Gary Bettman Soothes Hurt Feelings at VERSUS

From SportsBusinessDaily’s NHL/VERSUS Playoff Overlook (reg. required), which cites a story from the New York Post:

In N.Y., Richard Wilner cited sources as saying that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was “on the phone last week trying to make nice with Versus” after AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke reportedly recently told ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer the league needs to “get back on ESPN.” Bettman was also “trying to get Leiweke back on the reservation.” An NHL source: “I can assure you Leiweke’s views are not shared by the executives at the NHL. Versus has been a strong partner and we value the relationship.” Versus said in a statement, “We have devoted more in-depth coverage than the sport has ever seen, resulting in double-digit increases in viewership each year.” Wilner noted AEG “operates about three dozen arenas around the world and it could very well be that [Leiweke] was trying to make nice with ESPN to stoke a deal with another property somewhere else” 

Well, it’s all well and good that they’re trying to mend fences, but VERSUS has not given the sport more in-depth coverage that certainly ESPN2, and probably ESPN gave us.  We had 30 minutes of hockey highlights every night and 3-4 games a week on ESPN/ESPN2 for awhile.  In the playoffs, they covered almost every single game.  VERSUS should use these statements as a motivator to cover hockey better.


2 Responses to Gary Bettman Soothes Hurt Feelings at VERSUS

  1. Tsn says:

    NHl on versus is a failure. They have no other nhl programming other then the 2 games or 3 a week. I feel they need to try to get on the world wide leader. In the deal i would make espn have a NHL 2 nite a few times a week. Espn while people say they wont treat the leauge right then what do you call versus crap. They have no other programing outside of the games. Sorry Espn would be better and NBC deal is a fail on many levels. They need to have multiple games a week like MLB on Fox. The ratings will be 1.1-0.7 per game so thats not going to change. If NBC doesnt get it, i could see a network like Fox getting them for the reason NBC olympic package is alosmt up and they will try for them. rant out of bordem

  2. BC says:

    I don’t mind that the NHL is on VS. More hockey shows would be nice, but I’m used to having to search around for hockey info. What I don’t like is the actual broadcasts. Too much fluff talking, reading of stats, I hate the tag-team highlights, etc. etc. The three announcers, one at ice level, asking inane questions to the coaches and players, I hate that. The play-by-play guys usually talk waaaaaaaaaaaay too much. Never talk about the PRESENT, do hardly any play-by-play. The color guys interject a bit too much. If they would just copy HNIC a bit more, I would be as happy as a pig in $%%$

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