How About Utilizing VERSUS For a Game of the Week Pre-Game?

The beginning of every Sunday telecast of The NHL On NBC is kind of a jumbled mess. They do the best they can in seven minutes to get you updated on the action that happened last night (with that NBC Sports Update from the New York studios at 30 Rock), set you up with some important storylines for today’s game, get in a player interview with Pierre McGuire, and squeeze in some analysis from color analyst Eddie Olczyk. It can be a little bit of a mess.

Here’s a way to take advantage of NBC and VERSUS’ new corporate synergy: how about a half-hour pre-game show every Sunday at Noon ET from VERSUS’ studios in Connecticut to set up the NBC game, or you could even send VERSUS host (and occasional NBC man) Bill Patrick out to the game site and do it with Mike Milbury. It’d be a bit of light discussion, perhaps a report from both locker rooms, some highlights of games featuring the two teams playing in today’s game, and possibly some debate between the ornery Milbury and Pierre McGuire.

I don’t have a problem with NBC airing a pre-game show themselves for NHL coverage like ABC does for the NBA. NBC didn’t have the anchor/analysts to do a regular studio show and, let’s face it, the ratings would be pretty terrible. As it is, NBA Countdown on ABC comes lose to beating The NHL On NBC itself weekend after weekend. Plus, ESPN’s studios were easily optimized by ABC. Now that VERSUS has a similar arrangement with NBC, I’d argue it’d be a wasted opportunity for NBC and the NHL to skip out on otherwise.

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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

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