NBC & NBCSN Combine to Cover Stanley Cup Final for 11th Straight Year; Playoffs Begin Wednesday, April 13
NBC to Present Primetime NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Games Following Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes For First Time
NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and NHL Network to Carry All Games
NBC to Air Up to Nine Primetime Playoff Games, Tied For Most-Ever Since Acquiring NHL Rights in 2005
NBC Sports Live Extra to Provide Comprehensive Streaming Coverage of 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs
NBC Sports Regional Networks to Air Live Coverage of First-Round Games & Comprehensive Local Team Coverage
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 6, 2016 – For the fifth consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will be presented nationally across the platforms of NBC Sports Group and select NBCUniversal networks. During April, May, and June, NBC Sports Group will televise as many as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming. It all begins one week from today on Wednesday, April 13.
This year is the 11th consecutive season that NBC and NBCSN will combine to cover the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and NBC is scheduled to present up to nine primetime games, tied for the most since acquiring NHL television rights in 2005. This year also marks the first time that NBC will present Stanley Cup Playoff games in primetime immediately following coverage of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Coverage will be presented on NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network, as well as NBCUniversal’s USA Network, the No. 1 cable entertainment network, and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s widely-distributed business channel. USA Network will present NHL Stanley Cup Playoff coverage for the second consecutive season on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, after its return to Stanley Cup Playoff coverage last year for the first time since 1985. CNBC has provided Stanley Cup Playoff coverage since 2012, and will televise games Thursday through Monday nights, when necessary. USA and CNBC will be utilized during first- and second-round coverage only.
NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will provide complete streaming coverage of every game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs that is televised by NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, and CNBC.
Locally, NBC Sports Regional Networks will surround the Blackhawks (CSN Chicago), Capitals (CSN Mid-Atlantic), Bruins (CSN New England), Sharks (CSN California), and Flyers (CSN Philadelphia) with first-round game coverage and in-depth live-event news coverage.* NBCSports.com will provide comprehensive online coverage of the playoffs with online-only video, contributions from Comcast SportsNet insiders, and constant news updates from ProHockeyTalk. (*Contingent upon which teams qualify for the playoffs)
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS CONFERENCE CALL
NBC Sports Group will host a conference call with members of its NHL on-air team following the regular season either Monday, April 11, or Tuesday, April 12. An advisory will be distributed when details are finalized.
THIRD SEASON OF PLAYOFF FORMAT WITH EMPHASIS ON BRACKETS FOR FANS FEATURES DIVISION RIVAL MATCHUPS
For the third straight season, the NHL is employing a playoff format that features a fixed bracket for fans to fill out and predict who will advance in each round, pitting Division rivals against one another in the first two rounds:
- The top three finishers in each Division automatically qualify and are designated No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds. Among the remaining teams in each Conference, the two teams with the best records qualify as Wild Cards and are designated as Wild Card 1 and Wild Card 2.
- The first two rounds are Divisional brackets. In Round 1, the No. 1 seeds face off against the two Wild Card teams, while the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds from each Division play each other. The winners of those series in each Division then play to advance to the Conference Finals.
- Within each Conference, the Wild Card team with the better record will be assigned to the bracket of the Divisional leader with the lesser record.
- Home-ice advantage through the first two rounds goes to the higher seeded team, regardless of regular-season records.
- For the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, home-ice advantage goes to the team with the better regular-season record.
Every first-round Stanley Cup Playoff game will be televised on a national platform.
In order to televise as many as four games on a given day/night, NBC Sports Group will utilize NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and the NHL Network to carry first-round games.
NBCSN will be the primary home of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, offering coverage of one or two games virtually every night of the first round. NBC will present seven exclusive first-round broadcasts during the weekends of April 16-17 and April 23-24, including a Saturday primetime broadcast on Saturday, April 23, at 8 p.m. ET.
USA Network, CNBC, and NHL Network will also provide live coverage in primetime. USA Network will host games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, while CNBC will air games Thursday through Monday nights, when necessary. Games airing on NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and the NHL Network will be subject to local blackouts in the first round. NBC has exclusivity throughout the playoffs.
NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup Playoff exclusivity originates with the second round and continues through the Stanley Cup Final. All games will air exclusively on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, or CNBC.
In addition, for the first time ever, NBC will present a second-round Stanley Cup Playoff game immediately following live coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, at 7:15 p.m. ET. NBC will bookend the Kentucky Derby with a game leading into Derby coverage at 12:30 p.m. ET, comprising 10 consecutive hours of NHL and Kentucky Derby coverage on NBC.
NBCSN will serve as the primary home for second-round coverage, offering one or two games virtually every night. When necessary, USA Network (Tuesday and Wednesday) and CNBC (Thursday through Monday) will provide live coverage in primetime, although less frequently than in the first round.
NBC and NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. For the first time ever, NBC will present a primetime Conference Final game immediately following live coverage of the Preakness Stakes, on Saturday, May 21, at 7:15 p.m. ET. The remaining games from both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be televised exclusively on NBCSN.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
For the 11th consecutive year, NBC and NBCSN will combine to provide exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. NBCSN will present two Stanley Cup Final games, while NBC will air up to five Stanley Cup Final contests.
Comprehensive pre-game, post-game, and intermission studio programming throughout the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will originate from NBC Sports Group’s state-of-the-art International Broadcast Center located in Stamford, Conn., except during the Stanley Cup Final, when live studio coverage will originate from the game sites.
During the first round, NBC Sports Group will operate two studio shows. On most weeknights, fans can expect NHL studio programming for games airing on NBCSN and USA Network/CNBC, sometimes simultaneously. NHL Live will usually begin one hour prior to game time, with post-game coverage airing immediately after the final game of the night.
Beginning on Thursday, April 14 at 7 a.m. ET, and continuing nearly every morning throughout the playoffs, NBCSN will air highlights of the previous night’s most exciting games.
COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE
Through the NBC Sports Regional Networks, comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports Regional Networks, available in more than 43 million U.S. households. NBC Sports Regional Networks serve the hometown fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals*. In-depth coverage for those teams advancing to the postseason includes exclusive regional coverage of first-round games, pre- and post-game shows, and extensive on-line coverage via CSN’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. (*Contingent upon which teams qualify for the playoffs)
2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ARE THIRD-MOST WATCHED IN 18 YEARS
NBC Sports Group’s 88 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff games telecast on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA Network averaged 1.430 million viewers, ranking as the third-most watched Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1997. The 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs culminated with the second-most watched Stanley Cup Final on record.
Last year’s Final, in which the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, averaged 5.551 million viewers, to rank as the second-most watched Stanley Cup Final on record.
Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff viewership.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA COVERAGE
NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will stream 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff coverage 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, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra.
In addition to its live stream coverage via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBCSports.com’s ProHockeyTalk, will anchor NBC Sports’ online and mobile coverage of the NHL playoffs.
ProHockeyTalk provides unique, informative and entertaining news, commentary and analysis — updated around the clock — on all the stories surrounding the NHL playoffs. Other NBCSports.com features will include content provided by Comcast SportsNet NHL insiders, and an NHL Playoffs Channel Finder tool that will help fans locate the times and stations for every NHL playoff broadcast. In addition, fans can vote on the top plays each night by sharing their favorite video from NBCSports.com.
NBC Sports is excited to give NHL fans and followers the best of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in real time by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and NBCSports on Snapchat with behind-the-scenes access to talent and the best moments of the Playoffs. With an extensive social media strategy, NBC Sports will hone in on the moments that makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs so special.
NBC Sports will take real-time marketing to a new level as the “Don’t Miss a Moment” movement will be taken quite literally in the social media landscape.
All of the very best Stanley Cup Moments will be posted socially within seconds, not only giving hockey fans the viral moments they crave, but also tagging these moments to help spread awareness in the most timely manner.
The respect and historic tradition that the Stanley Cup commands creates and additive layer to the “Don’t Miss a Moment” real-time social media campaign. In addition to the current Playoff moments, nostalgia and throwback content celebrating the best of the best, from Bobby Orr to Wayne Gretzky, will allow hockey fans to celebrate the legendary Stanley Cup Playoff moments that make this time of year so electric.
NBC Sports’ Stanley Cup Playoffs talent roster will get in on the social media action as well. From the booth and in the studios, the NHLonNBCSports Facebook page will be going LIVE. By utilizing the new Facebook LIVE product, fans will get closer than ever before to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff action for every night of coverage.
-NBC SPORTS GROUP-