Broadcast News: It’s Still Not Looking Up For Canadian Networks

(NOTE: This will show up every Monday this week on Tuesday on Puck the Media. It’s something we did a couple of times last season. They were fairly popular, and people liked talking about them, so let’s try it on a more permanent basis this year, now that December is upon us.)

Playoff Matchups (If Season Ended Today):

Eastern Conference:

#8 Tampa Bay vs. #1 Washington
#7 Ottawa vs. #2 New Jersey
#6 Atlanta vs. #3 Boston
#5 Buffalo vs. #4 Pittsburgh

Western Conference

#8 Dallas vs. #1 San Jose
#7 Nashville vs. #2 Colorado
#6 Los Angeles vs. #3 Chicago
#5 Phoenix vs. #4 Calgary

U.S. Networks:

NBC: The Peacock is still in a bit of a tough spot here, with no definitive standout ratings winner of a series to obsess over for two weekends.  Pittsburgh-Buffalo would almost definitely be taken, because of NBC’s love of the Penguins, and the fact that the Sabres are an insane local ratings draw.

The other game is where NBC needs to take a chance.  I’m sorry, Washington fans, but this is not the year to gamble on Washington-Tampa.  The fact is, Ovechkin still isn’t a big enough national attraction, sadly.  So, why not see if Los Angeles-Chicago pushes the needle a bit.  If either game of that series draws over a 1.0 final rating on NBC, they will have sold hockey fans (at least) on another team to follow.  At the very least, establish the Hawks existence outside of the Red Wings.

VERSUS: VERSUS, however, would probably show as much of Pittsburgh-Buffalo and Washington-Tampa on alternating nights as they can.  That’d probably be the Monday-Friday rotation, with Boston-Atlanta or New Jersey-Ottawa sneaking in on weekends.

As for the 10PM games, They’d likely alternate between the four series when each pair were on the west coast.  Kings-Hawks will be shown when that series is out in LA, while Dallas-San Jose will be shown while those games are in the Bay Area.  Phoenix-Calgary can be fairly flexible, and alternate with Nashville-Colorado when those games aren’t in the mountain time zone.

Canadian Networks:

CBC/TSN Draft:

1. (CBC) Ottawa/New Jersey
2. (CBC) Phoenix/Calgary
3. (TSN) Buffalo/Pittsburgh
4. (CBC) Tampa Bay/Washington
5. (TSN) Nashville/Colorado
6/7. (CBC/TSN Alternating) Dallas/San Jose and Los Angeles/Chicago
8. (TSN) Atlanta/Boston

CBC gets the first two picks, and there are only two Canadian teams (Ottawa and Calgary) so there you go.  After that, it becomes a little sketchy, but TSN will bank on Crosby, while CBC pairs Ovechkin vs. Tampa with Phoenix/Calgary for doubleheaders.  To ensure Canadian fans will see all the games (as was done last year), the networks will flip Dallas/San Jose and LA/Chicago at their convenience so they can use the 10PM potential games as doubleheaders.

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2 Responses to Broadcast News: It’s Still Not Looking Up For Canadian Networks

  1. Chris says:

    Don’t count the Habs out. They’re definately on the upswing right now.

  2. Jeff says:

    Steve and to make matters worse, TSN won’t even do their own production on the Boston/Atlanta. They would relegate the games to TSN2 and pick up the Boston feed. Last year any TSN2 game used an American TV feed with VS being first choice, of course. Probably similar with Nashvile/Colorado using the Altitude feed. Obviously Gord Miller and Pierre Maguire would do the Pitt series with Cuthbert/Ferrero handling those 2 west series.

    From a CBC standpoint. Lee and Weekes will probably shuttle between the 2 US series. Bob Cole and Garry Galley would handle the Devils – Ottawa series with Guy Carbonall added to the games in Ottawa. Calgary – Phoenix gets Hughson – Simpson and that leaves Washington – Tampa with Dean Brown – Greg Millen. (I am splitting up Brown and Galley the regular Ottawa pairing keeping Galley with the team he covers year round while giving Cole least travel possible.) Glenn Healey becomes a between the bench announcer on one series, I am just trying to figure out the best place to send him – possibly Calgary vs Phoenix.

    From a VS standpoint. Assuming they only need 3 crews they will use Sam Rosen, Jon Forslund, and Jon Ahlers out west. From a color standpoint they will use Billy Jaffe, Joe Michelleti, and ??? The question mark is because there isnt an announcer available who usually works for VS. But the obvious choice is Brian Hayward. Actually of the 3 crews, 2 would be crews that work together regulalry with Forslund and Jaffe as the only thrown together crew. This reminds me of the late 80s/early 90s Sportschannel America days where if the Isles didnt make the playoffs, their crew of Jiggs McDonald and Ed Westfall would work together on some other series somewhere.

    And on a different topic, I agree with the CBC 10 PM game situation. There was no justification for not putting the Ottawa game on. Also, on the weeks where Greg Millen doesn’t work, why can’t he be a bench reporter. Why does the 7PM game get loaded up on announcers and studio people and reporters but the 10 PM game gets stuck with the awful broadcast team of Mark Lee and Kevin Weekes. That game needs a bench level announcer desperately. Every national game should have a bench level announcer at this point.

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