ESPN Bumps NCAA Hockey Title Game off to ESPN2, Because ESPN is Heroically Unafraid of Being Stupid

It’s always really easy to pile on the nice folks at ESPN and their treatment of hockey. You know why? Because ESPN are heroes. They are truly not afraid to do anything that will piss people off who criticize them for having a narrow view of the sports world that does not include any of the networks that they are in bed with financially, which does not include hockey. A lesser network would have standards and think “You know, just because we don’t have a contract for hockey, doesn’t mean we have to treat it like a third-class citizen and every turn.” But ESPN is truly the behemoth of the sports television industry, so they don’t have to act that way.

Therefor, it comes as little surprise that when the NCAA Tournament television schedule was released on the organization’s website, a grand total of one game will air outside of ESPNU: the tournament championship game on ESPN2, which had been on ESPN every year since at least the lockout. Four games will be syndicated on various regional sports networks, all regional semifinals. All of the regional finals, and the national semi-finals, will air on ESPNU. ESPN2 will air the title game. In addition, the selection show, which had aired on ESPN2 every year since the lockout, will air on ESPNU. So it’s hard not to look at this as a total demotion for the sport.

Oh well, I’m sure that whatever is on ESPN that Saturday night will be fantastic.Because ESPN is truly the class-act of the sports television industry, which is why they can make decisions like this.

Anyway, here’s the schedule. Let’s all do our sighing in the comments.

March 18
12:00 Selection Show (ESPNU)

March 23
3:00 East Semi-final (ESPNU)
5:30
 Midwest Semi-final (ESPN Syndication)*
6:30 East Semi-final (ESPNU)
9:00 Midwest Semi-final (ESPNU)

March 24
1:30
 West Semi-final (ESPN Syndication^)
4:00 Northeast Semi-final (ESPNU)
5:00 West Semi-final (ESPN Syndication%)
6:30 East Final (ESPNU)
7:30 Northeast Semi-final (ESPN Syndication*)
9:00 Midwest Final (ESPNU)  

March 25
5:30 West Final (ESPNU)
8:30
 Northeast Final (ESPNU)

April 5
4:30
 National Semi-Final (ESPNU)
8:00 National Semi-Final (ESPNU) 

April 7
7:00 National Championship (ESPN2)  

*-will air taped delayed at 11:30 p.m. ET that night on ESPNU
^- will air tape delayed at 12:30 p.m. ET the next day on ESPNU
%- will air tape delayed at 3:00 p.m. ET the next day on ESPNU

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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

9 Responses to ESPN Bumps NCAA Hockey Title Game off to ESPN2, Because ESPN is Heroically Unafraid of Being Stupid

  1. accessfletch says:

    Best I can tell, there are just a pair of NBA games on ESPN that night (ORL @ PHL at DEN @ GS), and even though it’s the opening weekend of MLB, The Family of Networks has no games scheduled. NASCAR is completely off that weekend as well.

    It’s basically just a big F-U to the nation.

  2. Jenny says:

    Besides my first reaction which is AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why isn’t another sports network stepping into that place? You said there were no contracts with ESPN? CBSSports, (previously Versus) shows college hockey almost on a weekly basis now.

    I find this sickening.

  3. Ed says:

    ESPN has NBA DH that night
    Magic vs 76ers 8pm
    Nuggets vs Warriors 10:30pm

  4. pfh64 says:

    ESPN…should sell that part of its deal with the NCAA to either CBS or NBC. I mean seriously, the used to be good sports network, does not even show any regular season games, so why should they bother. They have to have some other crappy basketball game to show as opposed to the tournament. A tournament they clearly do not want to show. Let the others have it and continue the great job they have done to give the sport visibility.

  5. Mr Buckey says:

    When is the ESPN contract up with the NCAA Men’s Division I ice hockey postseason tournament ? One would have to believe a contract in the future with CBS-SN, NBC-SN, and/or the NHL Network would not result in the sport being treated so shabbily and embarrassingly. ESPN has long been a disgrace and woeful in doing things the right way, and then some. Every postseason hockey game should be televised live, and that is more than possible with even a minimal level of thinking and observation.

  6. morganwick says:

    The sad thing is, I’m pretty sure those NBA games would do better ratings on ESPN than the national championship game would.

  7. john says:

    prolly know that hockey fans are fanatics about the sport and prolly figure they could squeeze money out of us and order those stupid networks in order to watch the games. i think less about a demotion of the sport and more about trying to help grow those channels subscription fees.

  8. Jeff says:

    Its kind of sad that the NCAA title hockey game is bumped to ESPN 2. For those that want the NHL to return to ESPN, the same thing would happen to them when it comes to the NBA or MLB the NHL would be a third class citizen where as they are first class on NBCSN and hopefully NCAA hockey will follow over to the NBCSN for their tournament..

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