Quick Cut in Game 6 Highlights Flaw in VERSUS Telecasts

Penguins-Canadiens has been, somewhat by default, VERSUS’ feature series here in the Conference Semifinals.  Not only has the set been given three exclusive to VERSUS only games, it hasn’t been shuffled off to local RSNs and Center Ice/GCL at any point like Philly/Boston was last night and will be tomorrow night (a rant for another day, yes).  Game seven on Wednesday will likely draw more than a million viewers, and may do better than Penguins/Capitals Game 7 last year, which didn’t have the aid of local viewers, same as this Game 7 will.

So, a complaint: Why does VERSUS feel the need to get away from these games so quickly?  Literally 20 seconds went by between the sound of the final siren in Montreal last night and the cut to commercial by VERSUS, with barely even a sign-off from play-by-play man Mike Emrick, who seemed a bit confused that they were cutting away so early.  After the break, VERSUS decided to go to Hockey Central to analyze the game.  Why?  Is there anything so important I can get from those guys that can’t wait until an interview with a player from the winning team, some more analysis from Emrick and color man Darren Eliot, or… well, just about anything else?

Not only was there no reason to cut away, there were reasons to stick around, as Sidney Crosby was still involved in a scrum after the play that I don’t think anyone on American TV ever showed (unless NHL On the Fly stepped up later).  I do not subscribe to any pro-Crosby theory from VERSUS, but not showing Sid the Kid in that state lends creedence to the crazies who feel there is an agenda to show all that is good about Crosby.  You know, like the 19 at Abel to Yzerman (which has been a dreadful read in the Chief’s absence), who dared say they were quoting a VERSUS representative who told them that the NHL tells VERSUS to air all Penguins games, which is a flat-out lie.  When the network cuts away from things like that, the inmates start to think they’re running the asylum.

All that aside, I hate to say that this has been a flaw of VERSUS since just about day one when they took the contract.  There is literally nothing else airing on the network most nights, no offense to The Daily Line.  Why, on a night where a key Game 6 is ending at a perfectly normal time, without any overtime, being cut away from so quickly?  There’s no reason for it.  It’s an annoying practice, and one that should be rectified at some point before the network’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Final.  You’re not NBC, you don’t have some world of adventure sports anthology or golf to cut to, you’re my hockey network.  Show me the atmosphere after the game and not the atmosphere in that studio.

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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

6 Responses to Quick Cut in Game 6 Highlights Flaw in VERSUS Telecasts

  1. Matthew says:

    Agree!

  2. Sean says:

    That had to be a one-off thing because Versus, at least the games I’ve seen, have been very good about hanging around and doing post-game interviews on the ice. It seemed very odd as Emrick was practically in mid-sentence.

    The bigger issue to me is the scheduling…why wasn’t PIT/MTL scheduled for tonight to alternate the Eastern Conference series? Isn’t that like basic scheduling? I get NESN so I saw both games, just seemed really odd. And the fact they scheduled a Game 6 against a Game 7 on the East Coast…even dumber.

  3. nosferatu says:

    Ironic that some of the times they’ve taken their time to cut away it’s been when there’s another game already in progress.

    And good call of the building insanity of all the Wings fans posting on Kukla’s Korner (A2Y) this year. I imagine many of these people are also Birthers and other right-wing conspiracy nuts, judging from their obsession with Bettman and the officials and Crosby.

  4. Mike in Idaho says:

    This kind of thing has been happening on and off for years on the local RSNs who want to inflate their post game show ratings by starting them almost the second that the game ends, I think the LA Kings channel is/was the worst at this.

  5. Gumper says:

    My guess that they cut away is because Montreal won. Its only a story if Piitsburgh wins it. If Pittsburgh won you know for sure they’d be covering it. Plus they probably didnt want to show the league’s star (Crosby) player mixing it up and whining and complaining and crying. Not good for the league image Bettman would say!!!! It goes to show you how little respect they have for Montreal. They basically diminished the win, essentially making it seem like it deserves no air time or coverage. INstead they cut away with a ton of commercials and after 5 minutes cut to Hockey Central which offers little or no value to me as a fan.

    Also a rant deserves more coverage….I really find it unfair of NHLCI to show only the American versions of the local broadcast. As an example, they will show the Detroit and San Jose coverage on separate channels but refuse to show the Canadian feed for the Montreal games.

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