A national, neutral broadcast of the Stanley Cup Final is coming to radio for the first time in eight years. Sirius XM has previously offered local team broadcasts, but there hasn’t been a national feed in a long while. That’s now going to change, as the NHL and NBC announced this week that NBC Sports Radio will be the exclusive national terrestrial radio provider for the Stanley Cup Final, and will provide a national broadcast through its affiliates, other terrestrial stations, Sirius XM and various streaming platforms. Here are the details:
NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One, will provide broadcast coverage of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final to affiliated and other terrestrial radio stations. The broadcasts will also be available via NBCSportsRadio.com, the NBC Sports Radio App and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and the TuneIn digital radio platform. A list of stations carrying the Stanley Cup Final will be available on NBCSportsRadio.com.
Kenny Albert (play-by-play) and Joe Micheletti (analyst) will serve as NBC Sports Radio’s broadcast team for the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Albert calls regular-season and post-season NHL games on NBC and NBCSN and has served as a hockey play-by-play commentator for NBC Sports at four Winter Olympics. Micheletti serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Group’s NHL regular-season and post-season coverage, and began his broadcasting career in 1985 as part of the St. Louis Blues radio team.
“We’re thrilled to bring the Stanley Cup Final to NBC Sports Radio and enhance NBC’s position as the home of hockey in the United States,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures. “The Stanley Cup Final is an iconic event. Its addition bolsters NBC Sports Radio’s position as a hub for dynamic sports talk and high-profile events throughout the year.”
“NBC Sports Group has been a tremendous partner in making the game more accessible to fans,” said David Proper, NHL Executive Vice President of Media Distribution & Strategy. “This extension of our partnership to bring the Stanley Cup Final to NBC Sports Radio is an added bonus for hockey fans coast to coast.”
This is an interesting move, and one that should be appealing for some neutral fans who want to listen to the final on the radio without the homerism of either team’s local broadcast. Albert and Michelitti should be good picks to call this, too; both have been solid on NBC’s TV coverage of the NHL, and both have some radio experience. We’ll see how popular this proves and if there’s impetus to do it again in future years, or if the NHL will return to just the local feeds.