Look, We Just Can’t Muster Up Your Anger


Sports Soup Host Matt Iseman

Sports Soup Host Matt Iseman

Look, we feel a little responsible for not telling you about the fact that VERSUS aired Sports Soup after Game 3 of the Penguins-Red Wings (By the way, Eddie Olczyk would like you to know THERE WERE SIX PLAYERS ON THE ICE FOR THE PENGUINS!), then Hockey Central at 11.  Because we totally knew, and just kinda’ dropped the ball on it.  We figured you guys would find out anyway and then all would be well.  Maybe a few complaints, but in the end, nothing crazy.

Well I was wrong.  Turns out you are mostly really annoyed about this.  Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times-Union leads the angry parade:

As if hockey fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Versus, the network with the corny name gave them another tonight.

After the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Versus crew told viewers that they would be back in a half hour with “Hockey Central,” its postgame show.

A half hour? Why? Apparently the network savors its “Sports Soup” program so much that it’s willing to lose its hockey audience to air this week’s episode. Hockey fans were left looking for the NHL Network, which did provide postgame coverage.

You can read all 11 (mostly pissed) comments here.  But after the jump, we’ll tell you why this isn’t the massive deal that you think it is.  Cause don’t you all love being told you’re wrong?

Anyway, networks do this all the time.  If you watch hockey games from 2000-2004, ESPN cut almost immediately to Sports Center, Baseball Tonight, and anything else they could possibly cut to post-NHL.  And in 2003-04, there was no NHL2Night to check in on later.  ESPN just had Thorne and Clement say goodbye and that was it for the night, maybe you’ll catch something on Sports Center or ESPN News.

If I’m running VERSUS, I see Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final as our version of the Super Bowl.  If the Red Wings win, there will be lower ratings for Game 4, bar none.  So why not use Game 3 as a chance to prop up one of its’ likely struggling series?  What, they brought Will Ferrell in too?  Will Ferrell?  On VERSUS?  Can we do this at like the 2nd intermission too?

Point is, VERSUS clearly believes in its’ original series, so they’re using hockey to try and launch them.  When’s the last time you saw a network believe in hockey so much that they tried to launch a network around it?

And plus, you buncha babies whine about Hockey Central every night, so don’t be all righteous about it not being on right after the game.

11 Responses to Look, We Just Can’t Muster Up Your Anger

  1. kevin says:

    I totally agree….Versus thought so highly of its SCF ratings that they forced Sports Soup on viewers. After the series is over Versus goes back to Nowhereville. This was their big chance….The other networks are always hyping new TV shows after the Super Bowl game. Versus went back to hockey in a half hour. Do you think NBC would do that…..don’t think so

  2. Chief says:

    Can’t disagree with you. It’s a launching point, no matter how small the ratings may be. Quite frankly, with NHL NET getting a new carriage deal I’d like to see them upgrade their product so that we have an “ESPNEWS” for Hockey as a standby.

  3. Ken says:

    I just went to CBC.ca and watched Hockey Night in Canada Stanley Cup Countdown. It’s on as soon as CBC signs off its coverage. It’s also stored there so you watch it later.

  4. Scotty says:

    I don’t disagree with your point but its not theproper way to do things. I understand the wanting to promote your series, it makes sense to air it after the game. However they have been airing this show after like a bunch of games already this postseason. Also why not do what FOX does on Sunday’s with the NFL. Do the postgame and just spend the whole time promoting your next show. The show is a Hockey Central Postgame show, not Hockey Central after the show we want you to watch show. On an aside I enjoy Sports soup its quite funny and if you haven’t seen it check it out. In the spot it should be in after Hockey Central Postgame on Thursday Night. Also the 200-04 point on ESPN is correct but I think now ESPN would do things differently for sure. It’d be a pregame, the game, then a quick toss to Sportscenter then right back to probably Berman or Leavy with Barnaby and Melrose at the game site.

  5. Chris says:

    It’s an amazing accomplishment that Versus was able to get Will Ferrell with Iseman to do the show.

    ONLY becuase the NHL game probably brought in 3.5 to 4.5 million viewers as a lead-in.

    Sport Soup I am sure has crappy ratings…

    Hockey Central has crappy ratings anyways.

    by the time Hockey Central is 15 min in or so..the 4 million(if that was the audience would be 500K maybe)

    the NHL for some reason cannot hold audience for pre and post game shows

    • Sean says:

      With the possible exception of football, very few sports hold onto a significant portion of their audience after a game. Last week when the Lakers were getting 10 million on ESPN, only like 2.5 million stayed for the beginning of SportsCenter.

      Versus had far more to gain by trying to get people to watch Sports Soup (which I repeat, is terrible) than having them stick around to see a wrapup show. There is not one person in America that will go, “Ooooh Hockey Central, must come back to Versus in the future for this show!!” but there might be a few idiots out there who would do that for the Sports Soup.

  6. I wasn’t entirely bothered with Sports Soup. And I don’t find it all that bad and I am not just saying that because I have their ad on my site. Perhaps I enjoy it because I am so ADD that I absorb information in tiny little bits such as that format. A girl can only watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians for so long until she needs some other form of entertainment.

    And I secretly hold out hope that Joel McHale will drop in on Sports Soup.

  7. nosferatu says:

    While I certainly understand the reasoning behind the decision to go straight to Sports Soup, I just think it’s disrespectful to those millions of fans who just spent the past two and a half hours watching the game. Even just a few minutes of talk or highlights would at least show an effort to respect the game and the audience. Funny how when you actually have a GOOD postgame show – like TNT does with the NBA – people actually want to watch it. Maybe Versus should think about that.

    And to anyone who is content with being treated this way as a fan, who thinks it’s ridiculous to bitch and moan over this: If you were served a turd sandwich (thanks, b.s.) for lunch, would you eat it, or would you send it back? If things in this country are going down the crapper, do you stick to the status quo and vote for the incumbent party?

    I know this is a minor, minor thing in the grand scheme of life, but it ain’t easy being a hockey fan in America – especially certain parts of America – and the more noise we make, the better it should get in the future.

  8. Fingerman says:

    I totally understand why Versus did it, and Hockey Central isn’t that great of a show. But isn’t the argument for the NHL to be on Versus that the network treats hockey better than on ESPN and makes it a priority? Well, in this case, instead of a postgame show for game 3 of the FINALS, their priority was promoting another show. Kind of lame.

  9. Praveen says:

    Fingerman nailed it. It’s fine to showcase Soup. But that does nullify the argument that Versus gives the NHL more of a royal treatment than ESPN. FWIW, I do like Sports Soup. But come on. It was a freaking repeat that delayed the post game. How about at least doing some preliminary post game and then showing the extra interviews and analysis later on?

    Oh , and Bettman should answer why Versus preempted a marquee matchup like Ananheim-Detroit earlier in the playoffs for the INdy Racing trials if NHL was its number one sport. Looks like it was number TWO that day.

  10. Morgan Wick says:

    What was the point of showing Hockey Central at all if it’s not going to be right after the game?

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