Broadcast News: A New Weekly Look at What the NHL’s TV Partners Would Do If the Playoffs Started Today

(NOTE: This will show up every Monday on Puck the Media.  It’s something we did a couple of times last season.  They were fairly popular, and people liked talking about them, so let’s try it on a more permanent basis this year, now that December starts tomorrow.)

Playoff Matchups (If Season Ended Today):

Eastern Conference:

#8 Tampa Bay vs. #1 Washington
#7 Atlanta vs. #2 Pittsburgh
#6 Ottawa vs. #3 Boston
#5 Buffalo vs. #4 New Jersey

Western Conference:

#8 Phoenix vs. #1 San Jose
#7 Dallas vs. #2 Chicago
#6 Nashville vs. #3 Calgary
#5 Los Angeles vs. #4 Colorado

U.S. Networks

NBC: NBC would likely jump on the Crosby bandwagon without reservation.  Atlanta’s been showcased in the playoffs against big markets before (As a regional split for a game against the Rangers in 2007) and NBC will likely be happy with a few extra American viewers to add to the Pittsburgh audience.  Wonder if we’ll have some more Pensblog controversy in April?

As for the other game, it’s hard to say.  One could see them taking Washington-Tampa (NBC took two Eastern series last year) but they still may be hesitant to bring Ovie back to the national airwaves.  Look for Dallas-Chicago or LA-Colorado to perhaps split the weekends and get a shot as that 2nd games.  Whether NBC likes it or not, they need to develop some national recognition for teams other than the Penguins, Red Wings, Rangers and Flyers.

VERSUS: Will also jump for Crosby vs. Kovalchuk as much as possible.  They’ll likely also take as much as they can get of San Jose-Phoenix and LA-Colorado, both series warranting 10PM starts for every game.  They’ll also likely take Tampa-Washington.  On the weekends, expect the New Jersey series and the Chicago series to get some play.

Canadian Networks:

CBC/TSN: The network must be seriously sweating out this season.  No Canadian teams have emerged as likely playoff teams (Does anyone think the Sens’ll be around in April?) and there’s a good shot we may have no teams from north of the border in the post-season (has this ever happened?).  That said, if the playoffs ended today, they’d get the first two picks, and Boston-Ottawa and Nashville-Calgary are the obvious choices.

TSN would then get the next shot, and likely take Atlanta-Pittsburgh, CBC in the 4-hole would probably choose Colorado-LA to have the ability to do doubleheaders.  TSN might then jump at Chicago-Dallas.  CBC would probably go San Jose-Phoenix to pair with Nashville-Calgary.  They’d likely air the games from Calgary at 8PM, and the San Jose-Phoenix games at 10:30PM.  TSN would scoop up Jersey-Buffalo and Washington-Tampa.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

One Response to Broadcast News: A New Weekly Look at What the NHL’s TV Partners Would Do If the Playoffs Started Today

  1. Richard says:

    CBC/TSN have to be shaking in their boots at the prospect of few Canadian teams making the playoffs. However, the Flames are a shoe-in (with a good chance of advancing), so the networks won’t be completely without Canadian content.

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