The NHL’s top players head to Scotiabank Place in Ottawa for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game Jan. 29 at 4pm ET on NBC Sports Network. Like last year, the All-Star teams will be drafted by team captains from a pool of players selected by fan balloting and the NHL. Captains this year are Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators and Zdeno Chara of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Expect it to be another rough All-Star Game for goalies: Last year, the team captained by Nicklas Lidstrom beat Eric Staal’s team 11-10. NBC Sports Network airs the All-Star Player Fantasy Draft Thursday, Jan. 26, at 8pm ET, and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 7pm ET. Complete release and programming details from NBC Sports Network below:
NBC SPORTS NETWORK SHOWCASES HOCKEY’S TOP TALENT WITH 10 HOURS OF NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND COVERAGE
NHL Viewership on NBC and NBC Sports Network up from Last Year
NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Jan. 26 (8 p.m. ET); 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 28 (7 p.m. ET); and 2012 NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 29 (4 p.m. ET)
Fantasy Draft Pre-Show on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET and NHL Overtime from Ottawa on Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. ET
NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 24, 2012) – NBC Sports Network will air an all-encompassing 10 hours of coverage of the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, beginning with the NHL Fantasy Draft Pre-Show on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft at 8 p.m. ET. The network will then air the 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, showcasing the league’s top stars as they demonstrate their skating, puck-handling and shooting skills. The weekend will culminate with coverage with the 59th NHL All-Star Game on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET, live from Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
The NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft will once again show the two captains, Daniel Alfredsson of the All-Star Weekend host Ottawa Senators and Zdeno Chara of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, and their alternate captains (New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, respectively) hand-pick their All-Star teams live on Thur., Jan. 26, on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET. Each All-Star team will be comprised of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards.
Heading into the All-Star break, viewership for NHL games on both NBC and NBC Sports Network has grown compared to last season. NHL games on NBC (excluding the Winter Classic) are averaging 1.36 million viewers, up nine percent from the same number of games last year. On NBC Sports Network, NHL telecasts overall are averaging 330,000 viewers, up 13 percent from the same number of weeks last year, while exclusive time-period games (Wednesday and Sunday nights) are averaging 467,000 viewers, up 17 percent from last year’s exclusive coverage. NBC Sports Network recorded its most-watched regular-season game ever with this season’s opening night match-up between Philadelphia and Boston on Oct. 6 (874,000 viewers), and has already set records for highest local household ratings in several markets, such as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Tampa.
Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) will serve as the in-booth announce team for the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sat., Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. ET. They will be joined by Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick on the ice for player interviews after each competition, as well as Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones from the studio at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.
Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play) and Olczyk (analyst) will anchor NBC Sports Network’s All-Star Game coverage, with McGuire stationed “inside-the-glass” and Roenick conducting player interviews. The studio show will feature host McHugh, with Milbury and Jones live from Ottawa.
Additional All-Star Weekend Programming – NBC Sports Network will offer viewers live reports from Ottawa during each of the network’s nightly shows, beginning with a special 90-minute NBC SportsTalk on Thur., Jan. 26, at 6 p.m. ET. Additionally, a special NHL Overtime will air from Ottawa on Fri., Jan. 27, at 10 p.m. ET. NHL Overtime will examine the biggest stories, surprises and disappointments of the NHL season thus far, as well as a look towards the second half of the season and playoffs.
Digital/Social Media – This week at Facebook.com/NHLonNBCSports, NHL fans will have the chance to flex their fantasy muscles in this year’s NHL on NBC Sports All-Star Fantasy Draft Master challenge. Beginning Wed., Jan. 25, through Facebook, fans will be challenged to choose the order that they think each starting position and player will be drafted in during the All-Star Fantasy Draft. This year’s Draft Master who most closely predicts the draft order will be announced during the NHL Skills Challenge on the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 28, and featured on the NHL on NBC Sports Facebook page.