It's the best time of year!
Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: 2010 Olympics
As all of us Americans were preparing to watch the U.S. take on Norway on USA Network today, we had to wait for a curling match between USA and Denmark to finish… which went to extra innings or overtime or whatever-you-call-it. Although NBC probably made the right call to complete the curling broadcast (because tens of millions of people were on the edge of their seat, waiting to see John Shuster choke again for the U.S. men’s curling team), they failed to have a contingency plan to show the start of the hockey game on the main network or any of the other sister stations… which is a major error if you ask me.
For hockey fans here in America, the disaster that is NBC’s coverage of hockey through the first three days of the men’s tournament has been a hot topic. And it will likely continue to be one with the evening games on MSNBC and CNBC. Most of the hockey start-times on those two sister stations are at 8:00 eastern, which is 30 minutes after puck-drop in Vancouver. We have missed a good portion of the first period in each of the night games, thus far, and the Peacock needs to fix this. Oh, and don't even get me started on how the USA vs. Canada game on Sunday is on MSNBC...
Why not designate one channel (USA for example) to show all of the hockey games, and mix the other sports on CNBC (or CurlingNBC) and MSNBC. I’m willing to bet that a lot more people tune-in to watch hockey than curling, especially when the U.S. is playing. Puck fans shouldn’t have to root for a curling match not go past regulation so they can watch hockey. It just shouldn’t happen.
This is not the first time NBC has decided to screw hockey fans in this country. In 2007, after the 3rd period in the Sabres and Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the network put overtime on Versus so they could show an hour or two of heart-pounding PRE-race coverage of the Preakness Stakes. (As Allen Iverson puts it, ‘we ain’t even talking about the game'). Many fans in the northeast were struck out of watching the finish to that game (and series), because Versus was not on their cable package.
Also, the Peacock denied the Pittsburgh Penguins to show Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals outside on their jumbotron for the thousands of fans who had shown up throughout the playoffs. And then you have today, with the U.S. game being joined in progress because of curling, along with the whole country missing Switzerland’s first goal in their game against Canada because of a 30-second commercial in-between whistles.
The continuous lack of love towards the game of hockey should show Gary Bettman that NBC is not the right major network to show his league’s games. When the TV contracts for NBC and Versus end after next season, he should seriously consider moving the league to another network duo (ABC/ESPN?), if there are other interested parties. It literally feels like a slap in the face to see the game of hockey treated like this… but what else would you expect in this country?!
*There is a photo out there that would show my true feelings towards NBC, but I've decided to keep the RLD G-rated for the time-being!
at 10:15 PM
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