via press release:
Game 1: Kings @ Devils, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
NHL Live Begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
Bob Costas to Open Game 1 Live from Prudential Center
Al Michaels to Present Taped Segment on Kings for Game 3
NEW YORK – May 30, 2012 – Day 50 – The NBC Sports Group’s exclusive coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final begins tonight with Game 1 between the Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils and the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings at 8 p.m. ET. Coverage begins every game night on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. ET with a half-hour pre-game show, NHL Live (NOTE: Yesterday’s press release incorrectly stated that NHL Live would start at 7 p.m. ET). NBC Sports Network will also present a half-hour post-game show after every game of the series.
Twenty three-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas will open tonight’s Game 1 broadcast on NBC live from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. On Monday night prior to Game 3, which will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sunday Night Football play-by-play voice and longtime Kings season-ticket holder Al Michaels will present a taped piece on the Kings.
2012 STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
All 2012 Stanley Cup Final games will air exclusively on NBC or the NBC Sports Network. Following is the full schedule (all times ET and subject to change):
Wednesday, May 30
L.A. Kings @ New Jersey Devils (Game 1)
Saturday, June 2
L.A. Kings @ New Jersey Devils (Game 2)
Monday, June 4
New Jersey Devils @ L.A. Kings (Game 3)
NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, June 6
New Jersey Devils @ L.A. Kings (Game 4)
NBC Sports Network
Saturday, June 9
L.A. Kings @ New Jersey Devils (Game 5) *
Monday, June 11
New Jersey Devils @ L.A. Kings (Game 6) *
Wednesday, June 13
L.A. Kings @ New Jersey Devils (Game 7)*
* If Necessary
COMMENTATORS: Emmy-award winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-glass’ analyst) will call the action during each game. The studio team will feature host Liam McHugh and analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones, the latest highlights, news, analysis and player interviews, live on-location from either the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. or the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The team will cover intermission reports during games, and pre-game and post-game coverage on NBC Sports Network. Additionally, Jeremy Roenick and Darren Pang will conduct on-ice segments and demonstrations as part of the coverage.
Yesterday, NBC Sports conducted a conference call with Emrick, Olczyk, McGuire and executive producer Sam Flood. Following are highlights:
Emrick on the Atmosphere: “This is our best time of year. How’s that for an understatement? ...You see bearded people, you see people with goatees, because that’s a part of our tradition. You see smiles on every face because of the anticipation of living up to a lifetime dream – and that’s getting your name on a trophy that you can’t keep, and getting a ring that’s too big to wear, and having the experience, and to be referred to as a Stanley Cup Champion for the rest of your life. It’s fun being in this atmosphere, and it’s a thrill having the chance again to sit with the same people that we have the prior seven years of NBC’s coverage, and watch this through to the conclusion.”
Olczyk on the Kings: “It’s an unbelievable time of year. You see the finish line and there are only two participants remaining – the L.A. Kings and the New Jersey Devils… The L.A. Kings can play any way you want. They can play defensive style, they can play a skilled game, or they can play a smash mouth... They have great size, great skill, and, oh yes, they have one of the best goaltenders in the entire National Hockey League…”
McGuire on the Devils: “This has been an aggressive year for the Devils. They are clearly not a no-name team and they’re much better than that. Everybody knows their unbelievably skillful goaltender. (Martin) Brodeur, at 40 years of age, is doing such amazing things. This is a team that hasn’t gotten enough respect, and I think they’re going to cause a lot of problems in this Stanley Cup Final.”
Flood on NBC’s Production: “There’s some fun and different things we can do, being at the Stanley Cup Final, but our mission remains the same, which is to be true to the game of hockey, to honor the game of hockey, and to celebrate the greatest players in the final stage of the season… It’s about storytelling. It’s about what’s going on on the ice and making sure we have every angle covered, and we have every piece of equipment imaginable to make sure that happens.”
Following are viewership highlights through the Conference Finals:
Total audience for the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs across NBC, NBC Sports Network & CNBC is 43.2 million viewers through 75 games, up 13% vs. last year (38.1 million).
With an average audience of 1.09 million viewers on NBC, NBCSN & CNBC, the 2012 NHL Playoffs rank as the most watched in 15 years through the Conference Finals (1.24 million on FOX, ESPN, and ESPN2 in 1997).
NBC is averaging 2.2 million viewers through the first three rounds, the best for a broadcast network in a decade (2.3 million on ABC in 2002), and up 16% vs. last year (1.9 million).
o The M18-49 demo on NBC is up 33% (1.2 rating vs. 0.9) through the Conference Finals.
NBC Sports Network’s 994,000 average viewers are the best for a single NHL playoff cable network in a decade (ESPN 1.152 million in 2002) and up 16% vs. last year (854,000).
o Viewers are up 20% in the advertiser-coveted M18-49 demo (422k vs. 353) on NBC Sports Network through the first three rounds.
With all 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games airing nationally for the first time, the NBC Sports Group created a channel finder to help fans find NBC and NBC Sports Network in their area by simply entering a zip code.
Click here for the channel finder.
GAMES TELEVISED SO FAR
For the first time in the 95-year history of the NHL, every Stanley Cup Playoff game will be televised nationally. The NBC Sports Group is providing unprecedented access to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in April, May and June, televising as many as 87 playoff games and possibly more than 262.5 hours of programming. Games will be presented on NBC, the NBC Sports Network, the NHL Network, and NBCUniversal’s business channel CNBC in primetime.
NBC Sports Network
* Includes Devils-Panthers Conference Quarterfinal Game 7 that was joined in progress