Every Stanley Cup Playoff Game to be Televised Nationally for Third Straight Year
NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network to Carry Games
New Playoff Format Allows for Brackets for Fans; Emphasis on Division Rivals Prior to Conference Finals
NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream All Games Airing on NBC, Plus All Games Airing on NBCSN and CNBC via “TV Everywhere”
NBC Sports Regional Networks to Air Live Coverage of First-Round Games & Comprehensive Local Team Coverage
NBC & NBCSN Combine to Cover Stanley Cup Final for Ninth Straight Year
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 2, 2014 – For the third consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will be presented nationally across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group. During April, May and June, NBC Sports Group will televise as many as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC (in primetime), and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream all games on NBC, as well as all games airing on NBCSN and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”
Locally, NBC Sports Regional Networks will surround the Blackhawks (Comcast SportsNet Chicago), Bruins (Comcast SportsNet New England), Flyers* (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia), Sharks (Comcast SportsNet California), and Capitals* (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic) with 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.
*Have not yet qualified 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 14 or Tuesday, April 15. An advisory will be distributed when details are final.
NEW PLAYOFF FORMAT FEATURES EMPHASIS ON DIVISION RIVALS PRIOR TO CONFERENCE FINALS
The NHL is employing a new playoff format for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs that allows for a fixed bracket and emphasizes division rivals in the first two rounds. Following is a breakdown of the official format:
· 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 No. 4 seeds.
· The first two rounds are divisional brackets. No. 1 plays No. 4, and No 2. plays No. 3, with winners advancing to play each other.
· 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, the NBC Sports Group will utilize NBC, NBCSN, 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 exclusive afternoon coverage during the weekends of April 19-20 and 26-27.
CNBC and NHL Network will also provide live coverage in primetime. Games airing on NBCSN, CNBC and the NHL Network will be subject to local blackouts in the first round.
NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup Playoff exclusivity originates with the second round. Beginning in the second round and continuing through the Stanley Cup Final, all games will air exclusively on NBC, NBCSN, or CNBC.
NBCSN will serve as the primary home for second-round coverage, offering one or two games virtually every night. When necessary, CNBC will provide live coverage in primetime, although more infrequently than in the first round. NBC will present exclusive afternoon coverage during the weekend of May 3-4.
NBC and the NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Conference Finals. NBC will broadcast Saturday afternoon games on May 17-18, and on Saturday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET in primetime. The remaining games from both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be televised exclusively on NBCSN.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
For the eighth consecutive year, NBC and NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. NBC will broadcast Game 1, Game 4, and Games 5-7 (if necessary), with NBCSN televising Games 2-3. Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will call the Stanley Cup Final.
Robust pre-game, post-game and intermission studio programming throughout the 2014 NHL postseason 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 the studio will be live 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 both NBCSN and 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.
NHL Live, NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-game studio show, will feature a combination of hosts Liam McHugh, Russ Thaler and Kathryn Tappen, and analysts and former players Mike Milbury, Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter.
Beginning on Thursday, April 17, and continuing nearly every morning throughout the playoffs, NBCSN will air cut-down versions of the previous night’s most exciting game of the night. Encores will air daily at 7 a.m. ET.
COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE
Through the NBC Sports Regional Networks, comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports’ lineup of Comcast SportsNet RSNs, available in more than 50 million U.S. households. Comcast SportsNet serves 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 Comcast SportsNet’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.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA COVERAGE
NBC Sports Live Extra — the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream all Stanley Cup Playoff games that air on NBC, NBCSN, and CNBC, including comprehensive streaming coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. The vast majority of games will be live streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play. Games airing on:
· NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra;
· NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs;
· CNBC will live stream exclusively through NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere.”
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:
· PHT Extra, a multiple-times-a-week online-only video segment.
· Online-only videos featuring NBC Sports and NBCSN hockey commentators previewing upcoming playoff games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day.
· Content provided by Comcast SportsNet NHL insiders.
· An NHL Playoffs Channel Finder tool that will help fans locate the times and stations for every NHL playoff broadcast.
MARKETING CAMPAIGNS – “ONE GOAL” AND “CUPNAPPERS”
NBC Sports Group and the NHL have collaborated to produce a new ad campaign for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The “CupNappers” TV campaign stars comedian Nick Kroll (The League on FX, Kroll Show on Comedy Central) and a cast of characters who conspire to steal the Stanley Cup. The spot debuted on Tuesday, April 1 (April Fools’ Day) and will run across NBC, NBCSN, NHL Network and many NBCUniversal cable channels.
As part of the “CupNappers” campaign, a 90-second trailer will run in 20,000 movie theaters across the country. The trailer features NBCUniversal personalities David Gregory, Jim Cramer, Carl Quintanilla, Jeremy Roenick and Kayla Tausche as they report on the stolen Stanley Cup. Link to the “news” trailer -http://wdrv.it/1dmCaYW
To complement both of these elements, NBC Sports is airing a footage-based campaign that is already running across NBC Sports and NBCU cable assets. The footage campaign, titled “One Goal”, features several 30-second iterations which highlight various aspects of the playoffs.
In addition to broadcast, cable, regional and digital platforms, NBC Sports Group will connect with NHL fans via numerous social media initiatives, including social interaction, on-air integration and news:
· Making Stanley Cup Movie Magic with Magisto:
· For the first time, NBC Sports is partnering with Magisto, a video creation and sharing app that allows hockey fans to effortlessly create their own edited movies, with music and effects, from their desktop or mobile device.
· During the Stanley Cup, fans will be asked to create Magisto movies showing how they are celebrating their teams, whether it’s at the game, in their favorite bar or at home with friends.
· The best videos will not only be featured on air during the broadcast, but also be entered for a chance to win prizes along the way.
· Twitter Handle Takeovers:
· New to this season, during each round of the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals celebrity hockey fans, NHL on NBC talent and/or former players will take over @NHLonNBCSports on Twitter or act as guest tweeters from their own accounts providing context and analysis around the games through their perspective. Fans can follow the action and interact with the Takeover participants throughout the playoffs coverage. Takeover participants to be determined.
· #CelebrateStanley Photo Campaign for the Fans:
· New to this season, we are celebrating the ultimate fans through photos via, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
· Throughout the weeks of the playoffs, NBC Sports will ask fans to submit themed pictures via social media using #CelebrateStanley (for example: show us your best team tattoo, cutest baby in hockey gear, your watch parties).
· During the broadcast, we will showcase our favorite photos across each theme throughout the weeks of the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.
· #StanleyCup: For the third year in a row, and in conjunction with the NHL, fans can use #StanleyCup to join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
· #StanleyCup will be displayed on-air throughout each game to remind fans watching each round
· NHL on NBC All-Access Social Media Hub:
· The NHL on NBC All-Access hub located at NBCSports.com/NHLonNBC will be one stop shopping for fans that need to know everything around the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Finals from the schedule of games to social media chatter.
· Fans can access Twitter feeds from the players, teams, NBCSports.com experts and @NHLonNBCSports in one, easy to access curated hub.
· Top videos from around NBCSports.com will be featured on the site
· #CelebrateStanley photo stream – fans who submit themed photos using #CelebrateStanley can see all of the pictures submitted in one cohesive stream on this section of the site.
· Magisto Made Fan Video Showcase – Throughout the playoffs fan made videos through our partnership with Magisto, will be featured on this page.
· Fans can engage with Twitter (@NHLonNBCSports) and Facebook (facebook.com/NHLonNBCSports) to receive the most up to date tune-in information, scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–