I managed to find the Versus ratings for the All-Star game this morning...
USA Today reports the overnight coming in at 0.8 (616,000 households), a 12% increase from last season. Nothing to brag about, as the X-Games outdrew the game by .2, but it still hung around with a regular-season match.
Ken Campbell of The Hockey News says that the "free lunch is over" for NBC in regards to the NHL TV rights deal.
I'm late on this, but Campbell says FOX is apparently interested in bringing back the NHL. (Insert goofy fighting robot joke here). Campbell explains how I feel about a new TV-rights deal well here in this paragraph:
A new deal likely wouldn’t be a financial bonanza for the league, but it would provide some revenues and, more importantly, place some tangible value on the television product. Even though all facets of the business are bound to be hurt by the economic downturn, the NHL sees its television presence as an area of potential growth, particularly with the upcoming 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.This was a setup that lead to more interesting news, though:
Speaking of outdoor games, look for next year’s to be played between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins at the 69,000-seat Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The league has come to the conclusion that the outdoor games work much better in a football stadium than a baseball venue and a Montreal-Boston game would be great for ratings on both sides of the border.I completely agree. There was nothing wrong at Wrigley, but to me playing in a football stadium year in and year out is just a no-brainer. More fans for a bigger gate receipt and the venue is already basically setup.
Check back later.