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The NHL on ABC is a former TV show that televised National Hockey League games on the American Broadcasting Company and was produced by ABC's corporate sibling (under the Walt Disney Company umbrella) ESPN.

Before the 1992–93 NHL season Edit

In 1979, ABC was contracted to televise Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Since the Finals ended in 5 games, the contract was void. Had there been a Game 7, then Al Michaels (play-by-play), Jim McKay (anchor, under the Wide World of Sports umbrella), Bobby Clarke (color commentator), and Frank Gifford (reporter) would've called it. This would have given Michaels the distinction of calling all four major North American sports championships, having since called the Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA Finals.

1992–1994 version Edit

In the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons, ABC televised 6 weekly regional telecasts on Sunday afternoons beginning in March (or the last 3 Sunday of the regular season). This marked the first time that regular season broadcasts of National Hockey League games were aired on American network television since 1974–75 (when NBC was the NHL's American broadcast television partner). ABC would then televise 3 weeks worth of playoff games (or the first 3 Sundays of the playoffs). They didn't televise the Stanley Cup Finals which instead, were televised nationally by ESPN and by Prime Ticket in Los Angeles (1993) and MSG Network in New York (1994). Games televised on ABC were not subject to blackout.

These broadcasts (just as the case was with the 1999–2000–2003–04 package) were essentially, time buys by ESPN. The main difference is that the graphics were ABC Sports' instead of the ones seen on ESPN National Hockey Night. In later years, the roles would be reversed as ESPN's graphical style would be used with the exception of intermission reports. ABC even used ESPN's theme music for the 1992–1994 coverage and get to televised the first 2 rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. During ABC's next stint with the NHL, they had their own theme music (composed by Bob Christianson).

Schedules Edit

  1993-94 Edit

Main article: 1993–94 NHL season

Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern)
March 27 Boston at Washington
Detroit at Chicago
New York Rangers at Winnipeg
Los Angeles at Vancouver
1:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.

April 3 Boston at Pittsburgh
Dallas at Washington
St. Louis at Detroit
Edmonton at Los Angeles
1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m.

April 10 New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Boston at Philadelphia
Los Angeles at Chicago
Dallas at St. Louis
1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

April 17, 24, May 1: Playoffs

Stanley Cup Playoff commentator crews Edit

1993 Edit

Round Series Games covered Play-by-play Color commentators Ice level reporters
Division semifinals Pittsburgh vs. New Jersey Games 1, 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Al Morganti
Chicago vs. St. Louis Games 1, 4 Mike Emrick Jim Schoenfeld Tom Mees
Calgary vs. Los Angeles Games 1, 4 Al Michaels John Davidson
Division finals Pittsburgh vs. NY Islanders Game 1 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Al Morganti
Toronto vs. St. Louis Game 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Al Morganti
Vancouver vs. Los Angeles Game 1 Mike Emrick John Davidson
Conference finals Montreal vs. NY Islanders Game 1 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Al Morganti

1994 Edit

Round Series Games covered Play-by-play Color commentators Ice level reporters
Conference quarterfinals NY Rangers vs. NY Islanders Games 1, 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Al Morganti
Dallas vs. St. Louis Games 1, 4 Tom Mees Darren Pang (Game 1)

John Davidson (Game 4)

Bob Neumeier (Game 1)
Conference semifinals New Jersey vs. Boston Game 1 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Al Morganti

Announcers Edit

Studio hostEdit

Broadcast teamsEdit

1992-93

  1. Gary Thorne-Bill Clement
  2. Mike Emrick-Jim Schoenfeld/John Davidson
  3. Al Michaels-John Davidson

1992-93

  1. Gary Thorne-Bill Clement
  2. Tom Mees-Darren Pang/John Davidson
  3. Bob Miller-John Davidson

Ice level reporters Edit

The NHL returns to ABC (1999–2004) Edit

In August 1998, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 signed a 5-year television deal with the NHL, worth a total of approximately US$600,000,000 (120,000,000/year). The $120,000,000/year that ABC and ESPN paid for rights dwarfed the $5.5 million that the NHL received from American national broadcasts in the 1991–92 season.[60] As previously mentioned, as was the case with the 1992-1994 deal, ABC's subsequent NHL coverage was in reality, made up of time–buys from ESPN. This was noted in copyright beds at the conclusion of the telecasts, i.e. "The preceding program has been paid for by ESPN, Inc." ESPN then signed a similar television rights contract in 2002 so it could produce and broadcast National Basketball Association games on ABC.

This time around, ABC televised 4–5 weeks worth of regional games on Saturday afternoons beginning in January. ABC also televised the National Hockey League All-Star Game and Games 3–7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in prime time. In the league's previous broadcast television deal with Fox, the network split coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals with ESPN. Games 1, 5 and 7 were usually scheduled to be televised by Fox; Games 2, 3, 4 and 6 by ESPN. However from 1995 to 1998, the Finals were all 4 game sweeps; 1999 ended in 6 games. The consequence was that – except for 1995, when Fox did televise Game 4 – the decisive game was never on network television.

2003 was the only year that ABC broadcast both the NBA and the Stanley Cup Finals that involved teams from one city in the same year, as both the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils were in their respective league's finals. During ABC's broadcast of Game 3 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Nets in New Jersey on June 8, Brad Nessler, Tom Tolbert and Bill Walton said that ABC was in a unique situation getting ready for both that game and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Devils and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim the following night, also at Continental Airlines Arena. Gary Thorne, Bill Clement and John Davidson mentioned this the following night, and thanked Nessler, Tolbert and Walton for promoting ABC's broadcast of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals

Following the 2003–04 season, ESPN was only willing to renew its contract for 2 additional years at $60,000,000/year. ABC refused to televise the Stanley Cup Finals in prime time, suggesting that the Finals games it would telecast be played on weekend afternoons (including a potential Game 7). Disney executives later conceded that they overpaid for the 1999–2004 deal, so the company's offer to renew the television rights was lower in 2004.

Schedules Edit

1999-2000 Edit

Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator Crews
March 18 Pittsburgh at Boston

New York Rangers at Philadelphia
Dallas at Chicago
Detroit at Colorado

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Dave Strader and Brian Engblom

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

March 26 Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
New York Rangers at Detroit
St. Louis at Chicago
Colorado at Dallas
1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Dave Strader and Brian Engblom

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

April 1 Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

Detroit at St. Louis

New York Rangers at Boston

Anaheim at Los Angeles

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Jack Edwards and Jim Schoenfeld

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

April 9 St. Louis at Chicago

Philadelphia at New York Rangers
Detroit at Colorado
Los Angeles at Anaheim

Phoenix at Dallas

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Dave Ryan and Joe Micheletti

Dave Strader and Brian Engblom

2000-01 Edit

Main article: 2000–01 NHL season
Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator crews
March 10 New Jersey at Philadelphia

Detroit at St. Louis
Colorado at Dallas

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose
Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

March 17 New York Rangers at Philadelphia

Detroit at Colorado
San Jose at Los Angeles

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang
Gary Thorne and Bill Clement
Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose
March 24 Detroit at New York Rangers

Colorado at Boston
Anaheim at Los Angeles

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement
Steve Levy and Darren Pang

March 31 New York Rangers at New Jersey
Detroit at Philadelphia
St. Louis at Pittsburgh
Colorado at Los Angeles
3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Steve Levy and Darren Pang
Gary Thorne and Bill Clement
Dave Strader and Brian Engblom

April 7 Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Colorado at Detroit
Dallas at San Jose
New York Rangers at Florida
3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement
Steve Levy and Darren Pang
Dave Strader and Brian Engblom

2001-02 Edit

Main article: 2001–02 NHL season
Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator Crews
January 5 Detroit at Colorado

Washington at Boston

Pittsburgh at New York Rangers

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

January 12 St. Louis at Pittsburgh

New York Rangers at Philadelphia
Dallas at Detroit

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

March 2 Detroit at Pittsburgh

Philadelphia at New York Rangers
Dallas at Colorado

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

March 9 Pittsburgh at New York Rangers
Detroit at St. Louis
Colorado at Los Angeles
3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

March 16 Boston at Detroit
New York Rangers at New Jersey*
Colorado at Philadelphia
3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Mike Emrick and Barry Melrose

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

2002-03

Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator Crews
January 11 Colorado at Dallas

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh

Detroit at Philadelphia

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

February 8 Pittsburgh at Boston
Colorado at Detroit
New York Rangers at Philadelphia
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

March 15 Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

Colorado at Detroit

New York Rangers at New Jersey

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

March 22 New York Rangers at Philadelphia

Chicago at Colorado
Detroit at St. Louis

3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

March 29 New York Rangers at Boston

Detroit at St. Louis
Phoenix at Colorado

1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m.
Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

2003-04 Edit

Date Teams Start times (All times Eastern) Commentator crews
January 10 Detroit at Boston
Colorado at Dallas
New York Rangers at New York Islanders
1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson

Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

February 14 New York Rangers at Philadelphia
Colorado at Detroit
Boston at Chicago
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson

Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk

March 13 New Jersey at Philadelphia
Dallas at Detroit
Los Angeles at San Jose
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson

Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

March 20 New York Rangers at Philadelphia

St. Louis at Dallas

3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

Steve Levy and Darren Pang

Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson

March 27 Colorado at Detroit
New York Rangers at Philadelphia
Los Angeles at Calgary
1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m.
Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson
Steve Levy and Darren Pang
Mike Emrick and Brian Engblom

Stanley Cup Playoffs 2000–2004 Edit

Year Round Teams Games Play-by-play Color commentators Ice level reporters
2000 Conference quarterfinals Washington-Pittsburgh Game 2 Mike Emrick Barry Melrose Joe Micheletti
St. Louis-San Jose Games 2, 6 Dave Strader (Game 2)

Gary Thorne (Game 6)

Brian Hayward (Game 2)

Bill Clement (Game 6)

Brian Engblom (Game 6)
Colorado-Phoenix Game 2 Steve Levy Darren Pang Daryl Reaugh
Detroit-Los Angeles Game 2 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Conference semifinals Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Games 2, 5 Steve Levy (Game 2)

Gary Thorne (Game 5)

Darren Pang (Game 2)

Bill Clement (Game 5)

Daryl Reaugh (Game 2)

Brian Engblom and Darren Pang (Game 5)

Colorado-Detroit Game 2 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Conference finals Philadelphia-New Jersey Game 1 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Dallas-Colorado Game 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
2001 Conference quarterfinals Washington-Pittsburgh Games 2, 5 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Philadelphia-Buffalo Games 2, 6 Mike Emrick Barry Melrose Mickey Redmond
Detroit-Los Angeles Games 2, 5 Steve Levy Darren Pang Joe Micheletti
St. Louis-San Jose Games 2, 6 Dave Strader Jim Schoenfeld Chris Simpson
Conference semifinals Buffalo-Pittsburgh Games 2, 5 Steve Levy (Game 2)

Gary Thorne (Game 5)

Darren Pang (Game 2)

Bill Clement (Game 5)

Joe Micheletti (Game 2)

Brian Engblom (Game 5)

Colorado-Los Angeles Game 2 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Conference finals New Jersey-Pittsburgh Game 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Colorado-St. Louis Game 1 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
2002 Conference quarterfinals Boston-Montreal Game 5 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Carolina-New Jersey Game 6 Mike Emrick Barry Melrose Chris Simpson
Toronto-New York Islanders Game 2 Steve Levy Darren Pang Joe Micheletti
Colorado-Los Angeles Games 2, 6 Gary Thorne (Game 2)
Steve Levy (Game 6)
Bill Clement (Game 2)
Darren Pang (Game 6)
Brian Engblom (Game 2)

Joe Micheletti (Game 6)

San Jose-Phoenix Game 2 Dave Strader Jim Schoenfeld Tony Granato
St. Louis-Chicago Game 2 Mike Emrick Barry Melrose Chris Simpson
Conference semifinals Detroit-St. Louis Games 2, 5 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
Colorado-San Jose Games 2, 5 Steve Levy Darren Pang Joe Micheletti
Conference finals Detroit-Colorado Games 1, 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement Brian Engblom
2003 Conference quarterfinals Tampa Bay-Washington Game 2 Mike Emrick Brian Engblom
Philadelphia-Toronto Game 5 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson Chris Simpson
Detroit-Anaheim Game 2 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson Chris Simpson
Colorado-Minnesota Games 2, 5 Steve Levy Darren Pang
Conference semifinals Ottawa-Philadelphia Game 5 Steve Levy Darren Pang Joe Micheletti
New Jersey-Tampa Bay Game 2 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson Chris Simpson
Dallas-Anaheim Games 2, 5 Steve Levy (Game 2)

Gary Thorne (Game 5)

Darren Pang (Game 2)

Bill Clement and John Davidson (Game 5)

Chris Simpson (Game 5)
Conference finals Ottawa-New Jersey Game 4 Steve Levy Darren Pang and John Davidson Joe Micheletti
Minnesota-Anaheim Game 1 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson Brian Engblom
2004 Conference quarterfinals Tampa Bay-New York Islanders Game 2 Steve Levy Darren Pang Erin Andrews
Philadelphia-New Jersey Game 5 Steve Levy Darren Pang Erin Andrews
Detroit-Nashville Games 2, 6 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson
San Jose-St. Louis Game 2 Mike Emrick Brian Engblom
Colorado-Dallas Game 5 Mike Emrick Brian Engblom
Conference semifinals Detroit-Calgary Games 2, 5 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson
San Jose-Colorado Games 2, 5 Mike Emrick (Game 2)

Steve Levy (Game 5)

Darren Pang Erin Andrews
Conference finals Tampa Bay-Philadelphia Games 1, 4 Gary Thorne Bill Clement and John Davidson Sam Ryan (Game 1)

Joe Micheletti (Game 4)

Announcers Edit

Studio personalities Edit

Stanley Cup Finals personalities Edit

Broadcast teamsEdit

  1. Gary Thorne-Bill Clement-John Davidson
  2. Steve Levy-Darren Pang
  3. Mike Emrick-Barry Melrose/Brian Engblom
  4. Dave Strader-Jim Schoenfeld

Ice level reporters Edit

Stanley Cup Finals RatingsEdit

Year Teams Games Carried Rating
2000 New Jersey-Dallas 3, 4, 5, 6 3.7
2001 Colorado-New Jersey 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 3.3
2002 Detroit-Carolina 3, 4, 5 3.6
2003 New Jersey-Anaheim 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 2.9
2004 Tampa Bay-Calgary 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 2.6

Regular seasonEdit

Season Number of Dates Rating
1999-00 4 1.3
2000-01 5 1.1
2001-02 5 1.4
2002-03 5 1.1
2003-04 5 1.1

All-Star GameEdit

Year Rating
2000 2.7
2001 1.7
2002 1.8
2003 1.7
2004 1.8


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit