Just received this from the New England Sports Network, a.k.a. NESN. The entire Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series will be aired locally on NESN while Versus’ coverage will be blacked out in the New England area. It means all of the games will be called by extreme homer Jack Edwards and very good analyst Andy Brickley.
NESN will also expand its pregame coverage to an hour plus provide plenty of Bruins programming while the series is underway.
In addition, NESN notes its Bruins coverage this season set a ratings record, reaching a 3.1 average for the 2010-11 year. That’s 41% higher than last year. We have the press release.
3.1 Average Household Rating Improves 41% from 2009-10
BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, set a new regular season ratings record by garnering a 3.1 average household rating – a 41% increase from the 2009/10 season. NESN’s previous best was a 2.5 household rating in both the 2008/09 and 1995/96 seasons.
Just as impressive as the network’s increase in household ratings was NESN’s performance in many key demographic categories, including Adults 18-34 (2.1, up 99%), Adults 25-54 (2.9, up 54%) and Men 25-54 (4.3, up 55%).
Bruins Fans Watch More Than Just Games
All of NESN’s Bruins-related studio programs experienced double digit ratings gains over last season, including Bruins FaceOff LIVE (+16%), Bruins Overtime LIVE (+68%), The Big Bad Bruins Show with Kathryn Tappen (+18%), and The Instigators with Mike Milbury (+122%).
“Bruins fans are some of the most passionate hockey fans in the NHL, and they have shown that this season on NESN with record game ratings and significant increases in all of our NHL shows,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “The region is really buzzing with excitement for the Bruins as the team gets ready for the playoffs.”
Expanded Playoff Pre-Game Coverage
NESN will deliver regionally exclusive coverage of every game during the Bruins first round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens. Each game night will begin with Bruins Face-Off LIVE, which will expand from 30 minutes to one hour for every first round game. Host Kathryn Tappen will be joined by analysts Gord Kluzak and Barry Pederson, with Naoko Funayama reporting from ice level. NESN’s pre-game coverage for Bruins home games will continue to originate from the network’s TD Garden set location.
Bruins post-season coverage on NESN gets started early this week with special editions of The Bricks and The Instigators. NESN’s Andy Brickley will host The Bricks: 2011 Post-Season Special on Tuesday, April 12 at 5:30 PM and preview the Bruins first round matchup against long-time rival Montreal. On Wednesday, April 13 at 5:30 PM, The Instigators with Mike Milbury will feature Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley as they discuss and debate the NHL’s best in 2010/11 and make their Stanley Cup predictions.
Bruins vs. Canadiens Conference Quarterfinals on NESN
Thursday April 14 Game #1 at TD Garden 7:00 PM Saturday April 16 Game #2 at TD Garden 7:00 PM Monday April 18 Game #3 at Montreal 7:30 PM Thursday April 21 Game #4 at Montreal 7:00 PM Saturday April 23 Game #5 at TD Garden 7:00 PM* Tuesday April 26 Game #6 at Montreal TBD * Wednesday April 27 Game #7 at TD Garden TBD *
* = If Necessary
And that will do it.