The Bruins are coming off their highest-rated regular season in NESN history. The team averaged a 3.1 rating this season, which was up 41 percent over last season. NESN announced this week that they will increase the W.B. Mason Bruins Face-Off LIVE pre-game show will expand from 30 minutes to an hour for the postseason. Kathryn Tappen will be joined by analysts Gord Kluzak and Barry Pederson, with Naoko Funayama reporting from ice level.
Comcast SportsNet also plans to expand their coverage of the Bruins for the playoffs: for each playoff game that begins at 7 p.m., they will add an additional Chevrolet SportsNet Central show immediately following the game, which will be weighted heavily with Bruins coverage. For games which begin at 7:30 p.m., the 10 o'clock edition of SportsNet Central will again offer expanded Bruins coverage.
The increased coverage will originate from Comcast SportsNet's Ace Ticket studio on Causeway Street (home games) or its Burlington studio (road games), and will be anchored by Michael Felger, who will have NHL veteran Tony Amonte alongside to provide analysis.
Comcast SportsNet anchors Mike Giardi and Kevin Walsh, and CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty will provide in-arena post-game coverage for every Bruins playoff game home or away.
The Celtics also enjoyed a record season on local television. The 70 games carried by Comcast SportsNet averaged a record 4.7 household rating, which was up 54 percent over last season. These numbers were the highest in the network's 30-year history of broadcasting the Celtics. Eight of the 10 highest-rated games in network history occurred this season, which was also the 30th for the venerable announcing team of Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn.
The network also plans expanded playoff coverage of the Celtics, with nightly coverage of the team on the 6 p.m. edition of SportsNet Central and 6:30 p.m. edition of Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight. The network will broadcast games 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, with full pre and post game coverage hosted by Gary Tanguay and Donny Marshall. Carolyn Manno and Kyle Draper will anchor the Chevrolet SportsNet Central coverage from the TD Garden and the road before and after all games. A. Sherrod Blakely and sideline reporter Greg Dickerson will also contribute to the game telecasts.
Once again, NESN's complete lack of any show dedicated to the Celtics stands out like a sore thumb.
WEEI had another big week, making two announcements on Monday, one involving the web side of things, and one involving the on-air side. First, a content sharing agreement between our very own SB Nation and WEEI.com was announced. This partnership, which you may have noticed already, involves cross-promotion of content between the two entities. In addition, WEEI.com will also run a box "Behind Enemy Lines" which will feature SB Nation content from bloggers in cities with teams that will be facing the locals.
Besides the content sharing elements of the partnership, WEEI.com and SB Nation will also work together on sales, promotional and other business opportunities.
The second move involved the already revamped "Big Show." In the spirit of the new partnership between SB Nation and WEEI.com, here is my take on Mike Adams joining the Big Show:
In a brilliant move, WEEI program director Jason Wolfe astutely read his audience perfectly, and responding to their wishes, moved the incredibly popular Mike Adams into a role with the new-look powerhouse afternoon drive show "The Big Show" with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley. Adams' hilarious comedy and pinpoint knowledge of all things sports will compliment the reasoned and insightful Ordway as well as the nuanced pearls of Patriots insider knowledge that Holley brings to the program. This is truly a win for all involved, especially the listeners, who will be treated to a show that will rival the very best that any station has put out in the history of radio.
Actually, no. I can't do it. I'm still going to have to zing WEEI when I think it is worthy of it, and this is one of those times. First of all, I get the financial aspect of it. With the Red Sox season starting, WEEI is paying Adams even though many if not most of his shows are shortened or preempted by baseball games. In that regard, it makes sense to get him more work.
On the other hand, a huge deal was made about the changes to the Big Show format, and how times were changing, and the show and station needed to make adjustments. So now they're adding to the show someone who is very much a one-trick pony, and whose trick -- alleged humor and wit -- wasn't that great to begin with. Sports-wise, Adams has encyclopedic knowledge of the 1978 Red Sox. Other than that, not so much. It was also said how Michael Holley was moved over to make the time-slot younger, hipper. The 50-something Adams pretty much cancels that out.
Glenn Ordway made a big deal about this, and the station sent out a press release on it. Not necessary. If you want to give Adams more work, have him do the flashes on "The Big Show," but don't trumpet it like it's a huge move.