FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 13th, 2014

MILAN LUCIC AND BOSTON BRUINS BATTLE JIMMY HOWARD AND DETROIT RED WINGS IN ORIGINAL SIX “WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY” MATCHUP

Red Wings Host Bruins on Wednesday Night Rivalry at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Sabres-Hurricanes Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

First Intermission of Wednesday Night Rivalry to Feature In-Depth Discussion on Future of Fighting in Hockey with Analyst Mike Milbury & Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie

NHL Rivals Returns with Premiere of “Original Six” Tuesday Night at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NBCSN’s 2014-15 College Hockey Coverage Starts This Weekend with Notre Dame-Lake Superior State Series

NHL Opening Night Draws Record Viewership For NBCSN; CSN Chicago Posts Record Ratings

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 13, 2014 – Following the most-watched NHL opening night doubleheader on record, including the highest-rated regular-season game ever on NBCSN, the network’s NHL coverage continues this week featuring an Original Six Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup between Milan Lucic and the Boston Bruins, and Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings, this Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. This week’s NHL coverage on NBCSN begins tomorrow with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the premiere of Original Six, a new episode in the NHL Rivals series, at 10:30 p.m. ET. Hockey coverage concludes this weekend with two college hockey contests featuring Notre Dame and Lake Superior State this weekend.

NHL game coverage begins both nights at 7 p.m. ET with NHL Live, NBC Sports Group’s NHL pre- and post-game studio show. Kathryn Tappen makes her 2014-15 NHL Live debut by anchoring Tuesday’s coverage alongside analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones, while Liam McHugh hosts Wednesday’s coverage with Milbury, Jones, and TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, who joins NBC Sports Group this year with more than 35 years of hockey reporting experience.

NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry first intermission coverage will feature an in-depth conversation with Milbury and McKenzie regarding the future of fighting in hockey. Last week, Milbury was outspoken about it being the right time to eliminate fighting from the game.

Milbury on future of fighting in hockey: “It’s time to get rid of fighting…as much as I liked a good scrap in my day, there are too many issues here involving concussions…let’s grow up and get rid of it.”

Milbury on minimizing concussions as the driving force to end fighting: “So many problems with concussions. If you can eliminate certain things (that cause concussions), and one of them is a fight that would eliminate a concussion, you have to do it…it’s time.”

Click here to see Milbury’s comments on fighting: http://www.nbcsports.com/hockey/nhl/it-time-get-rid-fighting-hockey

Following is media reaction to Milbury’s commentary:

Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir on Milbury: “Milbury delivered a clear message…It takes guts to let go of a previously cherished notion. In doing so, Milbury proved he can’t be stereotyped.”

L.A. Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth on Milbury: “The 62-year-old NBC Sports Network NHL analyst may be just the right voice at the right time in the sports’ evolution to start a dialogue of change.”


WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY
: BRUINS AT RED WINGS – WEDNESDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

This week’s iteration of Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN features an Original Six showdown between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. The Bruins and Red Wings square off in Detroit for the second time in less than one week. Last Thursday, Jimmy Howard turned aside 16 of 17 shots, while Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist found the back of the net in a 2-1 Red Wings victory. The two teams also met in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the top-seeded Bruins dispatched the Red Wings in five games to advance to the second round.

Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.

 

“ORIGINAL SIX” NHL RIVALS – TUESDAY AT 10:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Wednesday Night Rivalry kicks off with the return of NHL Rivals, NBCSN’s original series that examines the history and personalities that comprise hockey’s greatest rivalries, Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. This week’s episode highlights the history of the Original Six rivalries that dominated the sport from 1942-1967, when the league featured just six teams, including the Red Wings and Bruins.

Following are excerpts from tomorrow’s episode of NHL Rivals:

Sports Illustrated hockey writer Michael Farber on rivalry between Montreal Canadiens’ Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Detroit Red Wings’ Gordie Howe: “In the way that New Yorkers once debated who was the greater center fielder – Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle – people in hockey said, ‘Who’s the greater number nine? Who’s the greater right wing?’ It was the ‘great nine’ debate.”

Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban on the significance of the Original Six: “The NHL is a league that consists of 30 teams – a big part of that has to do with the players that played in the Original Six…they built this league.”


SABRES AT HURRICANES – TOMORROW AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

This week’s NHL coverage begins tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, when 2014 second overall draft pick Sam Reinhart and the Buffalo Sabres visit the Carolina Hurricanes. Reinhart made his NHL debut last week in Buffalo’s 3-1 loss to Columbus. The Hurricanes enter tomorrow’s game following back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders to open their season.

Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (analyst) will provide live commentary from PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.


COLLEGE HOCKEY – NOTRE DAME VS. LAKE SUPERIOR STATE – FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ON NBCSN

NBCSN kicks off its 2014-15 college hockey coverage with a weekend series featuring the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Lake Superior State Lakers, beginning on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will air live coverage of the second game between the Fighting Irish and Lakers on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Anson Carter (Inside-the-Glass) will have the call from Compton Family Ice Arena in Notre Dame, Ind.

All games will be live streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

Following is this week’s NHL and college coverage on NBCSN:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Tues., October 14 NHL Live NBCSN 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Carolina NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
NHL Rivals – Original Six (Premiere) NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Wed., October 15 NHL Live NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wednesday Night Rivalry – Boston at Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Fri., October 17 College Hockey – Lake Superior State at Notre Dame NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sat., October 18 College Hockey – Lake Superior State at Notre Dame NBCSN 6 p.m.

 

NHL OPENING NIGHT DRAWS RECORD VIEWERSHIP FOR NBCSN

Last week, NBCSN began the 2014-15 season with two matchups – Flyers-Bruins on Wednesday Night Rivalry, followed by the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. Wednesday Night Rivalry’s Flyers-Bruins matchup (7:27-10:06 p.m. ET) delivered 956,000 viewers and a 0.57 household rating, making it the most-watched opening night game on cable on record (data available since 1993) and the highest-rated NHL regular-season game ever on NBCSN.

The second game of the doubleheader, featuring the San Jose Sharks against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings (10:06 p.m. ET – 1:14 a.m. ET), averaged 446,000 viewers, the most ever on NBCSN for an NHL regular-season “late” game (puck drop after 9 p.m. ET), excluding last season’s Ducks-Kings outdoor game at Dodger Stadium.

Combined, the doubleheader averaged a 0.43 household rating and 679,000 viewers, making it the best NHL opening night doubleheader on record (data available since 1993), and up 19% and 13%, respectively, vs. the most-recent opening night doubleheader to begin the 2011-12 season (0.36 HH rating; 601,000 viewers). Click here for full release: https://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/10/09/nhl-opening-night-draws-record-viewership-for-nbcsn/

RECORD LOCAL AND REGIONAL RATINGS

NBC Sports Regional Networks are also posting impressive early season numbers, highlighted by the Blackhawks’ best start ever on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, averaging a 4.9 HH rating through two games. Overall, this season’s NHL games are averaging a 2.7 across the NBC Sports Group’s lineup of CSN regionals, up 15% vs. last year’s regular-season average rating (2.3).

Last Thursday’s matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild on NBCSN delivered a 6.75 rating in Minneapolis, which was the best NHL regular-season rating ever in the market on NBCSN.


2014-15 REGULAR SEASON COVERAGE ON NBC & NBCSN

NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 103 NHL regular-season games during the 2014-15 season, featuring 14 games on NBC and 89 games on NBCSN. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra. Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive NHL coverage this season.


NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS

NBC Sports Regional Networks, which serve top NHL markets such as Boston (Bruins), Philadelphia (Flyers), Washington D.C. (Capitals), Chicago (Blackhawks) and the Bay Area (Sharks), will air more than 300 live NHL games and surround the 2013-14 NHL season with in-depth news, analysis and original programming on the teams that matter most.

-NBC SPORTS GROUP-