NBC Sports Group Sets NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Coverage
For the third consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will be presented nationally across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group. During April, May and June, NBC Sports Group will televise as many as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC (in primetime), and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets - will stream all games on NBC, as well as all games airing on NBCSN and CNBC via "TV Everywhere."
Locally, NBC Sports Regional Networks will surround the Blackhawks (Comcast SportsNet Chicago), Bruins (Comcast SportsNet New England), Flyers* (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia), Sharks (Comcast SportsNet California), and Capitals* (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic) with in-depth live-event news coverage. NBCSports.com will provide comprehensive online coverage of the playoffs with online-only video, contributions from Comcast SportsNet insiders, and constant news updates from ProHockeyTalk.
The NHL is employing a new playoff format for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs that allows for a fixed bracket and emphasizes division rivals in the first two rounds. Following is a breakdown of the official format:
· The top three finishers in each Division automatically qualify and are designated No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds. Among the remaining teams in each Conference, the two teams with the best records qualify as Wild Cards and are designated No. 4 seeds.
· The first two rounds are divisional brackets. No. 1 plays No. 4, and No 2. plays No. 3, with winners advancing to play each other.
· Within each Conference, the Wild Card team with the better record will be assigned to the bracket of the Divisional leader with the lesser record.
· Home-ice advantage through the first two rounds goes to the higher seeded team, regardless of regular-season records.
· For the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, home-ice advantage goes to the team with the better regular-season record
Every first-round Stanley Cup Playoff game will be televised on a national platform.
NBCSN will be the primary home of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, offering coverage of one or two games virtually every night of the first round. NBC will present exclusive afternoon coverage during the weekends of April 19-20 and 26-27.
CNBC and NHL NETWORK will also provide live coverage in primetime. Games airing on NBCSN, CNBC and the NHL NETWORK will be subject to local blackouts in the first round.
NBC Sports Group's Stanley Cup Playoff exclusivity originates with the second round. Beginning in the second round and continuing through the Stanley Cup Final, all games will air exclusively on NBC, NBCSN, or CNBC.
NBCSN will serve as the primary home for second-round coverage, offering one or two games virtually every night. When necessary, CNBC will provide live coverage in primetime, although more infrequently than in the first round. NBC will present exclusive afternoon coverage during the weekend of May 3-4.
NBC and the NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Conference Finals. NBC will broadcast Saturday afternoon games on May 17-18, and on Saturday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET in primetime. The remaining games from both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be televised exclusively on NBCSN.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
For the eighth consecutive year, NBC and NBCSN will provide exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. NBC will broadcast Game 1, Game 4, and Games 5-7 (if necessary), with NBCSN televising Games 2-3. Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike 'Doc' Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and 'Inside-the-Glass' analyst Pierre McGuire will call the Stanley Cup Final.