NBC To Skip Three Potential Playoff Dates

NBC  will avoid hockey on Preakness Saturday, May 15th, meaning the network will only air games from one of the two conference final series.  Full dates are below.

April 17, 1PM
April 18, 3PM
April 24, 3PM
April 25, 2PM
May 1, 12:30PM
May 2, 2PM
May 16, 2PM

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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

15 Responses to NBC To Skip Three Potential Playoff Dates

  1. Tim says:

    It goes without saying, but NBC took the coward’s way out. The answer to the question “what do we do if the hockey game runs into Preakness coverage again?” is NOT “simple, don’t show the hockey game at all”.

  2. kevin says:

    NOT a problem……

  3. Chris S says:

    A 12:30pm start is rediculous for a Saturday playoff game. Half of North America is probably still sleeping at that time, either due to it being early out West or people being hungover in the East. Seriously. That needs to change.

  4. Colton says:

    I haven’t understood why NBC doesn’t show playoff games in primetime. Those games would get alot more viewers than 2:00pm games on saturdays and sundays.

    • Josh says:

      You’re looking at it like a hockey fan, not a television executive. Prime time (even on the weekend) is still the most valuable real estate on a network’s schedule. The question isn’t, “When can we run hockey so it will get the most viewers?” it’s “What can we run that will get the most viewers in prime time.”

      And, as I keep repeating, reruns of Law & Order, the Marriage Ref (ugh) or Parenthood – reruns! – will get higher numbers than any hockey conference final will.

      The other issue is that if you schedule a game at 8 ET, affiliates west of the Central timezone would complain about having to ditch their local 6pm newscasts, which are big money-makers for them. If you think it was annoying that a few affiliates opted for Pat Robertson over the Penguins a month or so ago, wait until you see San Jose-Vancouver scheduled over top of their newscasts, and watch half the affiliates between San Diego and Des Moines say, “No thanks, we’ll show local programming instead.”

  5. With all the vaunted platforms that NBC Universal has at its disposal, one would think that they’d move hockey to a secondary channel rather than not carry it altogether.

    When will Bettmann realize that he’s not growing the sport by putting it on a network that doesn’t want to air it?

    • Josh says:

      It’s gotta be in the contract that NBC can’t move games to other channels. Versus pays good money to be the exclusive cable home of the NHL in the USA and would throw a fit if all of a sudden games started showing up on USA or something.

  6. Patrick says:

    u guys are out of touch. NBC ganers higher ratings not showing NHL. The horse racing event will perform 10x’s higher than an nhl game and that is just the Horse racing pregame show. The race itself will be higher than the stanley cup finals. Any NBC show gets higher ratings in primetime than the Stanley Cup finals. That is why it’s not on prime time. When the best games you can dish out only get 1.0…its not NBC. ABC did not do much better. Fox got out just in time when ratings declined. I would luv to the game on primetime but it wont happen. When Deer Valley Skiing on NBC right after NHL games get higher ratings…time to look in the mirror. I still agree they should drop from NBC…but truth is no other network wants the NHL. Id rather see games on ESPN including stanley cup finals.

  7. kevin says:

    Actually the SCF ratings were pretty good. They won each nites ratings for NBC vs the other networks. The afternoon regular seasons games are on par with college basketball and the like. The Preakness is a once a year event so it will always get the nod over anything NBC has to offer. Personally. I’d rather watch the Preakness. I can watch the NHL playoffs on Versus at nite. Prime time playoff games on NBC would be really stretching it. May is the ratings sweeps month so NBC is going to show their big programs…not that they have any unfortunately

  8. Patrick says:

    actually the reason why last years SCF ratings were strong, is because NBC requested back to back games on least viewed tv nights (Fri/Sat). Which drew critics from everyone (mostly from CBC and Canadians). So NBC did get 1 thing right. I like back the back games. With respesct to the 08&06 finals, they won a few and lost many nights. The 07 SCF was the least wacthed and was the worst in TV history. Game 5 of Ducks / Sens drew a .70. Getting killed and is still the lowest primetime event in TV history. Although you can compare regular college basketball to be on par, CBS is really paying for the Mega March Madness. If you have seen, those games like the last Duke game already beat last years game 7. And although game 7 was the highest rated game in 36yrs for the NHL, it still shows how far it is behind events such as NASCAR that outdraws. Many still say its not deserving of primetime nevermind the 9am PST Sunday games. Again, I will watch no matter what and hope they bring in ESPN with Versus and scrap NBC. Sadly, I am not of 30+ million horse racing followers. Being in the minority, I would rather watch hockey. Wish the 53 million so called NHL fans base would. NHL has work to do to win a big tv contract from CBS/ABC/NBC/FOX.

    But I hear ya Kevin

    • Josh says:

      Anything that results in SCF games being played at 7 or 8pm on a Saturday night is not going to result in criticism from CBC or Canadians.

  9. Caps Nut says:

    The NHL is not getting ESPN as long as ESPN has the NBA.

    Furthermore, don’t forget May Sweeps, that’s why you don’t see playoff games in Prime Time until the SCF. The SCF starts after sweeps end.

  10. kevin says:

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with the SCF on Sat/Sun afternoon. It would draw decent ratings for the time slot. As for Sat. nite that is when Canada wants the games scheduled so that is why the games are on Sat nite. In the US it is a bad TV nite but the SCF will usually get a decent rating unless of course Calgary is playing Ottawa for the Cup. You have to throw out any Final that includes Calgary/Ottawa/Edmonton when looking at the US ratings. If I was NBC I wouldn’t touch the SCF if any of those teams were involved. It’s the same reason you’ll never se the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals. The NBA would never allow it. At least the NHL is on the level, however.

  11. Patrick says:

    Josh…Duh of course not on Saturday Nights. But CBC was pissed about back to back games. So another good point Caps Nut…NHL still has hard time drawing ratings to repeats of CSI, Americas Most Wanted, and Cops and many others. Now this story about NHL bring in twice the amount in the US. That will only happen if Versus pays 80 and ESPN pays 65 while again NBC pays nothing.

  12. Patrick says:

    sorry taking a bunch of meds for a cold and noticed my poor writing. “Now this story about NHL bring in twice the revenue amount when the US TV contracts expire after 2011. That will only happen if Versus pays 80 million and ESPN pays 65 million (for less games and only on ESPN2) while again NBC pays nothing.”

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