NBC Drops Ball With Inexcusable Hockey Coverage False Start
February 17, 2010 24 Comments
NBC made a couple of mistakes in their Olympic hockey coverage yesterday, and I don’t wanna sound insane. Look, I don’t want to come off sounding like a nut of a hockey fan thinking my sport is the most important thing in the Winter Olympics. But for people to miss half the first period of the host nation, Team Canada, in their first game because of curling and a 13-0 women’s hockey game is downright lunacy.
With a 7:30 PM start time, it was an initial mistake by NBC to list the game as starting at 8PM on CNBC at the listings page of their website. In their press release, they merely listed it as following USA-Japan in women’s curling. Alas, the curling match went long. It ended around 7:45. This is fair enough, as it was a close match, and it is Team USA, and curling is kind of awesome.
But NBC needed to pick up the slack here. They had USA-Russia in women’s hockey over on MSNBC, with the score at 13-0 Americans. Women’s hockey, especially Team USA, is an important thing to pump up. Seriously though, the game was 13-0 with five minutes left. They should’ve absolutely switched games and not waited for the women’s game to end. Even a compromise of sticking with Team USA on MSNBC HD and going to men’s hockey on the normal channel would’ve been good.
NBC has made it clear that they don’t consider men’s or women’s hockey a “ready for primetime” sport in their Olympic coverage, based on the sport’s relegation to cable and daytime/weekends for the entire thing. That’s fine. The fact is, NBCU knows it has two popular cult sports in hockey and curling, and that there should be separate channels for each. USA Network should handle the curling, and MSNBC should split the men’s/women’s hockey with CNBC, or even add a third network if necessary. All of this annoyingness could have been avoided, but NBCU chose to keep puckheads in the dark as usual.