Friday, February 8, 2008
Stamford, CONN. —VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League, will put a microphone on NHL legend and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, Wayne Gretzky, during the network’s February 11 telecast of the Phoenix Coyotes/Dallas Stars match-up from the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The game will air on VERSUS at 7 p.m. ET and in HD where available.
“Throughout the season, we always try new production enhancements and are constantly adding elements to our telecasts to get fans more engaged in the game,” said Mike Baker, Coordinating Producer for the NHL on VERSUS. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our viewers an insider’s look at the sport with on-the-bench commentary from the greatest NHL talent as he interacts with his players and coaches throughout the game.”
During the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend telecasts from Atlanta, VERSUS installed microphones and ear pieces on players during the All-Star Game and, for the first time, during the SuperSkills competition, so the announcers could interact with the players while they competed in the events.
Now in its third year televising the NHL, VERSUS has seen a substantial increase in viewership and ratings for the 2007/08 regular season as compared to the same amount of games during the 2006/07 regular season. After 39 games this season, national household ratings are up 50 percent, total viewership is up 28 percent, household impressions are up 22 percent and viewership for Men 25-54 is up 37 percent. The 2008 NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 27 also saw increased ratings and viewership over the 2007 All-Star Game and propelled VERSUS to a Top-15 ranked cable network among the key male demographics in impressions: Men 18-34 (ranked #10), Men 18-49 (ranked #12) and Men 25-54 (ranked #15). VERSUS celebrates real competition in all its forms across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 74 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, Davis Cup Tennis, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can't find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.