Potential NHL on VERSUS Games For 2011-12

Look, The NHL on VERSUS will probably come back with some sort of different format for scheduling games when the television slates are released in August. Rather than 50-70 slots to fill (the first four years on the lower end and the last two on the higher) they have nearly 90, as NBC and VERSUS are required to air 100 games during the 2011-12 season and throughout the new contract. NBC will take 11 of those, which means VERSUS has about 89 slots to fill.

That means you may see a few more doubleheaders, possibly games on nights you haven’t seen them before, and other potential experiments. One would have to think the network will try a few things, and emphasize getting the quality game over whether or not it’s a night they televise on.

That said, until we have some sort of template, one is forced to continue to look at VERSUS’ Monday/Tuesday (and sometimes Wednesday) arrangement to see what games my grace the eyes of the hockey country this fall. I chose some from the schedule for various reasons (only game that night, only American game that night, and for posterity every Pens/Caps game that NBC doesn’t have) and now present them to you. Please, use the comments to predict some dates that will get the VERSUS treatment next season. REMINDER: This is not an actual schedule, or even as a qualified a guess as the NBC and CBC posts were yesterday, so do not take them as gospel. But enjoy the speculation nonetheless.

October 6
7:00
Philadelphia vs. Boston
10:00 Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver

October 13
7:00
Washington vs. Pittsburgh

October 31
7:00
San Jose vs. NY Rangers

November 7
7:00
NY Islanders vs. Boston
10:30 Los Angeles vs. San Jose

December 1
7:00
Pittsburgh vs. Washington

December 12
7:30
New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay

December 19
9:00
Philadelphia vs. Colorado

January 9
7:30
Vancouver vs. Florida
10:30 Washington vs. Los Angeles

January 11
7:30
Pittsburgh vs. Washington

January 25
7:30
Detroit vs. Montreal

February 6
8:00
Detroit vs. Phoenix

February 13
7:00
San Jose vs. Washington

February 20
7:00
Washington vs. Carolina

February 27
7:00
New Jersey vs. NY Rangers

March 5
7:00
Phoenix vs. Pittsburgh

March 12
7:00
Montreal vs. Buffalo

April 2
7:30
Washington vs. Tampa Bay
10:30 Edmonton vs. Los Angeles

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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

4 Responses to Potential NHL on VERSUS Games For 2011-12

  1. Arthur says:

    What you, the intrepid TV blogger should be asking the network executives is this:
    How many of these broadcasts will be original productions by the soon-to-be-renamed Versus and how many will be pickups from the soon-to-be-renamed Comcast Regionals?
    If they are all called NBC Sports Channel and NBC Sports Channel(Insert your region here) and are rebranded with the same graphic look, what is to prevent NBC from using the regionals to produce the games that air on their networks nationally?
    Also, you should be asking if, under the new 10-year agreement, there are limits to how many times a team can appear on an exclusive national broadcast? I’m sure your local broadcasters would like that number lower than it has been in the past.

    • nosferatu says:

      Steve mentioned it in the comments yesterday, that there would be no more CSN regionally produced simulcasts on Versus in the coming year, but I wasn’t clear that this meant *all season* long–I was under the impression that this was just for the playoffs (when, if they wanted, they could instead show a TSN or CBC feed in all cases if they didn’t want to produce their own).

      To me, using the CSN regional feeds is the only way we’re going to see any significant number of doubleheaders. I think it’s a safe assumption, based on the history of all involved, that we’re not going to be seeing full crews sent out to San Jose or L.A. or Vancouver very often during the regular season. It would be a shame to not have more of those teams’ games on Versus this coming season.

  2. Kevin says:

    I think we will see a lot of doubleheaders. Get the Western Conference teams more exposure. Probably start with games where EC teams are visiting the WC (You listed some of those).. I would be surprised if Versus didn’t run some Saturday games, and maybe some Sunday games (After the Sunday NBC game).. I would like to see them do something like what ESPN use to do with Sports (Not sure if they still do since I don’t really watch ESPN) where they had a week dedicated to the sport type thing. I think they do it with CBBall. Like Super Monday and shit like that. Where they have a couple of games each night of the week. Name it something corny like Hockey Week In America and do it late in the season. Would be great if they did that the last week leading into the final day where all 30 teams play. Go back and forth between games. Stagger the start times and get in all the important games as there definitely will be some. Sort of like what they do with the bonus games in recent years near the end of the season but do it bigger and better.

  3. Stu Dolgon says:

    The Red Wings-RANGERS game at MSG on Wednesday March 21, 2012 lists a 7:30 start time, 30 minutes later than the usual start for RANGERS evening home games. When that occurred last season, the games were on Versus.

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