Thursday, August 25, 2011

San Jose Sharks announce two game time changes

The San Jose Sharks announced two changed start times to their 2011-2012 regular season schedule. Both are in Eastern Time.

January 2 - at Vancouver, 8:00 PM
March 13 - at Calgary, 9:30 PM

Friday, August 19, 2011

Phoenix Coyotes announce five game time changes

An update on the Phoenix Coyotes' 2011-2012 game schedule...

The Phoenix Coyotes announced today the following game time changes to the 2011-2012 regular season schedule.
All game times listed below are Arizona time:

Monday, October 10th at the Dallas Stars is now a 3:00 PM start (was originally 5:00 PM)

Monday, December 5th at the Chicago Blackhawks is now a
6:00 PM start (was originally 6:30 PM)

Thursday, December 15th vs. the Edmonton Oilers is now a
7:30 PM start (was originally 7:00 PM)

Tuesday, March 20 at the Dallas Stars is now a 5:00 PM start (was originally 5:30 PM)

Friday, April 6th at the St. Louis Blues is now a 4:30 PM start
(was originally 5:00 PM)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rogers Sportsnet Ontario to air 29 Maple Leafs games

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have all 82 of their regular season games shown on television, but here is the Rogers Sports Ontario portion of their 2011-2012 broadcast schedule.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will call Sportsnet Ontario home for 29 regular-season games in 2011/12 – more than any other Canadian broadcaster.

Sportsnet Ontario's Molson Canadian Leafs Hockey coverage gets underway on Monday, October 17th at 7:00 PM ET when the Leafs host the Colorado Avalanche. Coverage throughout the season features six divisional-rival games, including five against fellow Canadian teams.

"Toronto is a hockey-hungry market, and the appetite for Leafs hockey remains extremely strong," said Navaid Mansuri, Vice President of Finance & Sports Programming, Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. "Our goal is to expand the fan experience and make Hockeycentral the destination before and after Leafs games."

The Leafs made a series of summer moves to end its lengthy post-season drought, acquiring help on defence in Cody Franson and John-Michael Liles while addressing depth at the centre position by adding Matthew Lombardi. Once again, the team will look to sophomore goaltender James Reimer to stop pucks, the rookie won 20 games in his first season, including three shutouts.

Leafs fans are invited to join Hockeycentral 30 minutes before and immediately following every Leafs broadcast for all the latest news and analysis. Hockeycentral features popular analysts Nick Kypreos, a former Maple Leaf, Doug MacLean, a former general manager for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and host Daren Millard.

As an added bonus, Sportsnet will deliver to fans the Leafs pre-season game on Wednesday, September 21st at 7:00 PM (ET) when the Leafs face the Philadelphia Flyers.

(game start times are in Eastern Time)

October 17 - Colorado at Toronto, 7:00 PM
October 30 - Toronto at Ottawa, 7:30 PM
November 3 - Toronto at Columbus, 7:00 PM
November 8 - Florida at Toronto, 7:00 PM
November 15 - Toronto at Phoenix, 7:00 PM
November 22 - Toronto at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
November 25 - Toronto at Dallas, 8:30 PM
November 27 - Toronto at Anaheim, 8:00 PM
December 6 - New Jersey at Toronto, 7:00 PM
December 9 - Toronto at Washington, 7:00 PM
December 13 - Carolina at Toronto, 7:00 PM
December 19 - Los Angeles at Toronto, 7:00 PM
December 27 - Toronto at Florida, 7:30 PM
January 3 - Tampa Bay at Toronto, 7:00 PM
January 10 - Buffalo at Toronto, 7:00 PM
January 17 - Ottawa at Toronto, 7:00 PM
January 24 - Toronto at New York Islanders, 7:00 PM
February 6 - Edmonton at Toronto, 7:00 PM
February 7 - Toronto at Winnipeg, 8:30 PM
February 14 - Toronto at Calgary, 9:00 PM
February 21 - New Jersey at Toronto, 7:00 PM
February 28 - Florida at Toronto, 7:00 PM
March 6 - Boston at Toronto, 7:00 PM
March 11 - Toronto at Washington, 5:00 PM
March 13 - Toronto at Florida, 7:30 PM
March 19 - Toronto at Boston, 7:00 PM
March 20 - New York Islanders at Toronto, 7:00 PM
March 27 - Carolina at Toronto, 7:00 PM
April 3 - Toronto at Buffalo, 7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Colorado Avalanche announce five game time changes

The Colorado Avalanche announced five changed start times to their 2011-2012 regular season schedule. They're in Eastern Time.

October 26 - at Calgary, 10:00 PM
November 15 - at Pittsburgh, 7:30 PM
November 23 - vs. Vancouver, 9:30 PM
November 26 - vs. Edmonton, 7:00 PM
February 22 - vs. Los Angeles, 9:00 PM

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NHL releases full league-wide 2011 preseason schedule

Even though I already posted separate blog entries for each of the 30 teams, I'll provide you the full 2011 NHL preseason schedule. The National Hockey League just did so on their official web site.

Here are a handful of highlights as mentioned in the news release:

Jets open their preseason schedule on September 20th
The new Winnipeg Jets make their preseason debut with a home-and-home split squad matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. One half of their team will make their first appearance on the ice with a 7:00 PM Eastern Time game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Even though it is only an exhibition game that doesn't statistically count, the other half of the Jets team will skate in front of their home fans for the first time just 90 minutes later with an 8:30 PM game at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

7 exhibition games in Europe
With four games scheduled, the New York Rangers will visit four countries in just 5 days. The other three NHL teams in the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings will each only have one preseason game in Europe, all on October 4th.

2011 Kraft Hockeyville exhibition game on September 26th
Conception Bay South, Newfoundland was selected to host the 2011 Kraft Hockeyville competition. It was originally supposed to be the site of an exhibition game between the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets. Due to high ticket demand, the game was moved from the 600-seat Robert French Memorial Stadium. Instead, it will take place at Mile One Stadium in St. John's.

Neutral site hosts
These locations will be where neutral site games are played:
Albany, New York
Baltimore, Maryland
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Charlotte, North Carolina
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Kansas City, Missouri
Las Vegas, Nevada
London, Ontario
Orlando, Florida
Québec City, Québec
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

(game start times are in Eastern Time)

*split squad game

Nashville at Florida, 3:00 PM*
Carolina at Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Ottawa at Toronto, 7:00 PM
Nashville at Florida, 7:30 PM*

Philadelphia at Toronto, 7:00 PM
Winnipeg at Columbus, 7:00 PM*
Nashville vs. Washington (in Baltimore), 7:00 PM
Dallas at Montréal, 7:30 PM
Tampa Bay at St. Louis, 8:00 PM
Chicago vs. Edmonton (in Saskatoon), 8:00 PM*
Columbus at Winnipeg, 8:30 PM*
Minnesota at Edmonton, 9:00 PM*
Vancouver at Calgary, 9:00 PM*
Calgary at Vancouver, 10:00 PM*
Phoenix at Anaheim, 10:00 PM

Toronto at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM
Washington at Columbus, 7:00 PM
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7:00 PM
St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay (in Orlando), 7:00 PM
New Jersey vs. New York Rangers (in Albany, New York), 7:00 PM
Buffalo at Montréal, 7:30 PM
Boston at Ottawa, 7:30 PM
San Jose at Anaheim, 10:00 PM
Los Angeles at Phoenix, 10:00 PM*
Phoenix at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM*

Chicago at Pittsburgh, 7:00 PM
Detroit vs. Philadelphia (in London, Ontario), 7:00 PM
Minnesota at St. Louis, 8:00 PM
Colorado at Dallas, 8:30 PM
Vancouver at Edmonton, 9:00 PM

New York Islanders at Boston, 7:00 PM
Buffalo at Toronto, 7:00 PM
Nashville at Carolina, 7:00 PM
New York Rangers at New Jersey, 7:00 PM
Philadelphia at Detroit, 7:30 PM
Florida at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
Montréal at Ottawa, 7:30 PM
Washington at Chicago, 8:00 PM
Columbus at Minnesota, 8:00 PM
St. Louis at Colorado, 9:00 PM
Anaheim at San Jose, 10:30 PM

Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 3:00 PM
Toronto at Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Ottawa at Montréal, 7:00 PM
New Jersey at New York Islanders, 7:00 PM
Tampa Bay at Florida, 7:30 PM
Winnipeg at Nashville, 8:00 PM
St. Louis at Dallas, 8:00 PM
Calgary at Edmonton, 8:00 PM
Anaheim at Vancouver, 10:00 PM
Phoenix at San Jose, 10:30 PM

Chicago at Detroit, 5:00 PM
Buffalo at Columbus, 5:00 PM
Winnipeg vs. Carolina (in Charlotte), 5:00 PM
Boston vs. Montréal (in Halifax), 6:00 PM
Dallas at Colorado, 8:00 PM
Edmonton at Calgary, 8:00 PM
San Jose at Vancouver, 9:00 PM
Anaheim at Los Angeles, 9:30 PM

Ottawa vs. Winnipeg (in St. John's), 4:00 PM
Columbus at Washington, 7:00 PM
New York Rangers at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM
Boston at Montréal, 7:30 PM

Dallas at Florida, 7:30 PM
Toronto at Ottawa, 7:30 PM
St. Louis at Minnesota, 8:00 PM
Pittsburgh vs. Los Angeles (in Kansas City), 8:00 PM
Phoenix at Edmonton, 9:00 PM
New York Islanders at Calgary, 9:00 PM

Washington at Nashville, 8:00 PM
Carolina at Winnipeg, 8:30 PM
Detroit at Chicago, 8:30 PM
Los Angeles at Colorado, 9:00 PM
Vancouver at Anaheim, 10:00 PM

Rangers vs. Sparta Prague (in Prague, Czech Republic), 1:00 PM
Ottawa at Boston, 7:00 PM
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM
Minnesota at Columbus, 7:00 PM
Tampa Bay at Montréal, 7:30 PM
Colorado at St. Louis, 8:00 PM
Florida at Dallas, 8:30 PM
Phoenix at Calgary, 9:00 PM
Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 PM

New York Rangers vs. Frolunda (in Gothenburg, Sweden), 1:00 PM
Buffalo at Washington, 7:00 PM
New York Islanders at New Jersey, 7:00 PM
Columbus at Carolina, 7:00 PM
Toronto at Detroit, 7:30 PM
Edmonton at Minnesota, 8:00 PM
Pittsburgh at Chicago, 8:30 PM
Nashville at Winnipeg, 8:30 PM
Los Angeles at Anaheim, 10:00 PM

Dallas at St. Louis, 2:30 PM
Detroit at Toronto, 7:00 PM
Philadelphia at New Jersey, 7:00 PM
Montréal vs. Tampa Bay (in Québec City), 7:00 PM
Boston vs. New York Islanders (in Bridgeport, CT), 7:00 PM
Carolina at Nashville, 8:00 PM
Colorado vs. Los Angeles (in Las Vegas, Nevada), 9:00 PM
San Jose at Phoenix, 10:00 PM
Edmonton at Vancouver, 10:00 PM

Rangers vs. HC Slovan (in Bratislava, Slovakia), 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 5:00 PM
Chicago at Washington, 5:00 PM

New York Rangers vs. EV Zug (in Zug, Switzerland), 2:00 PM

Anaheim vs. Jokerit (in Helsinki), 12:00 PM
Los Angeles vs. Hamburg (in Hamburg, Germany), 1:00 PM
Buffalo vs. Adler Mannheim (in Mannheim, Germany), 1:30 PM

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2011 Boston Bruins preseason schedule

The Boston Bruins announced their 2011 preseason schedule.

For their two neutral site preseason games, they're the home team on September 25th and the away team on October 1st.

The Bruins' 2011 preseason schedule is as follows:
(game start times are in Eastern Time)

September 21 - at Ottawa, 7:30 PM
September 23 - vs. New York Islanders, 7:00 PM
September 25 - vs. Montréal (in Halifax), 6:00 PM
September 26 - at Montréal, 7:30 PM
September 29 - vs. Ottawa, 7:00 PM
October 1 - vs. New York Islanders (in Bridgeport, CT), 7:00 PM


Boston Bruins official news release (August 3):
Bruins announce preseason schedule and critical dates

New England Sports Network (NESN) (August 3):
Boston Bruins release preseason schedule, full camp opens September 16th

Monday, August 1, 2011

Versus to become NBC Sports Network in January 2012

First, it was a little known Outdoor Life Network.

Then it was shortened to just OLN.

September 25, 2006 - Comcast re-launched it as VERSUS.

January 28, 2011 - Comcast completed a $30 billion transaction with General Electric to create a joint venture company called NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

February 2, 2011 - Comcast acquires 51% majority ownership of NBCUniversal and integrates their sports networks into the newly-formed NBC Sports Group.

April 19, 2011 - The National Hockey League had their American national television contract extended for 10 years with NBC and VERSUS worth $2 billion.

And now, we arrive at TODAY...

Comcast just announced that VERSUS will be re-branded as the NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012.

By no coincidence, it is on the day of the 2012 Winter Classic.

The NHL will soon make it 100% official with the New York Rangers visiting the Philadelphia Flyers in an outdoor game to be played at Citizens Bank Park.

In addition to the network name change, the NBC Sports Group will implement a redesigned NBC Sports logo, including the one above for the cable channel.

The idea behind the upcoming second re-launch in VERSUS' history is for Comcast and the NBC Sports Group to more uniformly bring the branding of all its sports networks together. This would be the NBC broadcast television network, two cable television networks, the 11 Comcast SportsNet regional sports networks as well as the digital platform.

"This effort is a major step towards a complete strategic alignment of all our platforms and businesses," NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said. "This is more than just a name change for VERSUS. It's a complete repositioning of the brand to provide value for marketers, consumers as well as all our affiliates and distributors. We want anyone who comes into contact with any of our assets to immediately connect with the NBC Sports brand promise."

How does this effect the NHL and its broadcast media side of this sports league's business? Absolutely plenty.

VERSUS has seen steady growth in viewership and programming, but the new brand name is expected to heighten its profile further and even better compete with sports television powerhouse ESPN. When the NHL extended its television contract agreement with Comcast, the league powers that be had confidence in solidifying its presence on NBC and VERSUS. The NBC brand is more recognizable and will make its sports cable network available to even more viewers.

At the same time, cross-promotion will be a big key for the NHL as advertising can be done during NBC's National Football League broadcasts that include Sunday Night Football games, playoff contests and Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th. Even promos can air on Golf Channel, Comcast SportsNet regional cable networks and other Comcast-owned cable TV networks. More eyes seeing the NHL promos means more awareness of NBC's hockey coverage. In turn, more viewers can tune in to hockey games on NBC and NBC Sports Network as early as the 2011-2012 season.

And if that translates into higher TV ratings, bigger advertising revenue to follow and overall revenue for the NHL and its television partners. Certainly the potential is there. Whether or not Comcast's NBC Sports Group can deliver that remains to be seen.


National Hockey League official news release (August 1):
VERSUS to be rebranded as NBC Sports Network

NBC Sports (August 1):
VERSUS to be rebranded as NBC Sports Network