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NBC Sports Network showcases hockey's top talent with 10 hours of NHL All-Star weekend coverage

by jmaloni
Tue, Jan 24th 2012 12:30 pm

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., followed by the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft at 8 p.m. The network will then air the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday at 7 p.m., 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., 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 Thursday, Jan. 26, on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. 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 Saturday. 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.

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