Hockey coverage in America...

If you ask me, NBC completely dropped the ball when they chose to televise tonight's epic USA vs. Canada Olympic hockey game on MSNBC.  I get it that they didn't want to devote 3 hours to one sport so I appreciate that they allowed for it all to be broadcasted in its entirety with a decent pre-game on MSNBC.  The problem with them broadcasting the game on MSNBC is that there are some Americans out there that don't get MSNBC.  Another problem for Americans that actually do get MSNBC is that it was not in HD.  They could have aired the game on USA or CNBC instead (2 networks that do broadcast in HD) but they chose MSNBC. This is why Gary Bettman is forced to make the difficult decision on whether or not to send the NHL players to Sochi in 2014.  The NBC executives always give hockey the shaft and as a die-hard hockey fan, I am sick of it.

Critics of hockey throughout America always point to the TV ratings and state that this is why the NHL isn't put on prime time television, but the only time the NHL is ever on a national network is at 11:00am CST on a Sunday.  I am sure the hockey fans on the West coast don't appreciate getting up at 9:00am to watch hockey.  There are also a lot of people that are attending church at that time, and if you aren't at church maybe you are grabbing lunch.  If you ask me, that's why the NHL doesn't get the ratings that some of the other sports may get with prime time broadcasts. 

The NHL and hockey in general is always getting the shaft when it comes to being taken seriously as a major sport and we need a network that is willing to give it some coverage in order for hockey to grow as a sport.  The Olympics are a once every four years and it doesn't happen often that they are in North America. I have a hard time believing that most Americans really wanted to watch ice dancing over the USA-Canada hockey game.  Please NBC, start taking hockey seriously!  It's not just NBC (at least NBC is broadcasting hockey!), ESPN is terrible at broadcasting hockey.  I should say that ESPN is nonexistent when it comes to covering hockey.  ESPN is so bad that I have actually stopped watching Sportscenter.  I don't need to watch an hour of basketball highlights followed by a Tiger Woods press conference followed by 30 minutes of NFL coverage in February two weeks after the Super Bowl (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating...).  Am I the only hockey fan out there that is frustrated with this?

EDIT:  This basically sums up my frustration... NBC Dances in Hockey Hell


Nathan Fournier said...

I totally agree. I am happy they showed the Czech Republic-Russia game on NBC, but they should have shown the USA-Canada game on NBC instead. I think most of the primetime events on NBC happened earlier in the day...Why not show those events live and have the USA-Canada game on your main network.

It also shows NBC and the Olympics are more focused on the artistic side of the games and making more entertainment then sport by showing ice dancing (I am not taking anything away from the athletes that compete in those competitions.) They are trying to appeal to a broad audience by showing ice dancing, but I feel every night they show some artistic event. Why not show a "niche" sport just for one night in the biggest hockey game of the prelims?

Force Blogger said...

Yeah. Don't get me wrong, I do like that NBC is at least showing hockey, but I also hear that the NHL really gets no revenue for showing their games on NBC, they do it just for the exposure, from what I've heard. I could be wrong.

USA-Canada is a once every four year deal. Regardless of whether it was preliminary or not, it was a big game! I think that game would've been a great way to sell the sport in America. What if USA loses in the Quarterfinal...then they really did lose a good opportunity to see a good hockey game with USA winning. They could have at least showed the beginning of the game (or planned to) and if it was looking like a blowout, cut to ice dancing and show the rest of the game on MSNBC (but preferably USA or CNBC for HD).

ndhockey said...


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