NBC Viewership for Stanley Cup Playoffs up 23%; Det-Chi Game 4 Sunday on NBC
“The home ice crowd in Chicago is a huge ally for the Blackhawks.” – NBC’s McGuire
NEW YORK – May 21, 2009 – The defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, who won the first two games of this best-of-seven series on home ice (Game 3 is tomorrow night), visit “Original Six” rival the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on NBC. Hockey Hall of Famer Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site in Chicago.
“Chicago can definitely get back in this series,” said McGuire. “The home ice crowd in Chicago is a huge ally for the Blackhawks. It’s going to be really important for them to score early and keep the crowd in it.
“I don’t think Chicago has been overmatched; they can play with Detroit. It’s going to be key for Patrick Kane to find a way to break down Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski.”
The Blackhawks have captivated the Windy City in reaching the Conference Final for the first time in 14 years. Detroit is seeking to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second year in a row. The teams opened NBC’s 2009 schedule on New Year’s Day in the NHL Winter Classic from historic Wrigley Field, which became the most-viewed NHL regular season game in 34 years.
NBC VIEWERSHIP SHOWS 23 PERCENT INCREASE: NBC Sports’ broadcast of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has averaged 1.8 million viewers, a 23 percent increase over last year (1.4 million) through the first weekend of the Conference Final.
NBCSPORTS.COM and NHL.COM PRESENT “STAR-CAM”: NBCSports.com and NHL.com will offer a “Star-cam” in conjunction with NBC Sports’ broadcasts, which will follow one player on each team throughout each of his shifts. Following the game, NBCSports.com will present a post-game show with game highlights and highlights from “Star-cam” and “Net-cam,” along with analysis from McGuire and Milbury.
STANLEY CUP FINAL ON NBC: NBC Sports will broadcast coverage of up to five Stanley Cup Final games (Games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7). Dates will be announced by the NHL at the conclusion of the two Conference Final series.
ON NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE:
ESPN.com: “The NHL has never looked or sounded better in its free, on-the-air history.”
ON THE INSIDE-THE-GLASS POSITION CREATED BY NBC PRODUCER SAM FLOOD:
Newsday: “Innovative…now widely copied.”
Toronto Sun: “One of the best recent innovations in hockey telecasts.”
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT NBC’S COVERAGE:
NY Daily News: “The top spot among hockey broadcasters.”
NY Post: “His dead-on descriptions, devoted application of history and superb sense of all moments are superior in the chronicles of any form of live broadcasting.”
Boston Globe: “Never shy with an opinion…a quote machine.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: “Pierre McGuire’s verbal sparring with Milbury has been nothing short of classic theater.”
NY Daily News: “Mike Milbury has brought reality — and a sharp edge — to the Peacock’s NHL studio. He also has displayed something many analysts — in all sports — lack: guts.”
Toronto Sun: “Excels as an ice-level analyst.”
Newsday: “A bundle of energy and a born schmoozer.”
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