Published on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 15:04
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will have the exclusive broadcast rights for the local television market for the first round of the NHL playoffs series featuring the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Phoenix Coyotes. In addition to the first round Western Conference playoff action, the local sports station will have specials and unique coverage of the team, while the station's website will offer exclusive Blackhawks video streams and information for fans.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will be the only station in the Chicago market allowed to televise the Blackhawks vs Coyotes Games 1-4, and if necessary, Games 5-7 in the best-of-seven playoff series. All of the Comcast SportsNet Stanley Cup Playoff game telecasts will be presented in HD.
The excitement kicks off this Thursday night, April 12th on CSN Chicago. At 7:00pm, the acclaimed Blackhawks TV documentary, "Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita - Monuments to Excellence," will be shown. That 60 minute special will be followed by an encore showing of "Inside Look: John McDonough" at 8:00pm. At 8:30pm, CSN Chicago will begin its live pre-game show with hosts Chris Boden and Steve Konroyd. The game itself is scheduled to begin at 9:00pm.
Immediately following that game, as well as all of the Blackhawks playoff games, the post-game show will feature live locker room interviews, detailed analysis, along with head coach Joel Quenneville’s post-game press conference and numerous player interviews.
Pat Foley will again be doing the play-by-play for all of the CSN Chicago broadcasts for this series, as he has done throughout the regular season. Eddie Olczyk will also be at his side doing color analysis, as he has been. However, due to Olczyk's commitments to also call the hockey games on a national level for NBC Sports, he will be unable to call Games #2 and #5 for CSN. Steve Konroyd will fill-in as game analyst for those two broadcasts. CSN Chicago's Sarah Kustok and/or Chris Boden will be provide in-stadium reports throughout the first round of playoff games.
Throughout the playoffs, CSN Chicago is planning on airing "SportsNet Central: Playoff Central" nightly at 10:30pm, although the actual time could be pushed much later due to the airing of live sport events at night. This nightly sports news show will have in-depth Stanley Cup playoff coverage, recaps, previews, updates, interviews and playoff highlights from around the NHL.
Along with the extensive television coverage, the television station's website, CSNChicago.com
will provide fans with even more exclusive Blackhawks playoffs content, including a live stream of every Blackhawks post-game press conference with Coach Joel Quenneville, numerous daily reports from Blackhawks "Insider" Tracey Myers, player interviews, game highlights, live in-game chat sessions, and much more.
There is a very good reason why Comcast SportsNet Chicago is going all out for the Blackhawks right now. For this regular 2011-2012 NHL season, CSN Chicago scored the highest Blackhawks regular season television ratings average in the history of Chicago regional sports television. According to Nielsen Ratings research, the Blackhawks regular season broadcasts on CSN Chicago this season posted a 3.11 final household season average (which equals approximately 108,299 households watching per game). That is a 12% increase over last season's 2.78 final average, a 28% increase from the final season average two years ago (2.44), a 147% increase from three years ago (1.26), and a whopping 394% increase from four years ago (0.63). As the Chicago Blackhawks popularity continues to grow, so do the television ratings locally.
The relationship between the Chicago Blackhawks and Comcast SportsNet Chicago goes much deeper than just ratings. The Blackhawks organization are also 20% owners in the local sports station.
Here now is the current schedule for the Chicago Blackhawks' Western Conference First Round Playoffs on CSN Chicago:
--- Game 1: Thursday, April 12, 9:00pm - Blackhawks at Coyotes
--- Game 2: Saturday, April 14, 9:00pm - Blackhawks at Coyotes
--- Game 3: Tuesday, April 17, 8:00pm - Blackhawks vs. Coyotes *(See note below)
--- Game 4: Thursday, April 19, 7:00pm - Blackhawks vs. Coyotes
--- Game 5: Saturday, April 21, 9:00pm - Blackhawks at Coyotes
--- Game 6: Monday, April 23, (Time TBD) - Blackhawks vs. Coyotes
--- Game 7: Wednesday, April 25, (Time TBD) – Blackhawks at Coyotes
For Tuesday, April 17th, the Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins game, originally scheduled on Comcast SportsNet at 6:00pm, will now be live on both Comcast SportsNet and CSN+ (or CLTV in the Chicago market) from 6:00pm-7:30pm. Then, at 7:30pm, Comcast SportsNet will cut away from the baseball game for "Blackhawks Pre-Game Live." The Cubs game will continue to be shown, but only on CSN+.
For those out of the Chicago market, NBC Sports will be broadcasting the games, with most on the NBC Sports Network (former Versus), and two games on CNBC.