Why the BCS’ Move to Cable Doesn’t Exactly Spell Death For the NHL on Broadcast TV

Tooday it was announced that FOX has passed up on the BCS’ bidding rights.  Because, for some reason, the idea of paying more than $100 million a year for a total of four big college football games a year just seemed wrong to even the logic-allergic folks at the FOX networks.  However, what has people the most intrigued is the winner of these rights: ESPN.  Not ESPN on ABC, just plain ol’ ESPN.  The Worldwide Leader gets college football’s national championship, the first major sport to do so since the 1994 Rangers celebrated winning the Stanley Cup on ESPN, and local cable network MSG.  

This entire process has sparked a debate on how much longer it will take for all (non-Super Bowl) major sporting events to move to cable permanently.  Most people are looking at the NHL with an evil smile and a body language that says “You’re next”.  However, I don’t see the NHL moving the entire Stanley Cup Finals to cable for at least a few more years.  Here’s a few reasons why:

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Great Moments From the NHL On FOX: Rats!

As a child of the 90’s, we were not as privileged as many of you are to have a photographic memory of FOX’s NHL coverage (we know, we’re jealous).  However, the little we do recall, we recall with fond memories of glowing pucks, James Brown, and – we’re being serious here – the best coverage the NHL has EVER had on national TV.  Maybe one day we’ll get into the long story of how FOX wanted to air the entire Stanley Cup Finals, but that’s for another time.  For now, enjoy our weekly feature, “Great Moments from the NHL on FOX”

Perhaps one of the more indelible images of the 1990’s NHL are the rats at Florida’s Miami Arena.  Seeing them cascade down to the ice was one of the most entertaining things a young man could see.  You’ll get a quick gander at this tradition (albeit, for a sadder reason) as well as some glow puck (!) action in this clip from Colorado’s 3-2 Game 3 win in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals.  

Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers, Round 1, Match 3, Foster Hewitt Brackett: J.P. Dellacamera vs. Joe Beninati






Well, if you followed us last week, you know that Mike Emrick and Ralph Strangis both moved onto the 2nd round of our tourney.  Next, we have an intriguing matchup between Atlanta play-by-play man (and U.S. Men’s Soccer team announcer) JP Dellacamera and Caps/Versus guy Joe Beninati.  He, by the way, is calling tonight’s Boston-Toronto game with Andy Brickley and Chris Simpson.

Voting ends at 5:30 PM tomorrow night.  Enjoy!

Where Does Barry Melrose Go Next?

Wyshynski has great analysis of the Barry Melrose/Ron MacLean piece you see above.  Melrose showed off – in about six minutes – why he is so much better when he’s talking to you on TV than to players in the locker room.  He’s as good an interview as he is an analyst, even when he’s going off in complete nonsense about how his offense top-heavy team wouldn’t, for some reason, willingly play a stifling defensive system.

The point being, Melrose is perhaps now the most desirable TV free agent in NHL history, at least until Jeremy Roenick hangs ’em up.  He was already one of hockey’s most recognizable figures before leaving to coach the Lightning.  He was the casual ESPN viewer’s guide to the league and, for better or worse, was who the non-puckhead associated with the sport for quite some time.  Now, with ESPN’s analyst position filled, he can go to a variety of places.  Let’s explore all the possibilities, and the likelihood of each.

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