VERSUS’ Seven-Day-a-Week Coverage Includes Double & Triple Headers; Playoff Preview Show Airs Tuesday Night at 7 PM ET
Comcast SportsNet California, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic & Philadelphia Begin Quarterfinal Coverage of Sharks, Blackhawks, Capitals & Flyers
NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com Unite To Create NHL Playoffs
NEW YORK – April 11, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group begins its comprehensive coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs this week with Conference Quarterfinal games on NBC, VERSUS and four Comcast SportsNets. NBC Sports and VERSUS, whose coverage often includes double and triple headers, will present every round of the playoffs, concluding with the Stanley Cup Final in June. Comcast SportsNet California, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia begin first-round coverage of their respective local teams this week (Sharks, Blackhawks, Capitals and Flyers). Their coverage can extend to the second round if their teams advance. In addition to television coverage, NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com are uniting to create a robust NHL playoffs digital destination for fans beginning Wednesday.
On most nights during the first two rounds VERSUS will televise at least one game, but often will have double- or triple-headers. For the Conference Quarterfinals, VERSUS’ coverage is non-exclusive and subject to local blackouts. During the Conference Semifinals, VERSUS will air two exclusive games per series in addition to many non-exclusive contests. The network will share exclusive coverage with NBC of both Conference Finals series. Coverage will culminate with the Stanley Cup Final in primetime in June with NBC broadcasting Games 1-2 and 5-7 (if necessary), and VERSUS presenting exclusive coverage of Games 3 and 4.
Comcast SportsNet California, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia will televise all of their teams’ respective games in the Quarterfinal round, except for those airing on NBC. If their respective teams advance to the second round, the Comcast SportsNets will also present Semifinal coverage, except for games chosen to air exclusively on VERSUS or NBC.
NBC SPORTS: Coverage starts this weekend with Western Conference action on Saturday as the No. 3 Detroit Red Wings host the No. 6 Phoenix Coyotes in Game 2 of their series at 1 p.m. ET. On Sunday, NBC Sports presents Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series between the No. 1 Washington Capitals and No. 8 New York Rangers from New York’s Madison Square Garden at 3 p.m. ET.
Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) anchor NBC Sports’ coverage with Pierre McGuire serving as inside-the-glass analyst. McGuire will also host the studio show with analyst Mike Milbury.
VERSUS: Playoff coverage begins on VERSUS with a tripleheader this Wednesday night, the first night of the postseason. The Red Wings host the Coyotes in Game 1 of their series at 7 p.m. ET followed by the conclusion of the Capitals hosting the Rangers (joined in progress). VERSUS’ Wednesday night coverage concludes with the West’s No. 1 Vancouver Canucks hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks at 10 p.m. ET.
VERSUS closes out the week with another tripleheader on Thursday night, a doubleheader on both Friday and Saturday nights, and a single game on Sunday night. (See below for complete Quarterfinal schedule).
- Comcast SportsNet California begins its coverage of the No. 2 San Jose Sharks – No. 7 Los Angeles Kings series with Game 1 on Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET from HP Pavilion in San Jose.
- CSN Chicago begins its Blackhawks coverage against the Canucks on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET from Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
- CSN Mid-Atlantic presents Capitals-Rangers beginning Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET from Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
- CSN Philadelphia begins coverage of the No. 7 Buffalo Sabres at the defending Eastern Conference champion No. 2 Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
DIGITAL: NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com will combine forces to create a single, robust destination for hockey fans beginning Wednesday for the NHL Playoffs. The NBC Sports Group will consolidate NHL content from both the NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com’s hockey sections onto the rapidly-growing NBCSports.com site. One of the key content areas will be ProHockeyTalk, one of NBCSports.com‘s popular “Sports Talk” platforms that also include ProFootballTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, HardBallTalk, ProBasketballTalk and ProGolfTalk.
During the playoffs on NBCSports.com, fans will be able to follow all the NHL Playoffs action with live streaming of NBC games, NHL videos, cross-platform promotions, social media and more. Some of the consolidated features on NBCSports.com include:
- Online-only videos featuring VERSUS and NBC Sports hockey commentators previewing upcoming playoff games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day.
- “Star-Cam,” which follows marquee players in NBC games, and “Net-Cam,” which provides a unique perspective from behind the goalie.
- ProHockeyTalk, which recently had its most-trafficked month ever, will update NHL Playoff news around the clock.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can also keep up with the NHL playoffs through a variety of NBC Sports and VERSUS social media platforms throughout the postseason. Content will include:
- Behind the Scenes: Through the joint “NHL on NBC and VERSUS” Facebook page and @NHLonNBC_VS on Twitter, fans will receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video.
- Commentator Tweets: Various NBC and VERSUS commentators will provide Twitter content throughout the playoffs, including occasional in-game Tweets.
- Fan Questions: Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to NBC and VERSUS commentators via Facebook and Twitter.
- Team Tabs: Fans who “Like” the joint NBC and VERSUS Facebook page will have the opportunity to play a variety of games and upload fan photos based around each of their favorite teams who made the playoffs. As teams advance in the playoffs, new and more difficult games will challenge fans.
- News: Fans can follow NBC and VERSUS Facebook and Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.
PREVIEW SHOW: VERSUS will air a live NHL Playoffs Preview show on Tuesday, April 12, beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The program, hosted by Liam McHugh along with Hockey Central’s Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick, will feature commentary and analysis from NHL experts Eddie Olcyzk, Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury. VERSUS will breakdown all the action from the Eastern and Western series and will have exclusive interviews with players.
HOCKEY CENTRAL: Each night the network televises a playoff game VERSUS will kick off the broadcast with a Hockey Central pregame show. Hosted by Bill Patrick with Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick, Hockey Central will preview the night’s action around the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To wrap up each night, the Hockey Central postgame show will have the latest highlights, news, analysis, and player interviews. Throughout the playoffs, Hockey Central will continue to feature guest analysts including, Mike Keenan, Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury..
COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE: Comcast SportsNet, the local home for the Blackhawks, Capitals, Flyers and Sharks, will closely follow hometown team playoff progress with pre- and postgame coverage, breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.
NBC SPORTS QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Saturday, April 16
1 p.m. Phoenix at Detroit, Game 2
Sunday, April 17
3 p.m. Washington at N.Y. Rangers, Game 3
Saturday, April 23
3 p.m. N.Y. Rangers at Washington, Game 5*
Sunday, April 24
3 p.m. Philadelphia at Buffalo, Game 6*
VERSUS QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Wednesday, April 13
7 p.m. Phoenix at Detroit, Game 1
9:30 p.m. (JIP) N.Y. Rangers at Washington, Game 1
10 p.m. Chicago at Vancouver, Game 1
Thursday, April 14
7 p.m. Montreal at Boston, Game 1
9:30 p.m. (JIP) Buffalo at Philadelphia, Game 1
10 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose, Game 1
Friday, April 15
7:30 p.m. N.Y. Rangers at Washington, Game 2
10 p.m. Chicago at Vancouver, Game 2
Saturday, April 16
7 p.m. Montreal at Boston, Game 2
10 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose, Game 2
Sunday, April 17
8 p.m. Vancouver at Chicago, Game 3
Monday, April 18
7 p.m. Philadelphia at Buffalo, Game 3
9:30 p.m. (JIP) Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, Game 3
10:30 p.m. Detroit at Phoenix, Game 3
Tuesday, April 19
8 p.m. Vancouver at Chicago, Game 4
10:30 p.m. San Jose at Los Angeles, Game 3
Wednesday, April 20
7 p.m. Washington at N.Y. Rangers, Game 4
9:30 p.m. (JIP) Philadelphia at Buffalo, Game 4
10:30 p.m. Detroit at Phoenix, Game 4
Thursday, April 21
7 p.m. Boston at Montreal, Game 4
10 p.m. Chicago at Vancouver, Game 5*
Friday, April 22
7 p.m. Phoenix at Detroit, Game 5*
9:30 p.m. (JIP) Buffalo at Philadelphia, Game 5*
10 p.m. Nashville at Anaheim, Game 5*
Saturday, April 23
7 p.m. Montreal at Boston, Game 5*
9:30 p.m. (JIP) Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, Game 5*
10:30 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose, Game 5*
Sunday, April 24
Monday, April 25
Tuesday, April 26
Wednesday, April 27
*Games subject to change as best-of-seven series may be over; (JIP) – joined in progress
–NBC Sports Group–