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CSN, Monumental Sports & Entertainment form advanced media partnership

CSN, Monumental Sports & Entertainment form advanced media partnership

Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) and CSN Mid-Atlantic, part of NBC Sports Group, today announced an advanced media partnership that extends CSN Mid-Atlantic’s exclusive media rights for the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards and features an investment by NBC Sports Group in Monumental Sports Network, MSE’s digital sports and entertainment platform. The agreement is pending NHL and NBA approval.

Through an innovative cross-equity and leadership structure, MSE becomes an equity partner in CSN Mid-Atlantic and receives representation on CSN Mid-Atlantic’s board of directors. CSN Mid-Atlantic – which has served as the teams’ regional television partner since its launch in 1984 – will continue to present live coverage of all non-nationally exclusive Capitals and Wizards regular-season and playoff games, as well as select preseason games, comprehensive gameday shows and expanded original content on established and emerging media platforms via television and live streaming.

As part of a venture capital investment, NBC Sports Group obtains an equity partnership in Monumental Sports Network, as well as representation on its board of directors. Monumental Sports Network will soon launch a subscription over-the-top (OTT), direct-to-consumer service offering live-streaming of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and AFL’s Washington Valor games, as well as additional live events and games through soon-to-be-announced content partnerships.

“We are so happy that our longstanding partnership with CSN Mid-Atlantic will continue well into the future, offering Wizards and Caps fans a fantastic home entertainment experience, while providing Monumental Sports & Entertainment a stake in CSN Mid-Atlantic, all of which will better position our teams to compete and provide our fans with lifelong memories,” said Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman, majority owner and CEO of MSE. “This is a really unique deal, reinforcing our position in the heart of the nation’s fastest-growing Super City and reflecting the power of our strategy as a multi-brand, multi-platform sports and entertainment media company. We’re especially pleased that by investing in our Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Group is embracing the future growth of OTT services that can exist and thrive in parallel with content offered by multichannel video programming distributors and other content distributors. This partnership extends possibilities for sports fans at home or on-the-go, whenever and wherever they choose to consume sports content.”

MSE owns and operates Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., as well as the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Valor, and is co-owner of aXiomatic, which has a controlling interest in global esports franchise Team Liquid. MSE also operates Kettler Capitals Iceplex and EagleBank Arena and is participating in Events DC’s development of St. Elizabeths East into an entertainment and sports community.

“Ted and his team at MSE share in our passion to super serve fans with compelling content surrounding the sports they love, both now and in the future,” said David Preschlack, president, NBC Sports Regional Networks. “Our new relationship furthers our mission to explore innovative partnerships and offerings in the new media and OTT space as we strive to offer maximum value to our team partners, distributors, advertisers, and especially the fans.”

In addition to the Capitals and Wizards, CSN Mid-Atlantic is the official sports network of the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens, and the region’s home for live ACC and CAA games. CSN Mid-Atlantic delivers more than 400 live games per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.5 million homes in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

“CSN Mid-Atlantic is dedicated to providing fans with the highest-quality, most comprehensive coverage of the Capitals and Wizards, and the new partnership with MSE will allow us to continue and expand on that in many new and exciting ways,” said Rebecca Schulte, president of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “While enhancing our longtime position as a valuable asset for fans, affiliates and advertisers, we can also extend our collective reach through complementary platforms and content.”

“At Monumental Sports Network, we’re especially thrilled to have NBC Sports Group become an equity partner, not only because of the way we now can work together, but also because of what their investment says about the potential of OTT platforms and live-event streaming,” said Zach Leonsis, vice president and general manager of Monumental Sports Network. “We look forward to announcing new, exclusive sports and entertainment content in the weeks ahead, in addition to providing subscribers with the ability to stream Mystics and Valor games when our AFL team begins playing in 2017. Stay tuned for future announcements on the great programming we’ll offer exclusively.”

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With Caps in Vancouver, Jay Beagle receives his ring

With Caps in Vancouver, Jay Beagle receives his ring

On June 7 in Las Vegas, Jay Beagle was in a Capitals uniform as they hoisted their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Three weeks later, the 33-year-old signed a four-year, $12-million contract with the Vancouver Canucks

The Capitals begin a four-game, Canadian road trip this evening in Vancouver. Beagle did not attend the Capitals ring ceremony at the Palm three weeks ago so the Caps awarded Beagle with his ring today.

Each ring contains 252 diamonds, 35 rubies and one sapphire. Beagle was impressed but isn't sure how much use the ring will get.

“Not sure I’ll wear it again. It’s like wearing my truck.”

Jay Beagle will not be on the ice tonight against his former team. Beagle broke his forearm when he blocked a shot against the Florida Panthers on October 13th. Beagle is expected to be sidelined for another five weeks.

Despite the injury, it has still been a great week for Beagle. 

A shiny, new ring AND a baby girl. Not too shabby.


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4 things to watch in Capitals at Canucks

4 things to watch in Capitals at Canucks

It’s going to be a late night. The Caps are in Vancouver to take on the Canucks (10 p.m., NBC Sports Washington Plus) for the first of a four-game swing through Canada. Grab your coffee, here are four things you need to watch.

Offensive firepower

Washington enters Monday’s game with the top offense in the NHL with 4.14 goals per game. Vancouver had one of the worst defenses in the league last year. They have looked much improved at the start of this season, but they are still giving up 3.00 goals per game. Washington’s high-powered superstars should be able to take advantage and get some points on the board.

Adjusted lines

The fact that Washington has the top offense in the NHL is surprising considering how much their depth forwards have struggled to produce. Prior to Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers, the Caps had gotten only two goals from the bottom six and both had come in the season-opener. After seeing his team go down 4-1 against Florida, head coach Todd Reirden shuffled up the lines and it seemed to create a spark for the offense.

Reirden indicated Sunday he will stick with those lines and he kept them together for Monday’s morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana – Lars Eller – Brett Connolly
Dmitrij Jaskin – Nic Dowd – Andre Burakovsky

Vrana, Connolly and Smith-Pelly all scored after the change. Per the Caps’ PR team, the third line of Vrana, Eller and Connolly produced two goals, eight shot attempts and allowed just three shot attempts in over six minutes of five-on-five play.

Special teams

In addition to having the top offense in the NHL, the Caps also boast the top power play. With the extra man, the Caps are producing on 38.5-percent of their opportunities. That is most likely not a sustainable number, but it does show the power play is as good as ever.

The Canucks come into this game ranked eighth on the penalty kill at 83.9-percent and they will be the latest team to try and slow down a power play that is really starting to click with John Carlson seemingly developing into one of the top blue liners in the NHL.

Remember me?

Vancouver’s star rookie Elias Pettersson is still in concussion protocol and will not play in Monday’s game, but there is another talented youngster who will the Caps will need to watch out for in Brock Boeser.

Boeser was in a dead heat with New York Islanders forward Matt Barzal for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year last season before an injury forced him to miss the last month of the season.

In two career games against Washington, Boeser has recorded three assists. He has had a bit of a slower start to the season with five points thus far, but he is a dynamic talent who the Caps’ defense will have to account for.