRIL 27 (All times ET)

MONDAY, APRIL 27

Time Coverage Network Commentators
6:30 p.m. NHL Live NBCSN Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury,
Jeremy Roenick
7 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Tampa Bay at (3) Detroit CNBC John Forslund, Andy Brickley
7:30 p.m. Game 7 – (3) N.Y. Islanders at (2) Washington NBCSN Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie
Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
  NHL Live (Intermission Reports) CNBC Kathryn Tappen, Anson Carter,
Brian Boucher

 

 

GAME 7 – (3) ISLANDERS-(2) CAPITALS – TONIGHT AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – SERIES TIED 3-3

The Islanders and Capitals face off in a decisive Game 7 tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The Islanders fought off elimination with a Game 6 win at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, as captain John Tavares recorded a goal and an assist, and goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 38 of 39 shots in the win.

This marks the first Game 7 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs; last year, the road team won six of seven Game 7 matchups. Eight of the Capitals’ 10 playoff series since 2008 have required a Game 7, while the Islanders are playing their first Game 7 since the 2002 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The winning team will advance in the bracket to face the (1) New York Rangers in the second round.

 


GAME 6 – (2) LIGHTNING-(3) RED WINGS – TONIGHT AT 7 P.M. ET ON CNBC – RED WINGS LEAD 3-2

The Red Wings look to close out their first-round series with a win at home over the Lightning tonight at 7 p.m. ET, and set up a second-round Original Six showdown with the (1) Montreal Canadiens. The teams have alternated wins through the first five games of the series. Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped all 28 shots he faced in Game 5 for his second shutout of the series in the Red Wings’ 4-0 victory in Tampa Bay on Saturday. The Lightning will look to draw upon their strong finish to Game 4 in Detroit, where they scored twice in the final six minutes of regulation and won 3-2 in overtime to stun the Red Wings.

John Forslund (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.
MINNEAPOLIS AND ST. LOUIS POST RECORD RATINGS FOR SUNDAY’S BLUES-WILD GAME 6 ON NBC

The Minnesota Wild’s 4-1 Game 6 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon produced record ratings for the Minneapolis and St. Louis markets.

The game produced a 17.25 rating in Minneapolis, the highest rating ever for a Wild game on NBC in Minneapolis. In addition, St. Louis produced a 13.23 rating, which stands as the best first-round rating ever on NBC in the St. Louis market. The Wild advanced in the Western Conference bracket with their Game 6 win, and will face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 later this week.

 


NBC SPORTS GROUP TO PROVIDE EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF IIHF WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Earlier today, NBC Sports Group announced exclusive, comprehensive coverage of the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship from Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic – NBC Sports Group’s fifth consecutive year covering international hockey’s premier annual tournament – totaling more than 40 hours of coverage across NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Coverage begins Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m. ET, when Team USA faces Finland, the 2014 silver medalist, in the first of seven preliminary-round games, which will all air on NBCSN.

This year’s Team USA roster includes 2015 Hobey Baker Award-winner Jack Eichel, widely regarded as a top prospect in this year’s NHL Draft.

Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s IIHF World Hockey Championship coverage.

 


NBC SPORTS GROUP’S UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE OF 2015 IPC PARALYMPIC SLED HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CONTINUES THIS WEEK

NBC Sports Group’s unprecedented 40 hours of coverage of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., continues this week on NBC Sports Live Extra and NBCSN. Team USA kicked off the tournament with a 6-1 win over Russia in a rematch of the 2014 Paralympic gold medal game, as Sochi Paralympic star Josh Sweeney scored twice in the win. Team USA returns to the ice tonight to face Germany at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship coverage.


COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE

Comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports Regional Networks, available in more than 50 million U.S. households. Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will provide the hometown fans of the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals, respectively, with comprehensive coverage throughout their teams’ Stanley Cup Playoff runs, including exclusive regional coverage of first-round games, pre- and post-game shows and extensive on-line coverage via Comcast SportsNet’s team of NHL Insiders.

For teams that advance past the first round, NBC Sports Regional Networks will deliver extensive pre- and post-game coverage as well as breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.


NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA
COVERAGE

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream comprehensive coverage of games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC on NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

— NBC Sports Group —

“NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA” NOW AVAILABLE ON APPLE TV

Via TV Everywhere, Apple TV Users Can Now Access Live Extra’s 3,000 Live Stream Events a Year, Including Stanley Cup Playoffs and Upcoming Triple Crown

STAMFORD, Conn. April 27, 2015 – In time for the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and upcoming Triple Crown, NBC Sports Live Extra is now available on Apple TV. NBC Sports Digital announced today that via TV Everywhere, Apple TV users can now access Live Extra’s more than 3,000 live events a year, including exclusive coverage of some of the most-watched properties and events in sports.

In addition to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Triple Crown, Live Extra streams all live sports content televised by NBC, NBCSN and Golf Channel, including: the Summer and Winter Olympics; Sunday Night Football and NBC’s NFL pre-season and post-season coverage; NHL regular-season games; the PGA TOUR, including the FedExCup Playoffs, and the LPGA; the Premier League; studio content surrounding many of the aforementioned properties; original programming such as The Dan Patrick Show and Men In Blazers; and much more.

The vast majority of live streaming will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers via TV Everywhere, the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home, and on multiple platforms.

“We are thrilled to bring our unprecedented portfolio of content to the hugely popular Apple TV platform,” said Rick Cordella, SVP & GM, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “Beginning today, Apple TV viewers will have access to NBC Sports Live Extra’s award-winning streaming of some of the most prestigious properties in sports, including the Olympics, Sunday Night Football, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Triple Crown and more.”

“This launch demonstrates NBC Sports’ ongoing commitment to provide added value to loyal fans who can now have more access to the live sporting events they love. Customers love our Apps on iPhone and iPad and we can’t wait for them to experience what we can offer on Apple TV,” said Alison Moore, GM and EVP, TV Everywhere, NBCUniversal. “TV Everywhere has proven successful with live sports programming like the NFL and the Olympics so this expansion will only continue to enhance the viewing experience and drive further engagement with the network.”

NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets — also hosts digital-only content that is not televised by NBC, NBCSN or Golf Channel, including some Premier League matches through “Extra Time” and select motorsports content.

This is the first day that NBC Sports Live Extra is available to connected TV consumers. NBC Sports Live Extra is also available on NBCSports.com/liveextra and via the NBC Sports Live Extra app on the App Store, Google Play and Windows Store for mobile devices and tablets.

NBC Sports Digital

A division of the NBC Sports Group, Emmy Award-winning NBC Sports Digital offers sports fans 24/7 news coverage, extensive live-event streaming, and complementary coverage of many of the properties within NBC Sports Group’s unparalleled collection of media rights across desktops, mobile and tablets. NBC Sports Digital includes NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, GolfChannel.com, the digital assets of NBC Sports Regional Networks and Rotoworld.com, among others, as well as a collection of apps that includes NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC SportsTalk and NBC Olympics Highlights and Results. NBC Sports Group and Yahoo! Sports, through a content and promotional partnership, rank among the most-trafficked digital properties in all of sports. Through its SportsTalk strategy, NBCSports.com provides fans with quick, frequently-updated news and information with a unique perspective. The division’s live streaming portfolio includes some of the most-watched and most-trafficked events of all time, including Sunday Night Football on a weekly basis, Super Bowl XLVI and XLIX, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final, Premier League, the 2012 London Olympic Games, for which NBCOlympics.com earned an Emmy, and the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

 

 

 

“NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA” NOW AVAILABLE ON ROKU PLATFORM VIA TV EVERYWHERE

Roku Customers Can Now Access Live Extra’s 3,000 Live Stream Events a Year, Including Stanley Cup Playoffs and Upcoming Triple Crown

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2015 – In time for the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and upcoming Triple Crown, NBC Sports Live Extra is now available on the Roku® streaming platform via TV Everywhere, NBC Sports Digital announced today. Consumers with Roku players or Roku TV™ models can now access Live Extra’s more than 3,000 live events a year, including exclusive coverage of some of the most-watched properties and events in sports.

In addition to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Triple Crown, Live Extra streams all live sports content televised by NBC, NBCSN and Golf Channel, including: the Summer and Winter Olympics; Sunday Night Football and NBC’s NFL pre-season and post-season coverage; NHL regular-season games; the PGA TOUR, including the FedExCup Playoffs, and the LPGA; the Premier League; studio content surrounding many of the aforementioned properties; original programming such as The Dan Patrick Show and Men In Blazers; and much more.

The vast majority of live streaming will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers via TV Everywhere, the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home, and on multiple platforms.

“We are constantly striving to provide our content to consumers on the newest platforms, which now includes connected TVs,” said Rick Cordella, SVP & GM, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “From the Olympics to Sunday Night Football to the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Triple Crown and much more, millions of Roku customers can now stream NBC Sports Live Extra’s unprecedented portfolio of sports rights, award-winning production and unparalleled roster of commentators.”

“NBC Sports is unwavering in their commitment to offer loyal fans the live sporting events they love in ways that work best for them,” said Alison Moore, GM and EVP, TV Everywhere, NBCUniversal. “As we have seen with the success of the NFL and the Olympic Games, real-time sports programming with a cross-device reach is a crown jewel in NBCUniversal’s ever-expanding TV Everywhere initiative.”

 

NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets — also hosts digital-only content that is not televised by NBC, NBCSN or Golf Channel, including some Premier League matches through “Extra Time” and select motorsports content.

 

This is the first day that NBC Sports Live Extra is available to connected TV consumers. NBC Sports Live Extra is also available on NBCSports.com/liveextra and via the NBC Sports Live Extra app on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store for mobile devices and tablets.

Roku customers can find the NBC Sports Live Extra streaming channel on their Roku players and Roku TV models within the Sports category in the Roku Channel Store.

 

Roku is a registered trademark and Roku TV is a trademark of Roku, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries.

 

NBC Sports Digital

A division of the NBC Sports Group, Emmy Award-winning NBC Sports Digital offers sports fans 24/7 news coverage, extensive live-event streaming, and complementary coverage of many of the properties within NBC Sports Group’s unparalleled collection of media rights across desktops, mobile and tablets. NBC Sports Digital includes NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, GolfChannel.com, the digital assets of NBC Sports Regional Networks and Rotoworld.com, among others, as well as a collection of apps that includes NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC SportsTalk and NBC Olympics Highlights and Results. NBC Sports Group and Yahoo! Sports, through a content and promotional partnership, rank among the most-trafficked digital properties in all of sports. Through its SportsTalk strategy, NBCSports.com provides fans with quick, frequently-updated news and information with a unique perspective. The division’s live streaming portfolio includes some of the most-watched and most-trafficked events of all time, including Sunday Night Football on a weekly basis, Super Bowl XLVI and XLIX, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final, Premier League, the 2012 London Olympic Games, for which NBCOlympics.com earned an Emmy, and the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

 

 

TUNE-IN REMINDER – “PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS: GRADING THE 2015 DRAFT” FEATURING CRIS COLLINSWORTH DEBUTS TODAY AT 5:30 PM ET ON NBCSN

“Every Play. Every Player. Every Game” — Pro Football Focus’ College Analysis Applied to 2015 NFL Draft

Encore Tonight at 11 p.m. ET Following NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2015 –With the 2015 NFL Draft just three days away, NBC Sports Group will take a never-before seen look at the league’s annual selection meeting through the prism of Pro Football Focus’ exclusive and proprietary grading system on Pro Football Focus: Grading the 2015 Draft, debuting today, Monday, April 27, at 5:30pm ET on NBCSN. An encore presentation of the program will air at 11 p.m. ET, following tonight’s coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBCSN, featuring a Game 7 matchup between the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals.

The new, one-hour show features NBC’s Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, the majority owner of Pro Football Focus (PFF), alongside host Paul Burmeister, and PFF analysts Steve Palazzolo, Neil Hornsby and Sam Monson. Collinsworth, a 15-time Sports Emmy Award winner, uses PFF’s data as part of his weekly SNF game preparation.  Nearly half of NFL clubs work directly with Pro Football Focus to use its play-by-play and player grading analytics.

“Every Play. Every Player. Every Game.”

To prepare for the 2015 NFL Draft, Pro Football Focus watched every play of every draft-eligible player from the 2014 college season and assigned a grade for every play, every game and for the full season. In addition, PFF graded every player and position group from all 32 NFL teams, and has determined each team’s areas of strength, weakness and need. PFF is the only company offering such detailed analysis.

Since 2007, Pro Football Focus has analyzed the performance of every player on each snap, grading their performances against others at the same position, in categories including pass blocking efficiency, run stop percentage, and “elusive rating” (for running backs). Click here for more information on the program.

For a transcript of Friday’s conference call with Collinsworth, Hornsby and Palazzolo, click here.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

NBC SPORTS GROUP TO PROVIDE EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF IIHF WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

NBCSN to Televise Every Team USA Game

Live Coverage of 2015 Tournament Begins with Team USA-Finland on Friday, May 1 at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra Will Combine to Present More Than 40 Hours of IIHF World Championship Coverage

All Team USA and Playoff Round Coverage To Be Streamed Via NBC Sports Live Extra

 

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2015 – NBC Sports Group will present exclusive, comprehensive coverage of the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship from Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic – NBC Sports Group’s fifth consecutive year covering international hockey’s premier annual tournament – totaling more than 40 hours of coverage across NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

“As the U.S. television home of hockey, we’re thrilled to present comprehensive coverage for the fifth consecutive year of IIHF World Hockey Championship, the sport’s premier annual international tournament,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “The World Championship is another example of our commitment to hockey, from our near-200 games of regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, to our presentations of international hockey at the Olympic, Paralympic and Championship levels.”

Live coverage begins on NBCSN on Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m. ET, when Team USA faces Finland, the 2014 silver medalist, in the first of seven preliminary-round games, which will all air on NBCSN. Team USA’s preliminary-round matchups also feature a showdown with 2014 IIHF gold medalist Russia, on Monday, May 4, at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Last year, Team USA finished second in preliminary-round play before losing 4-3 to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round.

This year’s Team USA roster is highlighted by 2015 Hobey Baker Award-winner Jack Eichel, widely regarded as a top prospect in this year’s NHL Draft.

The Team USA roster will also feature two-time Stanley Cup Champion Trevor Lewis (Los Angeles Kings), San Jose Sharks forward Ben Smith, who won the 2013 Stanley Cup Final with Chicago, and Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. Click here to see the complete Team USA roster.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present coverage of the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the 2015 IIHF Championship game, which will air live on Sunday, May 27 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

The 2015 IIHF World Championship marks the 79th installation of the tournament, which began in 1920. The results of the IIHF World Championship, along with Winter Olympics ice hockey results, help determine the IIHF World Ranking for top men’s ice hockey teams in the world.

Following is NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra’s coverage schedule for the upcoming 2015 IIHF World Championship in May (dates and times subject to change):

 

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Fri., May 1 Team USA vs. Finland NBCSN 10 a.m.
Sat., May 2 Team USA vs. Norway* NBCSN 11 p.m.
Mon., May 4 Team USA vs. Russia NBCSN 10 a.m.
Thur., May 7 Team USA vs. Belarus NBCSN 10 a.m.
Fri., May 8 Team USA vs. Denmark NBCSN 2 p.m.
Sun., May 10 Team USA vs. Slovenia* NBCSN 3 p.m.
Tue., May 12 Team USA vs. Slovakia NBCSN 10 a.m.
Thu., May 14 IIHF Quarterfinals NBCSN 9 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals NBC Sports Live Extra 10 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals** NBCSN 11:30 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals NBC Sports Live Extra 1 p.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals NBC Sports Live Extra 2 p.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals* NBCSN 11:30 p.m.
Sat., May 16 IIHF Semifinals NBC Sports Live Extra 9:30 a.m.
IIHF Semifinals NBC Sports Live Extra 1 p.m.
Sun., May 17 IIHF Bronze Medal Game NBC Sports Live Extra 10 a.m.
IIHF Championship Game NBCSN 2:30 p.m.

*denotes same-day delay

**denotes joined-in-progress

NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream comprehensive coverage of the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championships via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

— NBC Sports Group —

NBC SPORTS GROUP’S PRESS PASS – WHAT TO WATCH APRIL 24, 2015 – APRIL 26, 2015

(All times ET)

The “Press Pass” on NBC Sports Group Press Box is a quick overview of upcoming program information and highlights from the NBC Sports Group Communications team.

For live streaming information on NBC Sports Live Extra, and Golf Channel Live Extraclick here.

 

Friday, April 24

6 p.m. on Golf Channel – LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

6:30 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Live

7 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (4) Pittsburgh at (1) N.Y. Rangers

7 p.m. on CNBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (4) Ottawa at (1) Montreal

9:30 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (4) Minnesota at (1) St. Louis

Saturday, April 25

1 a.m. on NBCSN – Mecum Auctions Kansas City

6 a.m. on NBCSN – Barclays Premier League Preview

6 a.m. on Golf Channel – European Tour: Volvo China Open

7 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Live

7:45 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Southampton v. Tottenham

10 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Burnley v. Leicester City

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeWest Brom v. Liverpool

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeQueens Park Rangers v. West Ham

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeNewcastle v. Swansea City

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeCrystal Palace v. Hull City

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeStoke City v. Sunderland

12:30 p.m. on NBC – Premier League:  Manchester City v. Aston Villa

12:30 p.m. on NBCSN – U.S. Track and Field Penn Relays

1 p.m. on Golf Channel – PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

2:30 p.m. on NBC – Premier League Goal Zone

3 p.m. on NBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 6 – (2) Washington at (3) N.Y. Islanders

3 p.m. on NBCSN – U.S. Track and Field Drake Relays

3 p.m. on Golf Channel – Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge

5 p.m. on NBCSN – Mecum Auctions Kansas City

6 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (3) Detroit at (2) Tampa Bay

6 p.m. on Golf Channel – LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

8 p.m. on NBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 6 – (2) Nashville at (3) Chicago

9 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 6 – (2) Vancouver at (3) Calgary

Sunday, April 26

2 a.m. on NBCSN – IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama Qualifying

6 a.m. on Golf Channel – European Tour: Volvo China Open

6:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Match of the Day

7:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Live

8:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Everton v. Manchester United

11 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Arsenal v. Chelsea

1 p.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Goal Zone

1 p.m. on Golf Channel – PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

2 p.m. on NBC – Laureus World Sports Awards

2 p.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Download

3 p.m. on NBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs TBD

3 p.m. on NBCSN – IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama

3 p.m. on Golf Channel – Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge

6 p.m. on Golf Channel – LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

TBD on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

 

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

NBC Sports Group’s weekend coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on NBCSN tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET, with NHL Live, followed by the New York Rangers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coverage continues on NBCSN when the Minnesota Wild host the St. Louis Blues at 9:30 p.m. ET. CNBC’s coverage of Ottawa at Montreal begins at 7 p.m. ET.

Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire call Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Rangers; Dave Strader and Brian Engblom are on site in St. Louis; and Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Glenn Healy and David Amber cover the Ottawa vs. Montreal game.

Coverage continues Saturday on NBC at 3 p.m. ET, when the Washington Capitals face the New York Islanders. NBC’s coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continues in primetime with Game 6 of the Nashville-Chicago series at 8 p.m. ET. NBCSN’s coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET with Tampa Bay hosting Detroit, followed by the Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames at 9 p.m. ET.

Chris Cuthbert and Joe Micheletti call the action in New York for Washington-N.Y. Islanders; Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Pierre McGuire and Eddie Olczyk handle coverage from Chicago; John Forslund and Andy Brickley are on site from Tampa Bay; and Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake have the call in Calgary.

Sunday’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff schedule will be determined after tonight’s games.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

NBC Sports Group’s weekend Premier League coverage begins Saturday at 6 a.m. ET on NBCSN with Barclays Premier League Preview, followed by Premier League Live at 7 a.m. ET. Live match coverage begins at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN with Southampton v. Tottenham, followed by Burnley v. Leicester City at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage of West Brom v. Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers v. West Ham, Newcastle v. Swansea City, Crystal Palace v. Hull City and Stoke City v. Sunderland will air on Premier League Extra Time at 10 a.m. ET. Saturday’s live match coverage wraps up with Manchester City v. Aston Villa at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, immediately followed by NBC’s Premier League post-game show, Premier League Goal Zone.

NBC Sports Group’s lead Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White calls Manchester City v. Aston Villa, joined by Lee Dixon at Etihad Stadium.

Sunday’s Premier League coverage begins at 7:30 a.m. ET with Premier League Live, followed by Everton V. Manchester United at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Arsenal v. Chelsea at 11 a.m. ET.

White calls the second-place Arsenal v. first-place Chelsea match, joined by analyst Lee Dixon at Emirates Stadium. Calling Everton v. Manchester United will be Steve Bower, joined by former Manchester United and Everton player Phil Neville at Goodison Park.

 

Below is a full list of match commentators for this weekend’s Premier League coverage:

Saturday, April 25

7:45 a.m. on NBCSN – Southampton v. Tottenham, commentated by Bill Leslie and Kevin Kilbane

10 a.m. on NBCSN – Burnley v. Leicester City, commentated by Gary Weaver and Garry Birtles

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – West Brom v. Liverpool, commentated by Ian Crocker and Dean Sturridge

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Queens Park Rangers v. West Ham, commentated by Tony Jones and Tony Gale

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Newcastle v. Swansea City, commentated by Phil Blacker and Davie Provan

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Crystal Palace v. Hull City, commentated by Gary Taphouse and Efan Ekoku

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Stoke City v. Sunderland, commentated by Joe Speight and Andy Walker

12:30 p.m. on NBC – Manchester City v. Aston Villa, commentated by Arlo White and Lee Dixon

Sunday, April 26

8:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Everton v. Manchester United, commentated by Steve Bower and Phil Neville

11 a.m. on NBCSN – Arsenal v. Chelsea, commentated by Arlo White and Lee Dixon

 

All matches will be preceded and followed by Premier League Live pre- and post-match shows. Rebecca Lowe hosts Premier League Live, alongside Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

In addition to live match coverage, NBCSN presents Premier League Download: Pundits at the Pub this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. The new Premier League Download episode, shot during NBC Sports Group’s full on-site studio coverage from the U.K., features Lowe, Martino, Mustoe, and analyst Robbie Earle with NBC’s UK-based team of White, Dixon, Bower and Graeme Le Saux. The team’s discussion covers everything from English clubs’ recent struggles in European competition to the lost art of defending.

 

GOLF

Golf Channel presents coverage of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans this weekend, beginning Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Rich Lerner (play-by-play) and Nick Faldo (analyst) host coverage from TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Joining Lerner and Faldo are Jim Gallagher Jr. (tower), Matt Gogel (on-course) and Steve Burkowski (interviews).

Golf Channel’s weekend live tournament coverage also includes the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Coverage begins tonight at 6 p.m. ET, and continues Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

Terry Gannon leads Golf Channel’s team from the Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, Calif. Joining Gannon will be Kay Cockerill (analyst), Tom Abbott (tower), and Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples (on-course).

Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage continues with the Champions Tour’s Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge, beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, and continuing Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

Calling the action from Buffalo Ridge at the Top of the Rock in Ridgedale, Mo. will be Bob Papa (play-by-play), Lanny Wadkins (analyst), John Mahaffey and David Marr (tower) and Jim Gallagher Jr. (on-course).

In addition to the PGA Tour, LPGA and Champions Tour events, Golf Channel presents coverage of the European Tour’s Volvo China Open. Saturday and Sunday’s coverage begins at 6 a.m. ET.

Scott Walker hosts coverage from Golf Channel’s studio in Orlando, Fla., joined by Dougie Donnelly (play-by-play), Warren Humphreys (analyst) and Julian Tutt  (on course).

 

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA

NBCSN’s presentation of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET with the Grand Prix of Alabama. In addition, NBCSN will televise qualifying coverage on Sunday morning at 2 a.m. ET.

NBC Sports Group lead IndyCar play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will call the Grand Prix of Alabama, alongside F1 analyst Steve Matchett, and current driver and analyst Townsend Bell, who recently announced he will be competing in his ninth-career Indianapolis 500 next month. Robin Miller, Marty Snider, Kevin Lee and Kelli Stavast will handle pit reporting duties.

 

MECUM AUCTIONS

NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions coverage continues this weekend with highlights from its Kansas City auction, beginning Saturday at 1 a.m. ET, and continuing at 5 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions telecast team of Scott Hoke, John Kraman, Stephen Cox, and reporter Bill Stephens will call the action. Rutledge Wood will also contribute to this weekend’s Mecum Auctions coverage.

 

TRACK AND FIELD

This weekend NBCSN presents 4.5 hours of live track & field coverage. Coverage begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET with the USA Track and Field Penn Relays, immediately followed by Drake Relays at 3 p.m. ET.

Paul Bumeister hosts coverage of the Penn Relays, joined by Dan O’Brien, Lauryn Williams and Carolyn Manno at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

Todd Harris handles the call for the Drake Relays from Des Moines, Iowa, joined by four-time Olympic medalist Ato Boldon, Lewis Johnson, and Paul Swangard.

 

TRANSCRIPT – NBC SPORTS GROUP “PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS: GRADING THE 2015 DRAFT”

APRIL 24, 2015

DAN MASONSON:  Good afternoon everybody, and welcome to today’s conference call to discuss our new show, “Pro Football Focus: Grading the 2015 Draft” which debuts this Monday April 27th at 5:30 PM ET.  Joining us on the conference call are Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, Sunday Night Football coordinating producer Fred Gaudelli, and Pro Football Focus’ Neil Hornsby and Steve Palazzolo.  Each of our speakers will offer a brief comment and then we’ll open it up to your questions.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH: This is obviously something new and exciting for us because we don’t cover the draft, specifically.  We’re excited to dip our toe into the water.  And we think we’ve brought a powerhouse lineup to this with Pro Football Focus that is a very unique group of guys.  It’s about 92 people in all, that will be about 130‑something people by football season a year from now, and these guys are the only people that I know of that watch every play of every game in both the NFL and the NCAA, which leads to pretty incredible insight as to the specifics of what we’re going to get in this draft.

Neil Hornsby is the guy that started this company.  He has relationships with half the NFL teams that use his data.  Currently a couple of the NCAA teams are starting to use the data as well; that gets them into game prep.  They issue 38- page scouting reports.  They have integrated film systems that allow them to look very specifically at different players.

So I think you’re going to hear a few things different than what you hear from some other draft shows.  These guys have some great insights and we’ve been studying long and hard for this draft as to some of these players and I think the order of players from our group may be a little different than some of the others and I guess at the end of the year and as we go forward into the next few years we’ll see how we do against some of the traditional views in the draft.

So NBC has been kind enough to allow us the opportunity to put on our first hopefully annual show.  We’re really excited about it.  Spent a lot of time getting ready for it and with that I’ll introduce Neil Hornsby, who is the guy that originated this group and put the whole thing together.

NEIL HORNSBY:  Hi, guys.  I think the key things that I’d like to go through at this stage is we don’t have an opportunity with the medical records of these guys.  We don’t have an opportunity to sit in with the interviews of these guys.  But what we do is we really focus on what we do well, which is production.  The production.  And we believe that is going to translate through to when these guys get into the NFL.  And what we we’ve done is we relied on those grids and that production to drive what we do.

So everything that you’re going to see is going to be pretty much different than what you’ve seen anywhere else, because we are not trying to, in any way, shape or form get us what the NFL teams are going to do.  We are going to tell you what we would do.  And that’s I think the fundamental difference.

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  I’m the senior analyst with Pro Football Focus.  I’m here to represent all the analysts that put the work into making this happen and to actually thank Neil and Cris for helping this to happen.  When I joined Pro Football Focus in 2011, definitely a dream of mine and others within the company was that we could someday be able to grade every single player in college football and every single play.  And the hard work of all the analysts over 30,000 man hours to make it happen.  It’s been a thrilling, challenging, but just amazing process now to see it ‑‑ to see all the data and see it all in front of us.  And to put it to good use in the Draft.  I’m just excited to be here and thanks to Cris and Neil for making it all happen.

FRED GAUDELLI:  The thing that really made this attractive to me, in my former life I was the producer of 12 NFL Drafts at ESPN.  And I got to work closely with Mel Kiper and other good analysts that ESPN has.  But when I found out that somebody had actually watched every single play of every single draft-eligible player, and every single game, that really piqued my interest, because to my knowledge no one had ever done that, certainly not when I was at ESPN. I don’t think anyone is making the claim now at the networks.  That piqued my interest.

And what furthered my interest, is some of the advanced metrics that PFF has come up with, whether it’s pass rushing or grading the quarterbacks, and obviously that’s a big topic this year with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.  So to me, I saw a distinctive difference between what they could provide and what everyone else is doing, and hopefully you guys will see that difference on Monday night, as well.

Cris, ask about the quarterbacks, especially the Titans, do you see that being a good fit for them?  Appreciate the work you guys do, I use you regularly.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH: Marcus Mariota for me is a guy that just keeps moving up.  I don’t think I understood what Oregon was all about, and what Mariota was all about, until I really started watching the tape of him.  You tend to think of him as being sort of this borderline wishbone offense, with a lot of action stuff.

But you watch Mariota drop back in the pocket and he has movement skills and left to right vision going through his reads in a way I just didn’t expect to see.  And then when you point blank compare release times and the ability to get the football out of his hands between these two quarterbacks, Mariota is actually better and quicker with the release.  You add that to a clean history, you add that to obviously a smart guy, and somebody that you want to be the face of your franchise.

I was really big on Winston all the way through this. He looks like a Ben Roethlisberger- type player, the ability of people to bounce off him, and make plays from the packet, which I think is still the No. 1 way to win games in the National Football League.  Mariota, the more you watch him and especially when I saw the comparison of the release times that you’ll see coming up on this program, he makes a big jump in my mind.

Was it a no‑brainer for you, for [th Titans] to take Mariota?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I just think the gap is so big, and if you’re thinking quarterback at all, I think you’ve got to at least consider this guy.  He’s won a lot of football games.  He doesn’t turn the ball over.  He has an occasional wildness to him, that every once in a while he’ll make one of those throws that you’ll think.  Where did that come from?  I’ve seen Brett Favre and a few of those other guys make those throws, and Tom Brady at times.

So I just think the importance of the position and where they are at this point, would I do it, I would probably do it.  At the very least I think someone is going to jump to No. 2 in the trade and get him.  You should listen to my other guys.  They’ve watched every single guy he’s played.

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  With Mariota, I second what Cris said.  I kind of came into watching every one of his throws wanting to pigeonhole him as a player.  But I think the more you watch him and you see him actually go through progressions and his staple throw is like the backside post, the backside dig route.  He does that well.  The Oregon offense helps him a lot.  I think when he transitions to the NFL you do need a coach like what happened with RG III, and Colin Kaepernick in his case in 2012, you want a coach that is going to play to their strengths.

Mariota does a lot of NFL things in the pocket.  He’s not just a runaround and make plays type of guy.  He does have that to him.  He’s a dynamic runner, sometimes he gets in trouble with it, he tries to get a little too much and fumbles.  But he does take care of the ball pretty well, hasn’t thrown a lot of interceptions.  The way we grade it, we’re looking at where the actual throw went, not if it was intercepted or not.  We’re looking at the quality of the throw.  He protects the ball for the most part as a passer.  You have to play to his strengths.  Let him run the ball a little bit, work off of play action, and I think he could be a pretty good QB.

It’s been fun going back.  We have only 2014 data.  I had to go back and look at Winston and Mariota in 2013 to see the comparison.  And there’s a lot of interesting stuff that we found and interesting stuff that we’re going to be talking about Monday night.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  Steve, just tell him a little bit about your 2013 findings on Winston.  You really think that he’s going to be the No. 1 pick more based on ‘13 than ‘14, right?

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  I had to go back and watch 2013, because during this entire draft process, I’m asking ‘How is Jameis Winston a lock for the No. 1 overall pick?’ That’s all I’m hearing, he’s a lock.  He did not play like that last season.  It didn’t show in our grade.  It didn’t show in his statistics.  Definitely took too many chances.  He did not look like a first-round quarterback.  I had obviously seen his 2013 as a fan or in passing, and remembered it as being very good.  But when I went back on a throw‑by‑throw basis, I was blown away with how good he was, especially early.  The first seven or eight games he was off the chart, unbelievable quarterback play.  When I went back and graded it, his 2013 was by far the best graded ‑‑ would have been the best graded season this year amongst quarterbacks.  It wasn’t even close.

So now I went back and revisited and said, okay, he took a big step back in 2014.  He was off the charts in 2013.  If I’m looking at No. 1, I’m okay with saying I’ve seen the talent, I’ve seen that upside.  I’m going to take a chance on him, because I’ve seen what he’s able to do, a little bit of Eli Manning in him, where he’s had good seasons, bad seasons.  I think that’s actually worth taking a risk on, because the good can be really, really good.

I’m interested in the receiver class.  For you, Cris, obviously you kind of were there for last year, your thought about the prospects this year versus the breakout group we had last year.  And I’m kind of interested mostly beyond Parker, White and Cooper, guys like Perriman, et cetera, your thoughts on them, if you have some ‑‑ maybe if you have some wisdom on that.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I’ve got to tell you I’ve watched receiver classes for a long time.  And yes, the one last year was very good.  I think this has a chance to be the best draft class that certainly I’ve ever seen since I’ve been studying it for however long that’s been ‑‑ too long, I guess.

But there are guys up and down the board, if someone is going to hit, if Dorial Green‑Beckham ends up being able to keep himself straight and a player, Breshad Perriman from Central Florida can play at a 4.2 level, which apparently he ran at his pro day.  I typically go through what I think are the first two rounds, guys, and then how they fall after that, I’ll rely on Neil and Steve to tell me all about them.

I couldn’t believe how many receivers I watched and thought they were first-round times.  I got down to about 11 players that I thought had first-round ability.  And sort of the sad part about this is that I think you’re going to see in this draft really top end players fall to the second round because teams are going to say I’m going to take an offensive tackle or a pass rusher in the first round, because this draft is so deep in receiver, even in the second round I’m going to get a great player, and there are some really good ones.  You’ll go down the list and these guys will take you through it and I agree the top three are going to be talked about.

If I had to pick two wild cards out of the thing, I think Nelson Agholor from USC has a chance.  If he plays with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady he’ll have a hundred catches.  He’s as good a catch and run guy, as tough a guy as I’ve seen.  And Phillip Dorsett out of Miami can run by pro corners.  He has a burst and he has speed unlike ‑‑ you just don’t see it on tape like this.  And then he showed a tough guy edge during the program, as well.  These are some guys that I think are really going to be outstanding players, and I’m really excited to watch this wide receiver class.

NEIL HORNSBY:  We were talking about what Cris is saying about the receiver class.  The Baltimore Ravens want to take a wide receiver, they have only got Steve Smith left.  And Devin Smith, everybody has talked about Torrey Smith ‑‑ if you need a guy to adjust to a thrown ball, who better than Devin Smith?  Torrey Smith this year had 13 catchable balls, he actually dropped 5.

Devin Smith, with 18 catchable balls, he dropped one.  This guy is a flying machine, and he adjusts to the ball, the totally thrown ball as well as anybody.  And I think he could easily surpass a number of the players that may have been slated to go higher than him.

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  Just to add to what they have said, I love the wide receiver class as well.  Each of these wide receivers seem to bring a little bit something different to the table.  Cris mentioned Agholor, we’re really high on him.  Jaelen Strong is a guy that doesn’t do everything well, but probably goes up and he’s as well as anybody.  Dorial Green‑Beckham does the same.  Perriman is just an interesting case because he played with such core.

Quarterback play, love Devin Smith.  When we were going through our mock draft which is what are we going to do, what would we do as PFF if we’re in the room making these decisions?  We had a hard time keeping a lot of wide receivers out of the first round.  We kept coming back to, well, here is a wide receiver on the board.  Having these wide receiver classes, as good as they are, potentially really a game changer for the league, where I think it’s going to help mask some average QB play over the next few years, if a lot of these guys pan out.

Cris and Steve both mentioned Dorial Green‑Beckham.  If the off‑the‑field stuff wasn’t there is he a top‑10 or better, in your opinion?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  Yeah, probably so, even though there are so many other talented guys, I mean you just couldn’t ‑‑ I can’t help but think of Randy Moss a little bit.  He’s nowhere close to Randy Moss’ speed, but it’s that same sort of decision, if you can remember like Jerry Jones backing off of Randy Moss.  And I think for the rest of his life he always wondered sort of what if I had taken him in that position, because the off‑the‑field stuff and all that.  Dez Bryant had off‑the‑field stuff and look at what he’s turned into.  It’s going to be a really interesting decision.

And I’ve got to tell you, I can’t put these guys in order.  There’s almost no order that somebody could come up with that I would go, that’s just foolish.  I personally think Kevin White is the best receiver in this class, kind of a Julio Jones kind of looking guy.  But it wouldn’t surprise me if we had a couple, three guys in the Pro Bowl out of this rookie class next year.

In terms of the 49ers, I wanted to get your assessment on their wide receivers.  They’ve got a hole to fill after this off season.  But wide receivers seem to be a perennial with them.  Just kind of your assessment on the receiving part and why it’s so hard to draft someone?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  They also had Joe Montana and Steve Youngs of the world, too, you know.  Hand in hand and some guy named Bill Walsh, too.  So I’m really going to be interested in seeing what new offensive is going to look like.  Because you certainly ‑‑ you’ve got Colin Kaepernick in this case with a unique skill set.  He’s been working with Kurt Warner and some of the guys to tighten up the motion.  I thought he had a few accuracy issues a year ago.  But do you then go out and get some of these guys that may be able to play.  Jaelen Strong, Breshad Perriman, Kevin White, somebody that can go up and make plays, where everything doesn’t have to be pinpoint accurate, in order for it to be effective.

But if you were going to take a chance on a wide receiver class, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some team that needed wide receivers took two.  Took one in the first round and took one in the second round.  Because you could sort of set yourself up for a number of years, between that position and some of the pass rushers that are in this draft, to really be set with some star players.  But I do think there will be a couple of teams thinking we could take one in the first round and maybe get one even better in the second round, depending on how they come out.

What’s the deal with Chris Conley?  Why is he not coming on board?  Looking at all these wide receivers, Chris Conley’s name is usually down there a little bit.  Why isn’t he higher on the board?

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  We didn’t really have him graded amongst the best.  He only played a little over 600 snaps.  I think ‑‑ his rise really happened in February in the Combine.  I think that’s where he really made his rise.  And again, we’re going ‑‑ personally we’re looking at production, and how well they played on the field.  We try to stay away from a lot of the measurable stuff.  I know he’s an intriguing guy because he’s so big and so athletic.  And to me a big part of it is just how deep the class is.

We have, as Cris said, 10, 11, 15 guys that are legit, top‑round talent.  He’s a good player, probably gets lost in the mix and probably gets overrated a little bit because of that athleticism.

Just wonder specifically about the Texans.  Last year they had the No. 1 overall pick.  And in 2013 they went 2-14 and really had ‑‑ seemed like only had three players left on their roster from that entire draft.

Cris, for you and the other guys, if you’re looking at this big picture, whether you’re the Patriots or Baltimore or the Texans, how important is for you to find value when you have an opportunity, not to “blow it” and can the draft really be a separating factor between the teams that annually figure out and some of the ones that don’t, like maybe Jacksonville or Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, always seem to be at the bottom tier of the league.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I think if you look at the playoffs, it’s basically the same quarterbacks that are in the playoffs every single year.  Until you get that position figured out I don’t know that a lot else matters.  Can one of these guys step up and be that level of quarterback?  I would have to see that in order for it to happen.  And then you have to ask yourself, ‘Okay, how much ‑‑ if you’re not going to be a quarterback‑driven team — are you really going to spend that much capital on wide receivers, when you could probably, in the second or third round, get a guy that sort of fits the need?’  And then go ahead and add somebody and all the guys you have playing on defense, and try to be the Baltimore Ravens or somebody, and win it that way.

I’ve heard a lot of coaches over the years say that they tend to build on one side of the ball or the other.  That if you’re mediocre or average on both sides of the ball you lose a lot of football games.  So I think you’ll see some teams that build the defense, some teams that build the offense.  And I know it’s not exciting to think about.  But I’m not so sure that this franchise shouldn’t be built around some of the players they’ve got on the defensive side.

Cris, I was going to ask you about rankings over receivers, but you said it would be awfully difficult.  I was wondering if you thought the Dolphins move from Wallace and Hartline to Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills as a wash, an upgrade, a downgrade?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I don’t know.  The hard thing with Greg is you almost have to see him year to year at this age.  Stills can play, I don’t worry about that.  I like this offense.  We didn’t get to do one of their games this year, but I like a lot of the stuff that they do.  There’s not Philadelphia stuff in there, and there’s some things that I really like, and the mobility of the offensive line, getting Pouncey I back to center is going to help this team, obviously.

Do I think they could still upgrade the wide receiver position this year?  Yeah, I think they’re still going to end up needing a guy that’s a consistent playmaker.  And for them maybe it’s one of these guys that goes up over the top, one of the guys that really shows the ability.  There’s some big guys that make plays, Perriman is the guy, Parker, White, Strong, Larry Fitzgerald kind of players, where then they’ve got others that are smaller, the Devin Smiths, the Dorsetts that are smaller, quicker kind of guys, Beckham, there’s a lot of free offense that comes from ‑‑ back in my day, you had to get open to get the ball thrown to you.  You had to have a step on somebody.

The way they play now, in sort of the post Larry Fitzgerald when he came in the league, as long as they’re one‑on‑one, just throw it.  Let these guys go up and make a play.  Let them just jump up over somebody, and you have to think that maybe that frees you up a little bit.  It gives you a deep threat without having to run by somebody all the time.  And it’s always easy to say give me at 4.3 guy, but there is an alternative with the way the game is being played now, and that’s why I think you’ll see such a big run on these receivers, because there’s about five of them up here that just play above the rest.

You have another receivers question.  Talk about the depth of last year’s last class and this year’s class.  My question is, why is this happening?  What are the changes at the college game or whatever, that are yielding all these top prospects for the NFL?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  You know, you want to address maybe that one, or maybe it’s more about the decline of the running back position, and kids want to play there instead of some of the other positions.

NEIL HORNSBY:  I think the other thing is just the personnel in the NFL league is the three receiver package.  And that’s why these kids are going to get a chance.  When you look at teams they’re now looking at saying, well, maybe two receivers, no I want three receivers.  I want to be able to give my guy options all over.  We see great guys coming through.  Don’t be surprised to see four or five teams in the NFL playing three very, very good receivers and 11 personnel.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  Could we switch over a bit?  Neil Hornsby has done some pretty remarkable things on the pass rushers coming out in this draft.  And the depth of the data that Pro Football Focus can put forth on defensive players and individual players in the pass rush and these sort of things. Neil can you do a little bit of that for everybody?

NEIL HORNSBY:  Sure.  So one of the things about pass rushers that always used to be interesting was that a pass rusher was judged by the number of sacks they got, and that was pretty much it.  People started adding in things like hits.  You started to realize that actual pressure on the quarterback is probably one of the most important things.  You don’t just have to sack him.  If you can put pressure on the quarterbacks statistically, they go down from a 97 NFL rating in the pocket to a 65 NFL rating outside (with pressure on them) ‑‑ and that’s the equivalent of turning Tom Brady into Blake Bortles on every single play that you’re doing.

Getting pressure on the quarterback is the most important thing.  Sacks are great.  Nobody is going to stay there and get sacked, statistically, a very small portion of the picture.  But then you come in and you say, well, okay, so not all sacks are created equal.  It was the difference between getting the sack in 2.5 seconds, or 4.5.  Then you go on and you say, not every pass rushing situation is created equal.  So there’s a difference between a guy who comes in and rushes the passer the third or fourth down, when they don’t have to concern themselves about a run, and somebody who is having to rush on first and second downs, as well.  What we’ve managed to do because we have all that data is to be able to take it on a play‑by‑play basis, the actual opportunity to get pressure, and how much pressure was of use.

So we’ve been able to work with a number of NFL teams to come up with new metrics on passer productivity.  We considered every single metric that we can, and we’ve brought it in.  And then we’ve taken the NCAA level and looked and said, okay, so in order, here’s was a guy, you know, it was always willing to be an example where the guy comes inside.

So what our system did is we can look up pass rushing productivity from both positions on the level playing field, and we’ve been able to work with a number of NFL teams giving them this data to help them to make better decisions in both free agency and the draft.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  It helps you compare a Jordan Phillips and a Danny Shelton to a Leonard Williams and a Dante Fowler and a Randy Gregory, right?

NEIL HORNSBY:  That’s exactly what it does.

 

COMCAST SPORTSNET & CSNCHICAGO.COM TO PROVIDE EXTENSIVE, WEEK-LONG COVERAGE OF THE 2015 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage begins with the “SportsNet Central: AT&T Road to the Draft” preview show, airing this Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 PM CT!

Chicago, IL (April 24, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television and online home for the most in-depth Chicago Bears coverage all year long, is ready to deliver extensive coverage of next week’s 2015 NFL Draft (to be held in Chicago for the first time since 1964), highlighted by a pair of half-hour SportsNet Central NFL Draft specials, nightly reports on SportsNet Central, extensive Round 1 draft night coverage (including a remote edition of SportsTalk Live from Tavern at the Park in downtown Chicago & a 90-minute Bears Draft Special to air on CSN+), along with 24/7 NFL Draft coverage on CSNChicago.com.  Please note Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com’s 2015 NFL Draft coverage schedule beginning this Sunday, April 26:

SUNDAY, APRIL 26

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: AT&T U-verse Road to the DraftThis half-hour NFL Draft preview show, hosted by Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), along with Bears Pre/Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller (@15miller) and SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt, will provide a detailed recap of the Bears off-season, which included the hiring of new Bears GM Ryan Pace and new Head Coach John Fox, interviews with Bears players/coaches/front office execs, along Miller and Wannstedt providing their expert thoughts on which areas the team needs to improve upon and which potentially available players can fill those spots with on-field success.

MONDAY, APRIL 27 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central Chris Boden, Jim Miller, and Dave Wannstedt will continue to provide nightly reports on the latest NFL Draft news and rumors leading up to Round 1 of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

THURSDAY, APRIL 30 – NFL DRAFT DAY COVERAGE presented by MILLER LITE

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado – Host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and a panel of Bears/NFL experts will set the table for a full night of comprehensive NFL Draft coverage with a special remote edition of SportsTalk Live to be held at Tavern in the Park in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – Kip Lewis (@csnkiplewis), along with Dave Wannstedt and former Bears director of college scouting/current National Football Post columnist Greg Gabriel (@greggabe), will provide the latest draft updates, player analysis, and preview all Bears potential first round (#7 overall) candidates.  In addition, SportsNet Central’s Bears beat reporter Jen Lada (@JenLada) will provide live updates from the Draft (being held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University), along with additional reports from Halas Hall via Chris Boden and CSNChicago.com’s Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin).

7:30 PM – BEARS DRAFT CENTRAL brought to you by Miller Lite  (NOTE: This Chicago Bears-produced special will air on CSN+; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER  for the exact CSN+ channel location in their area) (TO ALSO BE STREAMED LIVE ON CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com) – Chris Boden, along with “Bears Pre/Postgame Live” analyst Dan Jiggetts and ChicagoBears.com’s Larry Mayer, will host a 90-minute, comprehensive Bears/NFL Draft night special LIVE FROM HALAS HALL featuring detailed pick-by-pick analysis, live press conference coverage featuring Bears GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach John Fox, a live interview with the Bears #1 pick from the Bears Draft Party in Millennium Park, and much more.

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralComplete Round 1 NFL Draft recap featuring up-to-the-minute player and team news, interviews, and analysis via Kip Lewis, Dave Wannstedt, Greg Gabriel, Jen Lada, Chris Boden and John ‘Moon’ Mullin, along with a look ahead at the potential Bears picks on Friday (Rounds 2-3) and Saturday (Rounds 4-7).

FRIDAY, MAY 1 – SATURDAY, MAY 2

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central Complete coverage of Rounds 2-7 over the weekend featuring detailed analysis of every Bears draft pick, along player highlights, interviews, and more.

SUNDAY, MAY 3

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: Draft Special Chris Boden, along with Bears Pre/Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller and SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt, will assess the entire draft from both a Bears and overall league perspective.  The show will also feature interviews with Bears management with their reflections on the draft.

In addition to the extensive coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com for even more comprehensive 24/7 NFL Draft coverage (presented by AT&T U-verse), including the following highlights:

  • For a deeper look at potential NFL draftees, fans need to check out CSNChicago.com’s comprehensive “Road to the Draft”  section (presented by AT&T U-verse), featuring over 200 extensive player draft profiles, including video analysis for players projected to go in the first two rounds provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft analyst Josh Norris.
  • In addition, CSNChicago.com’s “Road to the Draft” section will be the home for everything NFL Draft-related throughout the week, including instant reaction and analysis during the draft with updated profiles, an up-close look on how the draft affects the Bears rivals in the NFC North, along with a detailed draft overview of the entire NFL.
  • Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin) will file daily reports leading up to and throughout the 2015 NFL Draft from Halas Hall, featuring the latest news and on-camera reports.  Plus, CSNChicago.com Bears digital reporter Scott Krinch (@scottiekrinch) will be covering the Draft from Roosevelt University and will provide a number of “digital exclusives,” including coverage of the “NFL Draft Gold Carpet” event on Thursday night.
  • Fans can chat NFL Draft and potential Bears moves by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsTalk and by visiting the “Bears Pulse” page at CSNChicago.com.  For 24/7 Bears/NFL Draft updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBears.
  • CSNChicago.com will profile numerous mock drafts from a number of CSN anchors and reporters.
  • CSNChicago.com will work closely with NBC Sports and “Pro Football Talk” throughout the week for additional nationally-based NFL Draft content.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, CSN delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as the Chicago Bears, along with Emmy Award-winning regional sports news and analysis via SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live.  Through the network’s growing digital platform, CSNChicago.com, Chicago sports fans tap into the most comprehensive and dedicated 24/7 online destination for breaking news, up-to-the-minute game previews/recaps, highlights, multimedia video clips, blogs and standout coverage from CSNChicago.com’s team of “Insiders.”  Follow the network on Twitter via @CSNChicago.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consist of 11 regional networks that deliver more than 2,400 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 43 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, which serves Baltimore and Washington D.C., Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and SportsNet New York. For more information, visit ComcastSportsNet.com. For more information about NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

 ####

DAYS 10-12 – NBC SPORTS GROUP’S “NHL PLAYOFF PASS”

Game 5 – (4) Penguins-(1) Rangers – Rangers Lead 3-1 – Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Game 5 – (4) Senators-(1) Canadiens – Canadiens Lead 3-1 – Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on CNBC

Game 5 – (4) Wild-(1) Blues – Series Tied 2-2 – Tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Saturday’s Telecast Schedule and Game Commentators Announced

Coverage of 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship Begins Sunday; Team USA vs. Russia at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra

 

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 24, 2015 – Tonight’s 7 p.m. ET coverage on NBCSN and CNBC features a pair of elimination games in the Eastern Conference, as the (1) New York Rangers and (1) Montreal Canadiens look advance in the bracket to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Game 5 victories.

Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers host Sidney Crosby and the (4) Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as the Rangers look to eliminate the Penguins from the postseason for the second straight year. Coverage on CNBC begins at 7 p.m. ET, as P.K. Subban and the Canadiens look to close out their first-round series against Erik Karlsson and the (4) Ottawa Senators in Montreal.

Game 5 coverage continues at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, when David Backes and the (1) St. Louis Blues host Zach Parise and the (4) Minnesota Wild, with their series tied at two games apiece.

******************************************************************************

“NHL Playoff Pass” on NBC Sports Group Press Box provides a quick daily overview of Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, plus information and highlights. The Pass will be published weekdays to preview that evening’s games. Friday editions will include weekend information.

******************************************************************************

All Stanley Cup Playoff games will be presented on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide streaming coverage of games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”

For more information on NBC Sports Group’s overall NHL Playoff coverage, please click here.


TONIGHT – APRIL 24

NHL Live begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, hosted by Liam McHugh with analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones. Host Dave Briggs will anchor CNBC’s studio coverage alongside analyst and former player Anson Carter.


THE PASS – FRIDAY, APRIL 24-SUNDAY, APRIL 26 (All times ET)

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 24

Time Coverage Network Commentators
6:30 p.m. NHL Live NBCSN Liam McHugh, Jeremy
Roenick, Keith Jones
7 p.m. Game 5 – (4) Pittsburgh at (1) N.Y. Rangers NBCSN Gord Miller, Pierre
McGuire
7 p.m. Game 5 – (4) Ottawa at (1) Montreal CNBC Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson,
Glenn Healy, David Amber
  NHL Live (Intermission Reports) CNBC Dave Briggs,
Anson Carter
9:30 p.m. Game 5 – (4) Minnesota at (1) St. Louis NBCSN Dave Strader,
Brian Engblom

SATURDAY, APRIL 25

Time Coverage Network Commentators
3 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Washington at (3) N.Y. Islanders NBC Chris Cuthbert,
Joe Micheletti
6 p.m. Game 5 – (3) Detroit at (2) Tampa Bay NBCSN John Forslund,
Andy Brickley
NHL Live (Intermission reports) NBC Liam McHugh, Mike
Milbury, Keith Jones
8 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Nashville at (3) Chicago NBC Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie
Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
9 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Vancouver at (3) Calgary NBCSN Jim Hughson, Craig
Simpson, Scott Oake

SUNDAY, APRIL 26

Time Coverage Network Commentators
3 p.m. Game 6* – (1) N.Y. Rangers at (4) Pittsburgh NBC TBD
TBD Game 6* – (1) Montreal at (4) Ottawa TBD TBD
TBD Game 6 – (1) St. Louis at (4) Minnesota TBD TBD

*if necessary

 
GAME 5 – (4) PENGUINS-(1) RANGERS – TONIGHT AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – RANGERS LEAD 3-1

The Rangers look to eliminate the Penguins from the postseason for the second straight year with a Game 5 victory in New York. All four games in the series have been decided by one goal, including the Rangers’ overtime win in Game 4 in Pittsburgh, as rookie Kevin Hayes scored on a rebound to give New York the victory and a 3-1 series lead. Last year, the Rangers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to the Penguins, rattling off three straight wins to eliminate Pittsburgh.

Gord Miller (play-by-play) and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Madison Square Garden in New York.


GAME 5 – (4) SENATORS-(1) CANADIENS – TONIGHT AT 7 P.M. ET ON CNBC – CANADIENS LEAD 3-1

The Canadiens return to Montreal in hopes of closing out their series with a Game 5 win over the Senators. Ottawa avoided elimination with a 1-0 win in Game 4, led by Mike Hoffman’s game-winner midway through the third period, and a 28-save shutout by goaltender Craig Anderson.

Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Glenn Healy, and David Amber will call the action from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Que.
GAME 5 – (4) WILD-(1) BLUES – TONIGHT AT 9:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – SERIES TIED 2-2

The Blues’ series with the Wild shifts back to St. Louis tonight for Game 5, as David Backes’ club looks to build off of a road win in Game 4. Backes and Paul Stastny scored their first goals of the series, while Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice to total five goals in four games against Minnesota, as the Blues defeated Minnesota 6-1.

Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

If tonight’s Penguins-Rangers game on NBCSN runs past 9:45 p.m. ET, into the start of Wild-Blues, puck drop of Wild-Blues will be shown live on NHL Network until Penguins-Rangers has concluded. Wild-Blues will return to NBCSN immediately following the conclusion of Penguins-Rangers.


SATURDAY, APRIL 25

 

GAME 6 – (2) CAPITALS-(3) ISLANDERS – SATURDAY AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBC – CAPITALS LEAD 3-2

John Tavares and the (3) New York Islanders look to stave off elimination on Saturday afternoon in their Game 6 matchup with Alex Ovechkin and the (2) Washington Capitals at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. The Caps took a 3-2 series lead with a 5-1 win over the Isles on Thursday night in Washington. A Caps victory would eliminate the Islanders and mark the final game in Nassau Coliseum, as the Isles will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year.

Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play) and Joe Micheletti (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.


GAME 5 – (3) RED WINGS-(2) LIGHTNING – SATURDAY AT 6 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – SERIES TIED 2-2

The (2) Tampa Bay Lightning and (3) Detroit Red Wings face off in Game 5 of their series on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with their series tied at two games apiece, after a furious Game 4 comeback led by Lightning forward Tyler Johnson. Johnson scored Tampa Bay’s first goal in the third period, assisted on the tying goal just 1:17 later, and scored the game-winner in overtime to shock the Red Wings, giving Tampa Bay the 3-2 win.

John Forslund (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.


GAME 6 – (2) PREDATORS-(3) BLACKHAWKS – SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBC – BLACKHAWKS LEAD 3-2

Jonathan Toews and the (3) Chicago Blackhawks look to close out their first-round series against Pekka Rinne and the (2) Nashville Predators on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Chicago leads the series 3-2, but the Predators fought off elimination with a 4-1 Game 5 win on Thursday, led by a hat trick from rookie forward Filip Forsberg.

Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from United Center in Chicago, Ill.


GAME 6 – (2) CANUCKS-(3) FLAMES – SATURDAY AT 9 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – FLAMES LEAD 3-2

Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames look to eliminate Ryan Miller and the (2) Vancouver Canucks with a Game 6 win Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Miller kept Vancouver alive with a win in Game 5, stopping 21 of 22 shots in a 2-1 victory.

Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake will call the action from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.

If Saturday evening’s Lightning-Red Wings game on NBCSN runs past 9:11 p.m. ET, into the start of Canucks-Flames, puck drop of Canucks-Flames will be shown live on NHL Network until Lightning-Red Wings has concluded. Canucks-Flames will return to NBCSN immediately following the conclusion of Lightning-Red Wings.


SUNDAY, APRIL 26

Sunday’s game telecast schedule has yet to be finalized. The NHL will release Sunday’s full telecast schedule following the conclusion of tonight’s games.


COVERAGE OF 2015 IPC PARALYMPIC SLED HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS SUNDAY; TEAM USA VS. RUSSIA AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

NBC Sports Group’s unprecedented coverage of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship begins this Sunday with four matchups on NBC Sports Live Extra, highlighted by a rematch of the 2014 Olympic gold-medal game, when Team USA faces Russia at 8 p.m. ET.

Click here for more information and full telecast and streaming schedule of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship.

 

COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE

Comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports Regional Networks, available in more than 50 million U.S. households. Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will provide the hometown fans of the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals, respectively, with comprehensive coverage throughout their teams’ Stanley Cup Playoff runs, including exclusive regional coverage of first-round games, pre- and post-game shows and extensive on-line coverage via Comcast SportsNet’s team of NHL Insiders.

For teams that advance past the first round, NBC Sports Regional Networks will deliver extensive pre- and post-game coverage as well as breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.


NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA
COVERAGE

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream comprehensive coverage of games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC on NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

— NBC Sports Group —