Your Announcers and Open Thread for Devils-Sabres (And the start of a 3-game Week on VERSUS!)

New Jersey vs. Buffalo, 7PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Color: Billy Jaffe
Reporter: Bob Harwood

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Send VERSUS a Message, and Try To Watch Rare Three-Game Week

We have open thread coming up in a little bit for tonight’s Devils-Sabres game on VERSUS.  It’ll be a typical night on the network, though it isn’t a typical week.  For the first time in it’s history, VERSUS is airing regular season hockey on three consecutive nights.

The closest VERSUS has come to this is during their incarnation as OLN in 2005-06, when they aired games on Monday & Tuesday, and then the Sunday right before the 2006 Olympics began, as sort of a send-off toward the games.  There were also plans that season to do a three-night week, with games airing on a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday.  But the game at the time was Dallas-Chicago, which wasn’t as appealing back then, so it was traded in for a doubleheader another time during the year.

It’ll be interesting to see if some extra people tune in this week, just out of the consistency of hockey being on one channel three nights in a row.  People love to view out of habit, and that could give VERSUS an advantage here.  Plus, people have not had a chance to see Colorado during their stunning early-season success, so catching them now, just before their likely fall out of the top 8, will probably catch some eyes.

All in all, I encourage you to tune into as many of these telecasts as you can.  We all know VERSUS has it’s flaws when it comes to coverage and scheduling.  But it’s your job to help them see what you want when it comes to broadcasting hockey.  If you let them know there’s an audience for a third game each week, I think they won’t be able to ignore it.

CBC Needs to Start Experimenting With Multiple Games at 10PM, So I Don’t Have to Watch This Again

This looks like it was done in the 1970’s.  Which is an insult to the 1970’s.  This was the feed used by the NHL for highlights of Saturday night’s Ottawa-Phoenix game.  This was due to the game not being televised by either FS Arizona or… well who exactly should have picked up this game?

The answer is CBC.  The network has aired up to three games regionally on various Saturdays this season, why was this game considered so inflexible to fit it’s schedule?  The network got this very same matchup at 7PM last year and showed it regionally.

It’s something that’s been discussed a lot in the comments recently, CBC’s treatment of the west coast, and this sort of relates.  This game could have been shown at 10PM as a regional feed for just Ottawa, and maybe gotten an okay number of viewers.  But the CBC decided that Edmonton-Vancouver needed to be seen in the entire country.  A rivalry, perhaps, but it can’t be ignored that CBC showed a game featuring two teams currently outside the playoff picture and didn’t air one with two teams that were.

Perhaps I don’t get Canadian TV enough to do this.  Could it be done logically that an Edmonton and Calgary game could be shown at the same time?  Can you split those two markets up well enough?  It doesn’t matter, even if you couldn’t, you could show an Edmonton game and a Vancouver game at the same time.  In a few months, CBC is airing Montreal-LA as the 10PM game.  Why not, on some night next year, air a game like that and add in, say, a Minnesota-Vancouver game as a safety telecast, so that if the Habs are still not contending for a playoff spot, you at least have a dependable Northwest division battle to stablize the audience.

The fact is, it’s sad CBC bulks up it’s 7PM slot with so many games, when a Toronto game or a Montreal game alone can get 1.8-2 million viewers a week.  Why not try and beef up the 10PM ratings with an additional game?  Or, you know God forbid, show the Leafs at 10PM when they’re actually on the west coast?  Put it in the too much sense folder, I say.

VERSUS To Continue Guest Panelists on Hockey Central

VERSUS has been doing the guest commentator thing on Hockey Central a lot lately, and it’s going to continue through December.  Of course, seeing how Peter Laviolette ended up, they might not be too good a caliber of experts.

Your schedule of Hockey Central guest analysts is after the jump.  Yes, Eddie Olczyk counts.

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