Versus’ 2010-11 NHL Schedule

Going into its last season of its current contract, Versus is really pulling all of the stops for the NHL, carrying 78 games including 9 games in the first seven days of the regular season and going balls to the wall in the final month of April carrying at least a game a night in the last week of regular play. This is what it should have been doing all along, but it’s nice to see Versus getting it now. And it could carry the network into another contract after this season. We’ll see. Here’s the press release.


Schedule Features Return of NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Heritage Classic, Nine Games in

First Seven Days and Full Week of Action Leading into Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK, N.Y. (August 25, 2010)-VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country and cable television home of the NHL, will open its sixth year of action with increased coverage featuring nine games across the first seven days of the season. The network drops the puck on its regular season coverage with a triple-header on Thursday, October 7, when the Carolina Hurricanes battle the Minnesota Wild from Helsinki, Finland, at 12 p.m. ET, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m. ET before finishing the night with a match-up featuring the Colorado Avalanche and 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks at 10 p.m. ET.  Every NHL game on VERSUS is available in HD. 

The first week of non-stop action continues with three additional overseas games from Helsinki; Stockholm, Sweden and Prague, Czech Republic on Friday and Saturday afternoon, exclusive coverage of the Colorado Avalanche/Detroit Red Wings contest on October 12 in VERSUS' regularly-scheduled Tuesday night slot as well as games on Wednesday (New York Islanders at Washington) and Thursday night (Tampa Bay at Philadelphia), the first time in network history bonus games were added for the opening week.

VERSUS is entering the 2010/11 regular season with a lot of momentum based on tremendous ratings and viewership successes last season. The network saw a 33-percent spike in HH ratings and a 20-percent increase in average viewership for the final six weeks of exclusive regular season game coverage as compared to the season prior. In the postseason, the Conference Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds were the most-watched first two rounds on cable since NHL Playoff viewership became available by Nielsen in the 1993/94 season, Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final made VERSUS the most-watched cable network in the country, while Games 3 & 4 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged 3.369 million viewers, up five percent over the 2009 average (3.212 million viewers). Overall, last year's postseason was the most-watched on cable since 2002.

One major addition to VERSUS' 2010/11 schedule is coverage of the NHL Heritage Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames from McMahon Stadium on Sunday, February 20, at 6 p.m. ET. Not only is it the first outdoor game in Canada since 2003, but the Heritage Classic will be the first outdoor game ever broadcast on cable in the United States.

Throughout the 2010/11 regular season VERSUS will televise 78 games, 13 more than last season, including 53 exclusive regular season games and 25 bonus games. VERSUS will also air All-Star weekend from Raleigh, N.C. on January 29/30 and cap off the final week of the regular season with a game each night (Monday-Friday) leading into the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. During the postseason, VERSUS will once again air wall-to-wall action throughout each round, culminating with Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

All of the network's non-bonus regular-season games are exclusive and VERSUS' regular-season schedule features a 'Game of the Week' wherein VERSUS will be the only place on television to watch an NHL game in the U.S. at that time. VERSUS' bonus game coverage is subject to local blackouts.
Mike "Doc" Emrick will return as the network's lead play-by-play announcer and will be joined all season long by the best NHL announcers in the game today, including Eddie Olczyk, Darren Eliot, Joe Beninati and John Forslund and the network's studio show, Hockey Central, with host Bill Patrick and analysts Keith Jones and Brian Engblom will wrap up each night of NHL coverage.  In addition, the network will also televise special Hockey Central pre-game shows before 30 telecasts this season, starting on October 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET.  

VERSUS' 2010/11 regular season schedule highlights some of the most exciting games of the season with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Pittsburgh Penguins all making a season-high 11 appearances on the network. The Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and Philadelphia Flyers will each appear nine times this season.
VERSUS' full 2010-11 NHL regular season schedule follows (subject to change):  

* Versus Exclusive
7 — Carolina vs Minnesota, Noon (Helsinki)
7 — Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, 7:00*
7 — Chicago at Colorado, 10:00*
8 — Minnesota at Carolina, 12:00 (Helsinki)
8 — Columbus at San Jose, 3:00 (Stockholm)
9 — Phoenix at Boston, 12:00 (Prague)
12 — Colorado at Detroit, 7:30*
13 — NY Islanders at Washington, 7:00*
14 — Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, 7:00
18 — Colorado at NY Rangers, 7:00*
19 — Boston at Washington, 7:30*
25 — Los Angeles at Minnesota, 8:00*
26 — Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30*

2 — San Jose at Minnesota, 8:00*
8 — Phoenix at Detroit, 7:30*
9 — Washington at NY Rangers, 7:30*
15 –St. Louis at Colorado, 8:00*
16 — Philadelphia at Montreal, 7:00*
17 — Boston at NY Rangers, 7:00
22 — Boston at Tampa Bay, 7:30*
24 — St. Louis at Nashville, 8:00*
29 — Dallas at Carolina, 7:30*
30 — St. Louis at Chicago, 8:00*

6 — San Jose at Detroit, 7:30*
7 — Buffalo at Boston, 7:30
8 — San Jose at Philadelphia, 7:00
13 — Los Angeles at Detroit, 7:30*
14 — Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 7:00*
15 — NY Rangers at Pittsburgh, 7:00
20 — Anaheim at Boston, 7:30*
21 — New Jersey at Washington, 7:30*
27 — Minnesota at Columbus, 7:30*
28 — Boston at Tampa Bay, 7:30*
31 — Phoenix at St. Louis, 8:30

3 — Chicago at Los Angeles, 9:00*
4 — Minnesota at New Jersey, 7:00*
10 — Boston at Pittsburgh, 7:30*
11 — Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30*
17 — Los Angeles at Dallas, 8:30*
18 — Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30*
24 — NY Rangers at Washington, 7:30*
25 — Montreal at Philadelphia, 7:30*
26 — New Jersey at Detroit, 7:00
30 — NHL ALL-STAR GAME — Raleigh, NC

1 — Pittsburgh at NY Rangers, 7:30*
1 — Phoenix at San Jose, 10:00
2 — NY Islanders at Pittsburgh, 7:00
7 — NY Rangers at Detroit, 7:30*
8 — Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30*
9 — Montreal at Boston, 7:00
14 — Washington at Phoenix, 8:00*
15 — Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30*
16 — Minnesota at Chicago, 8:00
20 — Montreal at Calgary, 6:00 — Heritage Classic (McMahon Stadium)
21 — Washington at Pittsburgh, 7:30*
22 — New Jersey at Dallas, 8:30*
23 — San Jose at Pittsburgh, 7:30
28 — Chicago at Minnesota, 8:00*

1 — Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7:00*
2 — Pittsburgh at Toronto, 7:00
7 — Washington at Tampa Bay, 7:00*
8 — Colorado at Minnesota, 8:00*
9 — Chicago at Tampa Bay, 7:30
14 — San Jose at Chicago, 8:00*
15 — Carolina at Buffalo, 7:30*
16 — Washington at Detroit, 7:30
21 — Pittsburgh at Detroit, 7:30*
22 — Washington at Philadelphia, 7:30*
23 — Vancouver at Detroit, 7:00
28 — Chicago at Detroit, 7:30*
29 — Chicago at Boston, 7:30*
30 — NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7:00
31 — Columbus at Washington, 7:00

4 — Boston at NY Rangers, 7:30
4 — Los Angeles at San Jose, 10:00
5 — New Jersey at Pittsburgh, 7:30*
6 — St. Louis at Chicago, 8:00
7 — Atlanta at NY Rangers, 7:00
8 — Chicago at Detroit, 7:00

And NBC’s schedule is next.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.