MSG Network, which netted a 36% rise in ratings with its coverage of the New York Rangers' regular season, figures to boost its Nielsen ranking with telecasts of each of the Broadway Blueshirts' first-round playoff series.
MSG or MSG + will present exclusive New York-area telecasts of each of the Rangers' seven potential contests versus the Ottawa Senators, starting with their April 12 game at 7 p.m. from Madison Square Garden. Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti will call the action from the booth, while Al Trautwig hosts each game telecast and John Giannone reports rinkside.
The RSN's pre-game coverage faces off at 6 p.m. and will follow the game with an hour-long postgame show.
Starting at 2 p.m. on each game day, Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay will host live, one-minute updates twice-an-hour from the MSG Studios, giving fans the latest information from the Rangers and around the NHL.
MSG Networks' comprehensive weekly hockey show, Hockey Night Live makes its postseason debut Saturday night and continues throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.
During the 2011-12 NHL regular season, MSG averaged a 0.99 household rating in the New York DMA, a 36% increase from a 0.73 mark the prior season, according to Nielsen data.The household rating stands as the Rangers' top delivery since a 1.05 mark during 2008-09 season.
The Rangers average ratings on MSG Networks grew in every demo, topped by a 150% increase among the 21-to-34 set (a 0.65 versus 0.26).
For its part, sister service MSG + will have the exclusive regional telecast of every New Jersey Devils game in the first round of the NHL playoffs, beginning Friday, April 13, when the club engages the Panthers in Florida at 7 p.m. Steve Cangialosi and Chico Resch will call the action from the booth for each game.
MSG+ will telecast exclusive pregame and postgame shows for each first round playoff game. Devils Game Night will start 30 minutes prior to puck drop and the hour-long Devils Postgame Show will immediately follow the contest's conclusion. Deb Placey will host both the pregame and postgame shows and Ken Daneyko will report rinkside. Stan Fischler will contribute to each Devils home game telecast.
The 2011-12 Stanley Cup playoffs marks the first postseason under the NHL's new 10-year, $1.9 billion national rights deal with NBC Sports Group. For the first time in league history all playoff games will have national telecast windows, with contests airing on NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL Network.
While the RSNs continue to hold rights for first-round telecasts -- with the NBCUniversal services and NHLNetwork exhibiting the contests outside of the participating teams' DMA -- they will no longer air the second-round games, which had been part of the last contract.
2012 MSG RANGERS PLAYOFFS TELECAST SCHEDULE
Game Date Opponent Time Network
Game 1 Thursday, April 12 vs. Senators 7:00 p.m. MSG
Game 2 Saturday, April 14 vs. Senators 7:00 p.m. MSG
Game 3 Monday, April 16 @ Senators 7:30 p.m. MSG
Game 4 Wednesday, April 18 @ Senators 7:30 p.m. MSG*
**Game 5 Saturday, April 21 vs. Senators 7:00 p.m. MSG
**Game 6 Monday, April 23 @ Senators TBD MSG
**Game 7 Thursday, April 26 vs. Senators TBD MSG
*subject to change; **if necessary
2012 MSG+ DEVILS PLAYOFFS TELECAST SCHEDULE
Game Date Opponent Time Network
Game 1 Friday, April 13 @ Panthers 7:00 p.m. MSG+
Game 2 Sunday, April 15 @ Panthers 7:30 p.m. MSG+
Game 3 Tuesday, April 17 vs. Panthers 7:00 p.m. MSG+
Game 4 Thursday, April 19 vs. Panthers 7:00 p.m. MSG+
*Game 5 Saturday, April 21 @ Panthers 6:30 p.m. MSG+
*Game 6 Tuesday April 24 vs. Panthers TBD MSG+
*Game 7 Thursday, April 26 @ Panthers TBD MSG+