2011 Approval Ratings – Heidi Watney

Heidi Watney is the Red Sox reporter for NESN.

Watney joined NESN in 2008, replacing the popular Tina Cervasio. She was born and raised in Fresno, California, and graduated with honors from the University of San Diego on an academic scholarship.

Prior to coming to NESN she was a sports anchor for Fox affiliate KMPH-TV in Fresno. She also did some time as a sports radio host for 1430 ESPN Radio KFIG in Fresno.

Her father is the golf coach at Fresno State, and her cousin Nick Watney is on the PGA tour. She was the third runner-up in the 2003 Miss California pageant

Heidi Watney 2011 Approval Ratings
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2011 Approval Ratings – Andy Brickley

Melrose native Andy Brickley has been Bruins analyst since 1996 when he was hired by WBZ radio to replace Barry Pederson, who had just received a promotion at the investment firm he was working at.

The following year, Brickley was hired to do the Bruins TV broadcasts on channel 38, replacing Derek Sanderson. In 2000, he moved to NESN, doing primarily the road games, alongside Dave Shea. Since 2005, Brickley has done all NESN Bruins telecasts home and away, and since 2007, all of those have been alongside Jack Edwards.

Brickley attended UNH, where Edwards actually called the games that Brickley was playing in. Brickley had a 14-year professional hockey career (both minor league and NHL), including the Bruins from 1988-1992, and actually got his start in broadcasting while he was a player with the Grizzlies of Salt Lake City. While he was injured, Brickley participated in the radio broadcasts of the IHL club.  

He made a brief comeback as a player during the 1999-2000 season when he played three games for the Providence Bruins.

Brickley also has national broadcast experience, working games with Versus/NBC.

Andy Brickley 2011 Approval Ratings
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2011 Approval Ratings – Mike Milbury

Former Bruins player and coach Mike Milbury has become one of the most in-demand NHL analysts both locally and nationally.

The Massachusetts native has done Bruins studio analysis for NESN, as well as co-hosted the network’s show The Instigators. He has also been doing a weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI. Nationally, Milbury is the studio analyst for NBC’s NHL “Game of the Week,” and has been very visible during the Bruins postseason run. He also has done work as an analyst for TSN and CBC in Canada.

Milbury has made a name for himself with some of his very strong and sometimes outrageous opinions and rants, perhaps most famously last year during the Olympics, referring to the style of the Russia team as “Eurotrash.”

Mike Milbury 2011 Approval Ratings
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2011 Approval Ratings – Kathryn Tappen

Kathryn Tappen is NESN’s host of Boston Bruins studio coverage.

She broke onto the New England media scene in 2005 at NBC Channel 10 in Providence, Rhode Island, where she was the weekend sports anchor and sports reporter for the station. She also has received two Emmy nominations for sports feature reporting. Tappen has served as a sideline reporter for NBC Universal Sports and hosted a nightly special covering the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

In August 2006, she moved over to NESN, where she remains, though for how long is unknown. Rumors have been flying that the NHL Network, with a fancy new U.S. studio and facility has their eye on Tappen as a potential host on a national level.

This past year, Tappen also spent time with the Patriots, serving as a sideline reporter and delivering a 1-on-1 with Randy Moss following his remarks after the Patriots season opener.

Tappen is married to former Bruin Jay Leach, who got into seven games with the New Jersey Devils this past season.

Kathryn Tappen 2011 Approval Ratings
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Local and National Stanley Cup Finals Coverage

Here is a roundup of the local and national coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals.

From the NHL:

2011 STANLEY CUP FINAL TO FEATURE VANCOUVER CANUCKS VS. BOSTON BRUINS

NEW YORK (May 27, 2011) – The 2011 Stanley Cup Final will feature the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins.

Based on their superior regular-season performance, the Canucks will host Games One and Two of the Stanley Cup Final, as well as Games Five and Seven, if necessary.  Games Three and Four will be hosted by the Bruins, as well as game Six, if necessary.

NBC will telecast Games One and Two and, if necessary, Games Five through Seven of the best-of-seven series in the U.S., while VERSUS will broadcast Games Three and Four. In Canada, CBC and RDS will provide coverage for the entire series. All games also will be carried on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

NHL Network, the League’s 24-hour, all-access pass to the most comprehensive hockey coverage, will feature special programming surrounding the Stanley Cup Final.  NHL.com will continue to provide extensive digital coverage.

2011 Stanley Cup Final Schedule

Game                Date                 Time (ET)        Vancouver vs. Boston                Networks
Game 1                Wed., June 1        8:00 p.m.         Boston at Vancouver                CBC, NBC, RDS

Game 2                Sat., June 4        8:00 p.m.         Boston at Vancouver                CBC, NBC, RDS

Game 3                Mon., June 6        8:00 p.m.         Vancouver at Boston                   VERSUS, CBC, RDS

Game 4                Wed., June 8         8:00 p.m.         Vancouver at Boston                VERSUS, CBC, RDS

*Game 5        Fri., June 10          8:00 p.m.         Boston at Vancouver                CBC, NBC, RDS

*Game 6        Mon., June 13        8:00 p.m.         Vancouver at Boston                NBC, CBC, RDS

*Game 7        Wed., June 15        8:00 p.m.        Boston at Vancouver                 CBC, NBC, RDS

* – If necessary
All times listed are Eastern Time

### 5/27/2011
From NESN:
NESN ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPAND BRUINS COVERAGE FOR STANLEY CUP FINAL

Daily Live Coverage Begins Tuesday, May 31 with Series Preview

 

BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, will expand its coverage of the Bruins during the Stanley Cup Final to include daily live shows beginning with a special series preview edition of Bruins Face-Off LIVE on Tuesday, May 31 at 5:30 p.m. NESN.com, already the region’s most popular hockey site, will also enhance its Bruins coverage for the Stanley Cup Final with more daily reports, expert opinions, cutting-edge analysis, original videos and other interactive features.

 

“As NESN’s ratings have shown, New England’s sports fans are supporting the Bruins in record numbers this season while relying on our team of experts since training camp opened in September for the most knowledgeable and in-depth coverage,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO.  “With the Bruins now in the Stanley Cup Final we are excited to deliver an unprecedented amount of live coverage with up-to-the minute reports on NESN.com.”

 

NESN’s daily live Bruins programming will consist of pre and post-game coverage before and after every game along with special editions of Bruins Face-Off LIVE airing on the team’s off days.  For Bruins home games, Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by Hess will continue to originate from NESN’s TD Garden studio.  After each game, Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE will feature interviews and instant reaction from NESN’s team of hockey analysts.

 

NESN’s Bruins studio host Kathryn Tappen will be joined by studio analysts Gord Kluzak, Barry Pederson, and play-by-play voice Jack Edwards throughout the series. Bruins game analyst Andy Brickley, rink-side reporter Naoko Funayama and NESN.com beat writer Doug Flynn will travel with the team to deliver in-arena coverage from Vancouver.

 

NESN’s Bruins Stanley Cup Final Programming Schedule

Tuesday, May 31 Bruins Face-Off LIVE (30 min. preview special) 5:30 PM
 

Wednesday, June 1

Game 1 Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by HESS (90 min.) 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM
 

Thursday, June 2

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:30 PM
 

Friday, June 3

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:30 PM
 

Saturday, June 4

Game 2 Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by Hess 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM
 

Sunday, June 5

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 9:30 PM
 

 

Monday, June 6

Game 3 Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by HESS (90 min.) 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM
 

Tuesday, June 7

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:30 PM
 

Wednesday, June 8

Game 4 Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by Hess 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM
 

Thursday, June 9

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:30 PM
 

Friday, June 10

Game 5* Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by Hess 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM
 

Saturday, June 11

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:00 PM
 

Sunday, June 12

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:00 PM
 

Monday, June 13

Game 6* Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by HESS (90 min.) 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM
 

Tuesday, June 14

Bruins Face-Off LIVE 5:30 PM
 

Wednesday, June 15

Game 7* Bruins Face-Off LIVE presented by HESS 6:30 PM
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE 10:45 PM

 

*= If Necessary

From Comcast SportsNet:

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO OFFER COMPREHENSIVE NIGHTLY AND GAME-DAY COVERAGE OF BRUINS-CANUCKS STANLEY CUP FINALS

BURLINGTON, MA – The Boston Bruins have returned to the Stanley Cup Finals and seek their first Cup since 1972. Comcast SportsNet will offer the region’s most comprehensive coverage of the series before and after the nationally exclusive telecasts on either NBC or VERSUS.
 Comcast SportsNet’s nightly coverage of the Bruins-Canucks series will begin every evening at 6:00 p.m. with Chevrolet SportsNet Central. Anchors/reporters Mike Giardi and Kevin Walsh and CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty will provide extensive nightly reports. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bob Beers and VERSUS/NBC hockey analysts are expected to contribute to Comcast SportsNet’s nightly and game night coverage.

As a lead-in to NBC’s and VERSUS’ game-night coverage, Comcast SportsNet will also host a one-hour Chevrolet SportsNet Central Extra at 7:00 p.m. with Michael Felger and Tony Amonte in-studio previewing the game and Giardi, Walsh and Haggerty reporting live from inside the arena.  NBC is airing Games 1, 2 and VERSUS games 3 and 4. If necessary, NBC will provide coverage of games 5, 6 and 7. All telecasts begin 8 p.m.

Following every NBC and VERSUS national high-definition telecast, Comcast SportsNet will host a one-hour post-game Chevrolet SportsNet Central Extra, which will feature in-depth analysis and player interviews along with player and coach press conferences.

Comcast SportsNet’s coverage will also extend to CSNNE.com where Giardi and Haggerty will file post-game editions of the Great American Hockey Show after each Bruins-Canucks game. CSNNE.com will also feature an in-depth “Game Story” package following each game that features a game summary, player(s) of the game profile; analysis on the game’s “turning point” and a “by the numbers” breakdown.

The Comcast SportsNet live coverage surrounding NBC’s and VERSUS’ game telecasts is as follows:

Wednesday, June 1
6 p.m. –  SportsNet Central
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
8 p.m. – Bruins vs. Canucks Game 1 on NBC
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
12 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central

Saturday, June 4
6 p.m. – SportsNet Central (Live)
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra (Live)
8 p.m. – Bruins vs. Canucks Game 2 on NBC
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central (Live)

Monday, June 6
6 p.m. – SportsNet Central
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
8 p.m. – Canucks vs. Bruins Game 3 on VERSUS
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
12 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central

Wednesday, June 8
6 p.m. – SportsNet Central
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
8 p.m. – Canucks vs. Bruins Game 4 on VERSUS
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
12 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central

Friday, June 10*
6 p.m. – SportsNet Central
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
8 p.m. – Bruins vs. Canucks Game 5 on NBC
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
12 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central

Monday, June 13*
6 p.m. – SportsNet Central
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
8 p.m. –  Canucks vs. Bruins Game 6 on NBC
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
12 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central

Wednesday, June 15
6 p.m. – SportsNet Central
7 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
8 p.m. – Bruins vs. Canucks Game 7 on NBC
11 p.m. – SportsNet Central Extra
12 p.m. – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight
1 a.m. – SportsNet Central
###

2011 Approval Ratings – Jack Edwards

Update - A mirrored version of the messageboard is now available. Click on the Forum link above.

We wrap up what has been a “Bruins Week” with NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards.

A New England native who went to both high school (Oyster River High School) and college (UNH) in Durham NH, Edwards has had a long and varied career, broadcasting many different sports at many different outlets.

He’s worked at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH, WRKO radio, WCVB-TV and WHDH-TV in Boston, as well as doing work for ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the late 1980′s.

In 1991 he joined ESPN and remained there until 2003, where he was a SportsCenter anchor, and did play-by-play for the Little League World Series, NHL games and soccer.

He’s found a home however, in his role on the Bruins telecasts, a role he began on a part-time basis back in 2005, and took over full time in 2007.

Edwards has gained notoriety on the national level with some of his outbursts and post game rants on the NESN telecasts.

He was the recent subject of a curious Saturday morning inquisition on WEEI last month, one which people are still talking about. (In this comment section, anyway.)

He’s clearly another guy that viewers either love or hate, and here’s your chance to say which side you come down on.

Jack Edwards 2011 Approval Ratings
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Doing Some Friday Megalinkage

Now that I’ve learned that I don’t have to travel in between two offices today, I’ll do some megalinks for you.

You can check out the Weekend Sports and Primetime Viewing Picks here. Now to your links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with TNT’s Steve Kerr on the similarities he sees between the Chicago Bulls teams he played on with Michael Jordan and the Miami Heat of today.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News breaks news that TNT’s Marv Albert is in talks with CBS to possibly replace Gus Johnson for the NCAA Tournament. Bob isn’t national, but it’s big enough news to be placed here.

In Sports Business Journal, John Ourand and Michael Smith report on how ESPN and Fox came together for the Pac-12 TV contract.

Kimberly Nordyke of the Hollywood Reporter says Oprah Winfrey’s booking of the United Center for her overblown farewell shows has forced the NBA to juggle the schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals.

To Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News who writes that TNT is on a fast track to have its highest-rated NBA postseason in its history.

Mike has a story on the NBC Sports Group signing Saratoga Race Course for horse racing programming in the summer.

Noted FoxSports.com basketball writer Jeff Goodman announces that he’s leaving for CBSSports.com.

Also writing his farewell column is noted hockey reporter E.J. Hradek who’s leaving ESPN.com for the NHL Network.

At the Business of College Sports, Kristi Dosh says despite what rivals’ complaints, there’s nothing unfair about the new Longhorn Network.

Matt Hinton at Yahoo’s Dr. Saturday college football blog notes that ESPN.com really messed up in reporting the death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Davis.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem about a faltering Tiger Woods and what it means to the Tour.

Darren explores the new magazine put forth by energy drink distributor Red Bull.

Darren notes that Nike is coming under fire again for factory conditions in Asia.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for nights 25-28 of the NHL Playoffs.

Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has audio of a Simmons call into the Tony Korneheiser show this week.

Dan also has video of a deeply subdued Gus Johnson talking to Dan Patrick about his move to Fox.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that Versus’ Jeremy Roenick gave praise to Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks, two games after calling him “gutless”.

In Publiside, Gail Sideman advises athletes to keep using social media despite some recent incidents where some did not think before tweeting.

In Major League Programs, Dave Kohl reviews the sports media news of the week.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe quotes a WCVB-TV interview with NESN’s Jerry Remy in which he states he expects to return to analyzing Red Sox games on Monday. Remy has been out with pneumonia. Chad also breaks news that NESN’s Kathryn Tappen is being targeted by NHL Network as a possible studio host.

At SB Nation Boston, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen says the Bruins now have the region’s attention all to themselves.

NESN has Heidi Watney visiting the MLB Fan Cave.

Newsday’s Neil Best notes that Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee actually saw Tiger Woods’ implosion at the Players Championship coming before it happened.

Melissa Hoppert of the New York Times discusses NBC Sports Group bringing Saratoga horse racing into the fold.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick hates everything and everybody today, but when is that different from any other day?

Justin Terranova at the Post has five questions for NBA TV’s Kevin McHale.

Ken Belson from the New York Times writes that the famed Melrose Games may leave its Madison Square Garden home where it’s been held for almost a century.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Siena lacrosse fans have a few ways to monitor their team’s NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse this weekend.

Ken says an NCAA Division III Lacrosse Tournament game will be online for fans to listen.

Patrick Berkery from the Philly Burbs papers talks with Comcast SportsNet Phillies analyst Chris Coste.

Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from this same time last year.

Dan says the DC sports media is firing shots at each other over whether DC NFL Team quarterback Donovan McNabb refused to wear a wristband to help him calls plays because it didn’t look good.

Dan says one DC radio show is sending barbs at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic over its reporting on the McNabb wristband.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says NBC will be all over The Players Championship this weekend.

Jim notes that NASCAR is coming to the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend.

And Jim says the NBA is heating up on both ESPN and TNT.

South

Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks at the latest sports media news.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks with the man who’s spearheading ESPN’s Longhorn Network and getting it ready for launch this summer.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has a chat with NBA TV’s Kevin McHale over Oklahoma City’s win over Memphis the other night.

Mel says the Thunder are setting local ratings records.

Mel also has his media notebook.

Midwest

Jeff Bell of Columbus Business First writes that Fox Sports Ohio will be a corporate sponsor of the local sports commission.

The Detroit News says last night’s wild Game 7 between the Red Wings and San Jose Sharks set a ratings record for Fox Sports Detroit.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks about ESPN getting all hands on deck for a special college basketball game on Veterans Day.

In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman lists his weekly winners and losers.

Erin Meyer of the Chicago Tribune says the staff of WMAQ-TV is shocked over the death of sports anchor Daryl Hawks who was found in a hotel room as he was to cover last night’s Bulls-Hawks game.

Maudlyne Ihezjerika of the Chicago Sun-Times says another WMAQ-TV sportscaster died under similar circumstances almost a decade ago.

NBC Chicago has a slideshow of Daryl’s career not only at the station, but before he came to the Windy City.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports radio executive’s tumultuous tenure is coming to an end.

West

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers now have a local TV deal.

John Maffei of the North County Times talks about announcers shuffling back and forth between networks.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says TNT’s Charles Barkley’s premonition about the Lakers ended up coming true.

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News answers real sports media questions from fake readers.

Tom looks at an organization that aids reporters and writers with financial assistance.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin says golf viewership is getting out of red numbers.

We’re going to end it there. Enjoy your sports weekend

Jack Edwards, NESN Sign Multi-Year Extension

From NESN:

BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with the network. Edwards has teamed up with Bruins color analyst Andy Brickley in the NESN booth since 2005 and is also a regular contributor to NESN’s popular weekly hockey debate and discussion program called The Instigators with Mike Milbury.

 “For the past six years, Jack has been an energetic and important part of NESN’s Bruins hockey coverage,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “We are very happy to extend his contract, and look forward to his passionate presence in the broadcast booth for years to come.”

 Jack Edwards said, “Who has more fun than us? To work with Brick, Naoko, and our NESN production crew is to live the dream. We feed off the energy and passion of Bruins fans across New England and hockey fans all over the world.  We love our work and we love working together. To be part of that, to share the space with people who pour so much of their time and effort into covering this team and this sport, is the pinnacle of my career.” 

A New Hampshire native with over 30 years of sports broadcasting experience, Edwards joined NESN in 2005. Best known for his role as a SportsCenter anchor and NHL play-by-play announcer at ESPN, Edwards has also served as a local sports anchor and as a reporter for ABC’s Wide World of Sports and Winter Olympics coverage. In addition to his work with NESN, Edwards is also a senior partner and executive producer for Fountainhead Production, an independent film and TV production company specializing in HD productions.

Bruins/Canadiens Game 7 Sets New Ratings Record for NESN

From NESN:

NESN set a new single-game ratings record for Bruins hockey last night with a 17.7 average household rating in the Boston DMA.

The game peaked at a 26.6 rating during the 10:00 PM quarter hour as Nathan Horton scored the game winner in overtime to propel the Bruins into the Eastern Conference Semifinals. NESN’s previous best-ever single-game hockey rating was a 14.1, set two years ago on May 14, 2009 in a Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

 NESN’s ratings numbers in most of the key demographic categories also set new network records, including a 21.5 in Men 25-54, 18.3 in Men 18-49, and 15.6 in Adults 25-54.

Best Playoff Series in NESN History

NESN’s coverage of the Bruins-Montreal first round playoff series dominated the Boston television market over the past 2 weeks.  NESN’s 7 telecasts averaged an 11.9 household rating, which made it the highest-rated Bruins playoff series in network history. NESN’s Bruins coverage was the top-rated program in the Boston DMA on 4 of the 7 nights. The previous ratings record for a series was set in 2009, when NESN garnered a 9.9 average household rating for the Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Playoff Pre and Post-Game Shows Also Enjoy Ratings Success

NESN’s ratings success extended beyond the games with impressive pre and post-game ratings throughout the series. Bruins FaceOff LIVE presented by Hess expanded to 60 minutes for the first round of the playoffs and averaged a 2.1 household rating during the series, including a 2.7 before last night’s deciding game. NESN’s post-game show, Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE, averaged a 4.1 household rating that was highlighted by an 8.4 after the Bruins’ exciting Game 7 victory.

Bruins/Canadiens Series Hot On Both Sides, NESN Ratings Up

As the Bruins and Canadiens get ready to start their first round playoff series this week, ticket demand is already high. It is the most in-demand series, ticket-wise, of all the first round matchups. Ticket prices in Montreal are the highest, and the games in Boston the second highest. Click on the image for ticket information for Bruins/Canadiens.

On the Television side, NESN sent out a release today announcing that they 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. The numbers were also up in 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%).

All of NESN’s Bruins-related studio programs experienced double digit ratings gains over last season, including W.B. Mason Bruins FaceOff LIVE (+16%), Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE (+68%), The Big Bad Bruins Show with Kathryn Tappen (+18%), and The Instigators with Mike Milbury (+122%).

Here’s the rest of the release:

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 W.B. Mason 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