ESPN’s Coverage of the NCAA Frozen Four Wants Nothing to Do With Hockey… Shocker

You know, I was really into the Frozen Four this year.  I watched quite a few games, got prepared on info for most of them, and was really psyched about the final three college hockey games of the season.  After an exciting first period of the Bemidji St.-Miami (OH) game, I was even more tuned in.

Then, the intermission.  Just so it could remind me that nothing has changed as far as what ESPN thinks will make people stick with a hockey game.  Baseball, golf and basketball highlights.  No mention of hockey.

Now, let’s be completely fair.  The story about Nick Adenhart’s death is fair game to report on if you want to provide some updates.  I think even the most hard-hearted hockey fan will let that slide.  But golf and basketball highlights?  Don’t make me sick.  Jeez, what happened to Buccigross doing intermission features from Washington?  No budget for it?  Yikes, ESPN.

Now, there were two alternatives that could’ve sufficed to the intermission mini-SportsCenter.  They could of, as I said, had John Buccigross host a mini-intermission show with some small features on players.  Would’ve been effective, you could’ve shown highlights, and likely would keep the hockey fan’s attention.  Or, even better, throw it to a studio in Bristol with Buccigross and Matthew Barnaby or EJ Hradek and talk about the game.  It’s not like Barnaby actually does much in terms of actual analyst work.

But no, neither of those happened.  Because even when ESPN owns the rights to a hockey event, the last person on their minds is the hockey fan. 

4 Responses to ESPN’s Coverage of the NCAA Frozen Four Wants Nothing to Do With Hockey… Shocker

  1. dyhrdmet says:

    now if ESPN had the NHL TV rights, they would have an interest in showing hockey highlites. but haven’t i said that having the NHL on ESPN would be bad?

  2. Leafsfan1967 says:

    Do we really think that ESPB would care all that much more if they had NHL rights.

    Maybe the NHL should be giving more games to the NHL Network They know and care about the game.

  3. dyhrdmet says:

    ESPN wouuldn’t care much about the NHL. it would sit on ESPN2 most nights, behind NBA, College Basketball, the NFL, and MLB, all of which get more viewers than the NHL.

    your reasoning on giving games to the NHL Network is sound. NBA TV has a game every night that TNT, ESPN, and ABC don’t. But the NHL Network can’t be the primary cable home for the league. they don’t have the viewership being on sports tier in the U.S., and you can’t expect the league to be happy that viewers would have to fork over money to get it (when it’s not to the league directly).

    it’s getting top billing on Versus, and it’s a cleaner game to watch without ESPN’s clutter and self-promotion. I wish Versus had gotten the NFL package a few years back (the one that NFL Network got) because that would get more people aware of Versus, and maybe get it in even more households, would would have been real good for the league. remember that you have to compete with something in sports (and don’t forget entertainment) every night of the week. you’ll get noticed better if you stand outside the pile (on ESPN’s networks) than inside.

  4. Wayne from AL says:

    ESPN is only doing the Frozen Four as part of their NCAA Championships package that CBS gave up a few years ago…The Worldwide Leader can’t get the Men’s basketball championship, so it shows the other sports: 1) to fill programming time, and: 2) to show the NCAA they can do the other sports so that when the college basketball contract comes up with CBS soon, ESPN will be a serious player in contract negotiations.

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