Could the NHL Network, VERSUS Be the Key to Fixing NBC’s Crappy Flexing Decisions?

So, as we reported yesterday, the NHL On NBC is picking Flyers-Rangers over Avs-Red Wings and – most notably – Sharks-Devils on Sunday.  There has been pretty rampant discussion on which matchup would be “best” for hockey’s sake.  Yet, there’s no denying that there’s probably the most ratings gold so to speak in a New York-Philadelphia showdown.

That means, however, that a great game like San Jose-New Jersey will go un-televised for those who do not have Center Ice.  There must be a way to get these games the featuring and pomp and circumstance they deserve.

Well, we here at Puck the Media have a couple of solutions.

1. Beg NBC to Go Back to Regionalizing – Not that this would help for this week’s games, since it’s impossible to regionalize Jersey and NY, but at least go back to airing the “Game of the Week” and a back-up game.  Show, say, Rangers-Philly, with a back-up that either features two awesome teams (Sharks/Bruins/Devils/Caps) or two obsessed hockey markets (Sabres/Wild/Blue Jackets).  NBC will never air an NHL doubleheader, but doing two games on one day could help the NHL’s ratings, if done strategically.

2. Simulcast one of the dropped games on NHL Network – To save on costs, add a weekly Sunday game to the NHL Net’s package.  Sharks-Devils can’t be on NBC?  Show Doc Emrick/Chico Resch or Randy Hahn/Drew Remenda call the game at 3PM.  For those with NHL Net, it’d be a nationally televised hockey doubleheader, something rarely seen anymore.  It’d be a positive thing for the league, and would get easy promotion from NBC.

3. Air one of the dropped games on VERSUS – We reported on Monday that VERSUS President Jamie Davis is looking into producing a third game each week next year.  Well, how about one of these dropped games.  Usually, the best game is not selected, so VERSUS can brag about having quality match-ups on Sundays leading into PBR coverage.  The lazy afternoon timeslots would permit the network with a chance to experiment with different things.  This could even be done on NHL Network, as they’ve recently had Judd Sirott, Bill Clement and Gary Green call some original telecasts.

It’s important the NHL improve their presence on TV in anyway possible, these are just some suggestions without giving up what has been a decent partner in NBC.

3 Responses to Could the NHL Network, VERSUS Be the Key to Fixing NBC’s Crappy Flexing Decisions?

  1. chriswassel says:

    Interesting theory Steve. Honestly NBC frustrates me to no end with their decisions.

  2. dyhrdmet says:

    Steve, you seem to be more creative than most of these network execs. Here’s one to throw out at you along the theme of additional games on NHL Network – the playoffs. have NHL Network-U.S. show games that aren’t on Versus and NBC (use the CBC/TSN feeds).

  3. sportsdiva says:

    What happened to the ESPN talks. There was rumor there was a contract imminent for games later in the week to complement the Versus coverage. And I had confirmation from folks inside ESPN. But there’s now a cone of silence.

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