NBC Shows Disregard For Hockey Fans Two Days in a Row

7:30 PM and 8:22 PM.  Let’s get these two times agreed upon.

7:30 PM ET was the time that the Sweden-Germany men’s game was scheduled to begin.  8:22 PM ET is when it was available to viewers for it’s conclusion.  In between, it spent time off the air due to curling and a 13-1 women’s hockey game, it spent time on MSNBC.  But, it was scheduled to air on CNBC for it’s entirety.

Headed toward 8:00 PM ET, play-by-play man Mike “Doc” Emrick told his audience that they could switch over to CNBC and see the game, as MSNBC had to get to a regularly scheduled “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” (As Olbermann whined to Deadspin yesterday, don’t blame him for this).  However, Emrick told the people watching that they could turn on CNBC and see the rest of the game.

However, this turned out to be not true.  There was still more curling, which apparently goes beyond 10 ends and into extras.  It’s about as interesting to watch as baseball extra innings.  Very little to fleeting moments of cool.  It was another 22 minutes until we saw hockey.  In fact, an entire period had gone by before we got to see any of this game.

This is absolutely ridiculous.  I get that NBC scheduled the start as 8PM, which is stupid to begin with as the matches are scheduled when they are scheduled.  Why would you intently schedule coverage for a half an hour after the game starts?  That’s simply counterintuitive… and maybe a little bit stupid… or a lot stupid.  But if even 8PM goes by and there’s no hockey… the fact is, NBC Universal owns USA, MSNBC, CNBC, SyFy, Bravo, Universal Sports, Universal HD, and Telemundo.  Not all of those channels could’ve been airing marquee programming like Olbermann.  One of them could’ve been a home for the game.

I hope to get an NBC statement on this stuff, because I believe they deserve their side of the story to be heard.  However, the fact is that NBCUniversal owns half of my cable stations.  They could very easily have plopped this game on one of the networks.  The fact that they didn’t even try – and that they out and out had Emrick lie to the audience already watching – is a clear sign of complete ignorance and disrespect for the hockey fans.  You know, the audience that gave you five consecutive ratings wins in the 18-49 demographic last June?  The ones that lead you to a very rare - especially with the state NBC’s in – 18-49 weekly win in June?

Fact is, NBC owes hockey fans an explanation and a better plan to show these games in their entirety, which is all hockey fans really want.  Who am I kidding?  The same thing will likely happen today.  The fact is, NBC doesn’t care what I think, and I doubt it cares what you think.  I hope I see the ratings for the Team USA games of this tournament.  I hope I see the overall hockey ratings, to see what audiences truly wanted to see – hockey or curling.  I’d love to see NBC eat it’s words in this situation.  I think all of us would.

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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

11 Responses to NBC Shows Disregard For Hockey Fans Two Days in a Row

  1. C.J. Richey says:

    You really think that NBC is gonna cut a USA team short to go to a non US hockey game. More people would have been upset if the curling match would have been cut short, guarantee. All hockey games are available online anyway so whats the big deal. As long as all USA games and medal games are shown I’ll be happy.

  2. PuckCentral says:

    C.J. – this is curling you are talking about. Who in the world would be up in arms if the curling wasn’t on TV? Ask 95% of Americans what curling is and they’ll think it’s what you do to someone’s hair w/ a hot iron

  3. JonnyP says:

    Not true … all hockey games are available, only if you’re the one that pays the internet provider bill and have an online id/password. Since I share internet with the person that owns the house I live in, I do not have access to live games online. Another thing that NBC has f-ed up in these Olympics.

  4. ScottyWazz says:

    Again– it comes down to showing a USA game over a non-USA game, so they’re going to show the USA game because that’s the demographic they’re going for. Especially in extra end in a cult game like curling– people could be upset, for sure. That’d be like pulling away from that Sabres/Sens game for the Kentucky Derby.

    Plus, in regards to putting it on another network, you’ll have issues with those people not being aware they could be interrupted on their programming for 15-20 minutes of overrun of a game that’ll soon be switched off. It’s not fair to those people who didn’t think they’d have their channel overran. I also think that NBC has to outline which channels their games would be on to get the transmissions and junk like that situation. It could be more time-consuming to re-route things than to wait until a USA event is over.

    And NBC won’t listen to hockey fans because it’s not as a cult following as some of these events people don’t see on TV all the time. That’s the thing with the Olympics, NBC knows they’ll clean up on ratings on some events because of the fact you don’t see these events on prime-time TV all the time. Hockey, you can see Sundays on the Peacock Network, so they won’t shuffle stuff in order to appease viewers they may have, which by the ratings– they don’t in most cases unless it’s a marquee match-up. Again, that could be a factor as well, knowing their hockey ratings won’t be strong as ice dancing; ice dancing will get the slot.

    The only way NBC will listen is for people to give it ratings on their other stations showing there’s an actual demand for it.

  5. aliceq says:

    The live feeds start about a minute after puck drop. The SWE-GER and CZE-SLO feeds had no commentary, just in-arena audio. So you need to pay careful attention. And, even so, I missed some of the penalties; replay made it clear that a boarding penalty was in order, for instance, but there was no on-screen indication of who was penalized.

  6. leafsfan1967 says:

    aliceq :The live feeds start about a minute after puck drop. The SWE-GER and CZE-SLO feeds had no commentary, just in-arena audio. So you need to pay careful attention. And, even so, I missed some of the penalties; replay made it clear that a boarding penalty was in order, for instance, but there was no on-screen indication of who was penalized.

    The CTV/TSN audio feeds for curling have now been dropped. I wonder if NBC saw that some people were prasing them for this and so they thought oh dear we are making some people happy we can’t have that.

    So for tonight, those of us who want to watch Team Canada should be prepared for no TV until the end of the first period and no play by play on the NBC site. Isn’t life wonderful?! :-(

  7. Al says:

    As of 2:53 PM, the U.S. men’s curling is in “extra ends” again. NBC has 5-6 minutes to put the hockey on a separate channel or we have another disaster.

  8. C.J. Richey says:

    Ok i was understanding of playing U.S. curling over non U.S. hockey but U.S. hockey should be played over U.S. curling.

  9. DyHrdMET says:

    They can’t do much about extra ends or OT. Just like if Versus has an 8pm hockey game followed by one at 10:30pm, and the first game goes into OT or a shootout. Nothing they can do there. Curling should finish in just under 3 hours. It’s not the fault of any sport or any country’s fanbase. NBC really thought that their viewer model of not presenting Olympic events live in their entirety would translate to the hockey and curling on cable where there would be small overlaps.

    Last night’s live feeds were probably the world feed (no commentary) because there was no full game CTV or NBC feed to use.

    • Al says:

      I understand if a game goes into extra ends or OT and runs into second game but why not send it to another NBCU channel for the start and bring it back when curling is finished.

      Turner Sports does it w/ the MLB and NBA playoffs on TBS and TNT, respectively. If one game runs long, they move the second game to their other channel.

      It doesn’t irritate me as much that I would say NBC hates hockey. Their entire Olympic scheuling is awful. I didn’t watch the women’s downhill last night; it was taped and I found out who won by mistake.

      They obviously aren’t going to change their methods on overruns, they still use tape-delay for primetime coverage. I’ve stopped caring about any programming decisions.

  10. Al says:

    They were about 2:30 late in game time but thankfully were live for Kessel’s goal. Half-disaster. NBC needs to get their heads out of their butts and find alternate channels when curling or whatever overruns into hockey.

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