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Versus Teams With Comcast Sports Net on Hockey

April 10, 2008 5:12 PM

With hockey ratings continuing to track up, both on national and local platforms, Versus will team with Comcast Sports Net (Comcast owns Versus) to maximize the audience surge for the sport. While the sport’s ratings are up nationally on both Versus and broadcaster NBC, local audiences are also enjoying the surge.

Versus found a 50% ratings increase over the course of the season, with a .3 rating, while Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic channel averaged a .7, a 75% ratings rise. Versus was up 47% (averaging a 2.2) on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

The outlets will now team up to offer hockey fans even more insight for the sport heading into the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a unique coverage collaboration that leverages both Versus’s national NHL experience with the local presence of Comcast SportsNet.

The launch of the partnership will find Comcast SportsNet viewers in Philadelphia and the Washington/Baltimore region receiving exclusive Versus national playoffs previews, highlights and wrap-ups from the network’s team of NHL studio experts including: Bill Patrick, Keith Jones and Brian Engblom during the Capitals-Flyers quarterfinal series.

The two teams will face each other in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals beginning on Friday, April 11.

According to Versus, “Each night that Comcast SportsNet carries the Flyers-Capitals series, Comcast SportsNet’s pre-game coverage will include a five-minute VERSUS national playoff preview live at 5:30 p.m. ET, alternating between Comcast SportsNet’s Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia networks. VERSUS will also produce a daily national playoff wrap-up, including highlights and studio analysis, airing during Comcast SportsNet’s locally produced ‘SportsRise’ morning news programs.”

Meanwhile, Comcast SportsNet will provide VERSUS viewers with supplemental post-game reaction from Washington and Philadelphia, including player comments from the locker room and coaches’ post game press conference remarks. Versus will also utilize Comcast SportsNet’s in-depth library of regular-season Capitals and Flyers coverage, including specials, features and player profiles about each team to enhance VERSUS’ national coverage of the series.

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