Nashville, Tenn. (July 10, 2015) – Looking ahead to the 2015-16 season, the Nashville Predators will continue building on the success of last season that included franchise-best broadcast ratings, exponential website and social media growth, in-depth behind-the-scenes coverage through Beneath the Ice and NashvillePredators.com and more to continue offering compelling content to all fans. Enhancing the team’s coverage on all media platforms allows fans to access materials across all mediums.
The center for all Nashville Predators content is NashvillePredators.com which includes the Smashville App, Beneath the Ice presented by Nissan and more. NashvillePredators.com, which ranked in the Top 15 among all NHL team websites for the first time in franchise history in January, grew by nearly one million hits over the course of the 2014-15 season. Throughout the 2015-16 season, NashvillePredators.com, along with the Smashville App, will continue to be the go-to, quick reference for all Preds news, stories and expert analysis. The Smashville App will also expand to include App radio and serve as the hub to Bridgestone Arena’s unique beacon technology that debuted during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
During the 2014-15 season, 75 Preds games were broadcast through television partner FOX Sports Tennessee, more than any in the team’s history, and included pregame shows for all home games and nearly half of the team’s road games. In part because of the increased coverage availability, Predators ratings on FOX Sports Tennessee were up 80 percent in the Nashville market, making 2014-15 the highest rated regular season ever on the network.
Nashville’s radio partnership with 102.5 The Game also grew during the last season as the station added weekly hockey segments with former NHL player and NBC Analyst Jeremy Roenick and ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside as well as frequent visits from Preds players and executives on shows like Coffee with the Coach and the Eric Nystrom Show.
Building on the success of both of the Preds’ broadcast partners, 2015-16 will include even more coverage – including expanded features and more pre and postgame coverage. Additionally, fans who tune-in to game broadcasts will hear familiar voices in new places. The “Voice of the Predators” Pete Weber will move into the Preds’ radio play-by-play role and Willy Daunic, who was behind the radio play-by-play mic in 2014-15, will move into the television play-by-play role.
“It’s been a great run on the Preds television broadcasts these last 17 years, including many of those early seasons which featured simulcasts, but I’m looking forward to returning to the medium that first gave me my love for sports broadcasting – the radio,” Weber said. “Not only am I excited to be calling all 82 regular-season games, but I’m also looking forward to being on the call for every Preds playoff game, and ultimately, getting to call the game when the Predators bring the Stanley Cup to a new home in Nashville.”
“I’m excited to move into a new role with FOX Sports Tennessee on the Predators television broadcasts,” Daunic said. “I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of the Predators broadcasts since Day One, and since then, so much of what I’ve learned about hockey and how to call a game has come from Pete Weber, who has been a tremendous mentor and friend to me. Pete is, and always will be, the voice of the Predators. I’m truly honored to have this opportunity.”
Weber and Daunic, along with Terry Crisp (who is now featured within Predators LIVE! pre and postgame shows), are all members of the Preds’ original broadcast team that saw Weber and Crisp broadcasting games for both television and radio via simulcast and Daunic serving as an in-studio radio host when the Preds began playing in Nashville 17 years ago. The expanding roles of Weber, who has missed just two games during his Preds broadcast assignment, Crisp, who offers a unique view as one of just 14 people to have won the Stanley Cup as both a player and a coach, and Daunic, who will remain a part of 102.5 The Game’s Sports Night show, are examples of how the Preds are working to further their success on the broadcast side.
Mark Howard, Stu Grimson, Darren McFarland, Lyndsay Rowley, Brent Peterson, Jay More and Dan Keczmer, who have all joined Nashville’s ever-expanding and improving broadcast team in recent years, will all return to the team in 2015-16.
On FOX Sports Tennessee, Daunic will be joined by Grimson in a color commentary role, with Crisp and Howard at the desk in pre and postgame coverage and Rowley on the sidelines, bringing fans closer to the action through interviews and special features.
On the radio, Weber will be joined by McFarland, host of the Predators Radio Network pre and postgame shows, and Peterson, More and Keczmer in color commentary roles. More Predators alumni will also join the radio team and will be announced as the 2015-16 season approaches. The Predators Radio Network pre and postgame shows for all regular season and playoff games will continue to originate from ESPN 102.5 The Game and TheGameNashville.com.
Beneath the Ice presented by Nissan, which debuted in October 2014 with a look at James Neal’s adjustment to his new team in Nashville, will return for a second season in 2015-16. Giving fans an inside look at the daily lives of Preds players both on and off the ice, Beneath the Ice will offer even more in-depth coverage during the upcoming season.
“As an organization, we are always striving to listen to our fans and act accordingly,” Nashville Predators President and COO Sean Henry said. “More coverage of the team, from behind-the-scenes access to features and game breakdowns, were all things that our fans had been thirsting for. We’re looking forward to continuing to build on last season’s excitement and improving the material we provide our fans, the best fans in the NHL.”
The Predators broadcast crew will continue to contribute unique content to the web at NashvillePredators.com and on the team’s social media channels (Twitter: @PredsNHL, Facebook: Nashville Predators Hockey Team). The 2015-16 slate of programming, including information on FOX Sports Tennessee broadcasts and Predators LIVE! pre and postgame shows, will be available later in the summer on NashvillePredators.com.
About the Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators became the National Hockey League’s 27th team on May 4, 1998 and have evolved from a young expansion franchise into a staple of the Middle Tennessee community in the 17 years since. The team is led by the only general manager in franchise history, David Poile, two-time Jack Adams Finalist and Stanley Cup-winner Peter Laviolette, and is anchored by three-time Norris Trophy finalist Shea Weber, three-time Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne, and a blend of rising young talent and experienced veterans.
About FOX Sports Tennessee
The FOX Sports regional networks serving the Southeast – FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Tennessee, FOX Sports Carolinas and SportSouth – collectively reach more than 13 million cable and satellite households in seven states across the Southeast. They are the television home of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Dream, Atlanta Hawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Hounds, Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Predators, Cincinnati Reds, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference, Conference USA and Big 12 Conference. Combined, the four networks produce more than 750 live local events and televise more than 1400 live local events each year. For more information, please visit FOXSportsSouth.com, FOXSportsTennessee.com, and FOXSportsCarolinas.com.
About ESPN 102.5 The Game
ESPN 102.5 The Game is locally owned and operated by the Cromwell Radio Group. Cromwell owns 28 stations in Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee with Nashville being the largest market and corporate headquarters. 102.5 The Game is proud to be the flagship station of the Nashville Predators, The Nashville Sounds and MTSU and is also heard on 97.5 in Murfreesboro. The Game's sister stations in Nashville include: ESPN 94.9 Game 2, flagship to Alabama and Notre Dame Football, also airing in Murfreesboro on 95.1; 102.9 The Buzz, Nashville's Rock Station for over 16 years; and 102.1 The Light, Your Feel Good Station which airs gospel music daily. For more information please visit TheGameNashville.com.