Esposito brothers revisited: Chicago-Boston Final should be huge for NBC

I am sure Mike Emrick is gathering his stories on the Esposito brothers. Phil and Tony went at it back in the day.

Throw in some Bobby Orr, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, the old Chicago Stadium, and the old Boston Garden, and “Doc” should be good to go about a Final that links hockey’s present to its glorious past.

It’s hard to imagine a better scenario for NBC than Chicago-Boston in the Stanley Cup Final. It marks the first Original 6 Final since Montreal-New York Rangers in 1979.

If it is a compelling, tight series, NBC stands to break its network record for a Stanley Cup Final.

For starters, it has two large-market teams with passionate followings. Chicago is No. 3 with nearly 3.5 million TV homes, while Boston is No. 7 with 2.366 million homes.

You could argue No. 1 New York with the Rangers might produce better overall numbers, but ratings for that city usually are splintered when it comes to their sports teams. Boston will be fully behind the Bruins. It did a 25.4 rating for its Game 4 clincher against Pittsburgh.

Chicago, meanwhile, did a 19.6 rating for its Game 5 double OT victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Both teams did huge ratings during their last visits to the the Finals. Chicago pulled a 32.6 local rating for the Blackhawks Cup winner in Game 6 in 2010. Meanwhile, Boston delivered a 43.4 rating for its Game 7 victory over Vancouver in 2011.

Not coincidentally, those games were the highest-rated NHL games since the 1974 Stanley Cup Final, back when the TV universe was totally different.

Large ratings from the Chicago and Boston markets will have a dramatic impact on NBC’s national number again. Interest in hockey has increased in both towns since winning the Cup. Those local ratings might be even higher.

Big smiles here for NBC and the NHL.

A Chicago-Pittsburgh Final with Sidney Crosby might have had a bit more star power. But it’s hard to beat the romance of two Original 6ers from storied hockey towns playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Cue up the stories, Doc. This should be great.


Here’s a rundown of NBC’s coverage:

NEW YORK, N.Y. – June 9, 2013 – NBC Sports Group’s exclusive presentation of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final begins Wednesday night with Game 1 between the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins (2011 Stanley Cup Champions) and Western Conference Champion Chicago Blackhawks (2010 Stanley Cup Champions) at 8 p.m. ET on NBC from United Center in Chicago, Ill. NBC Sports Group broadcast (NBC), cable (NBC Sports Network), digital (NBC Sports Live Extra and, and regional (CSN Chicago and CSN New England) assets will all contribute to the comprehensive coverage of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

NBC will broadcast Games 1 and 4, and, if necessary, Games 5-7, while NBC Sports Network will telecast Games 2-3. In addition, NBC Sports Network will present pre-game and post-game coverage each game night. And for the first time ever, the Stanley Cup Final will be streamed live through NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBC Sports Regional Networks will continue to surround the Blackhawks (Comcast SportsNet Chicago) and Bruins (Comcast SportsNet New England) with in-depth live-event and/or news coverage. will provide comprehensive online coverage of the Final with online-only video, contributions from Comcast SportsNet insiders, and constant news updates from ProHockeyTalk.


Coverage of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins on NBC. All 2013 Stanley Cup Final games will air exclusively on NBC or the NBC Sports Network. Following is the full schedule (all times ET and subject to change):

Wednesday, June 12
8 p.m. Bruins @ Blackhawks (Game 1) NBC
Saturday, June 15
8 p.m. Bruins @ Blackhawks (Game 2) NBC Sports Network
Monday, June 17
8 p.m. Blackhawks @ Bruins (Game 3) NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, June 19
8 p.m. Blackhawks @ Bruins (Game 4) NBC
Saturday, June 22
8 p.m. Bruins @ Blackhawks (Game 5) * NBC
Monday, June 24
8 p.m. Blackhawks @ Bruins (Game 6) * NBC
Wednesday, June 26
8 p.m. Bruins @ Blackhawks (Game 7)* NBC

* If Necessary


For the first time ever, the Stanley Cup Final will be streamed live. NBC Sports Live Extra — the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will live stream all Stanley Cup Final games. NBC Sports Network games will be live streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Stanley Cup Final games airing on:

  • NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra.
  • NBC Sports Network will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere.” “TV Everywhere” is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

In addition to live streaming the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Live Extra will offer bonus coverage by utilizing Star Cam and Spotlight Cam for each game of the Stanley Cup Final. Star Cams are dedicated cameras that follow a star player from each team throughout the entire game. Spotlight Cam is a unique top-of-the-glass camera that is positioned at center ice. They are exclusive to NBC Sports Live Extra. This also marks the first time this season that alternate cameras have been used for the live streaming of games that air on NBC Sports Network.


Emmy Award-winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Emmy Award-winner Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-glass’ analyst) will call the action during each game.

The studio team will feature host Liam McHugh and analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones, with the latest highlights, news, analysis and player interviews, live on-location from either the United Center in Chicago, Ill. or TD Garden in Boston, Mass. The team will cover intermission reports during games, and pre-game and post-game shows on NBC Sports Network.

Additionally, Jeremy Roenick will conduct on-ice segments and demonstrations as part of the coverage.


NBC Sports Network will air encore presentations of the previous night’s NHL Live post-game show, as well as a cut-down version of the Stanley Cup Final game from the previous night.

NHL Live post-game encores will air nearly every day at 6 a.m. ET and 8:30 a.m. ET, with the game encore airing from 6:30-8:30 a.m. ET.


Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the hometown network for the Chicago Blackhawks, and Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston Bruins) will air special pre- and post-game coverage for all games, as well as in-depth coverage and analysis of their hometown teams.


Comcast Sports Net Chicago, the hometown network for the Chicago Blackhawks, will provide expanded, local “Blackhawks Post-Game Live” coverage, hosted by Pat Boyle & Steve Konroyd, following every Stanley Cup Final telecast. will also deliver “Blackhawks Post-Game Live” via live stream following every game.

In addition, the network will provide expanded pre/post-game coverage nightly on “SportsTalk Live”, weekdays at 5:30 p.m. CT, and on “SportsNet Central”, nightly at 6:30 p.m. CT, on game days, along with providing a half-hour show nightly at 11:00 p.m. CT on non-game days entitled “Blackhawks Fever”.‘s Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers and Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks beat reporter Chris Boden will cover every Stanley Cup Final game from either the United Center or TD Garden.


Comcast SportsNet New England will provide extensive coverage of the Bruins/Blackhawks series with Pre-Game Live and Post-Game Live shows surrounding every Stanley Cup Finals game. Michael Felger and Tony Amonte will lead the coverage, with analysis of each game and response to Bruins fans’ questions, posts, and tweets submitted on Twitter, Facebook, and

Unfiltered, in-depth discussion and analysis of the team’s playoff performance will also be part of all Comcast SportsNet programming, including Chevrolet SportsNet Central and UNO’s Sports Tonight. Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty will once again be on-site providing in-arena reports from every game, both home and away, and will be joined by Comcast SportsNet anchors Mike Giardi and KevinWalsh. will provide 24/7 coverage of the Bruins Playoffs action including daily game-day and off-day coverage from Haggerty and the entire CSN crew and post-game editions of “The Great American Hockey Show.” Fans can also follow @CSNNE on Twitter and join the conversation by using #BruinsTalk in their Twitter comments throughout the series.


In addition to its live stream coverage via NBC Sports Live Extra,’s ProHockeyTalk will anchor NBC Sports’ online and mobile coverage of the Stanley Cup Final.

ProHockeyTalk provides unique, informative and entertaining news, commentary and analysis — updated around the clock — on all the stories surrounding the Stanley Cup Final. Other features will include:

  • PHT Extra, a multiple-times-a-week online-only video segment.
  • Online-only videos featuring NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network hockey commentators previewing upcoming Stanley Cup Final games.
  • Content provided by Comcast SportsNet NHL insiders.
  • A NHL Stanley Cup Final Channel Finder tool that will help fans locate the times and stations for every Stanley Cup Final game.


In addition to broadcast, cable, regional and digital platforms, NBC Sports Group will connect with NHL fans via numerous social media initiatives, including social integration, on-air integration and news:

  • Social Integration:
    • Social Stanley Cup Final Schedule:
      • Fans that come to the Stanley Cup Final Schedule page on will not only be able to see schedule updates, but also dive into a deep photo experience. Fans can upload photos showing their Stanley Cup Final team spirit directly to or through team specific hashtags. Fans can vote on their favorite pictures and see the best of photos from the NHL and the teams using #StanleyCup. The best fan photos from this experience will be featured on-air during NBC and NBC Sports Network games.
    • #StanleyCup: NHL Fans can join the conversation by using the #StanleyCup hash tag across every game of the Stanley Cup Final.
    • NHL on NBC Sports Instagram: NHL fans can upload photos to Instagram and use #StanleyCup. The NHL on NBC Sports Instagram account will feature select fan photos.
    • Live Twitter Chats: Fans will have the opportunity to have live Twitter chats with NHL and NBC Sports personalities and commentators.
  • On-Air Integration:
    • Polls: Fans can weigh in on a variety of NHL themed polls on Facebook and Twitter that commentators will discuss throughout the Stanley Cup Final.
    • #MVPonNBC – During pre-game, post-game and in-game coverage, fans can tweet who they think is the #MVPonNBC. Commentators will discuss the fan favorites and weigh in with their own opinions.
  • News:
    • Fans can engage with Twitter (@NHLonNBCSports) and Facebook ( to receive the most up to date tune-in information, scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.





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