Broadcast News: This Segment Really Doing Anything For Ya?

(NOTE: This will show up every Monday Tuesday this week 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.)



#8 Montreal vs. #1 New Jersey
#7 NY Rangers vs. #2 Buffalo
#6 Ottawa vs. #3 Washington
#5 Boston vs. #4 Pittsburgh


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

Canadian Networks Draft:

#1 (CBC): MTL-NJ
#6 (CBC): LA-SJ

CBC would usually not try to skip a Vancouver series, as it is on the upper half of the Canadian ratings draws regionally and nationally, but the logistics of having a Calgary-Phoenix series on the schedule are better than switching time zones between Vancouver and Chicago, so Calgary-Phoenix it is.  They’ll likely pair it up with the weaker of the two Eastern Canadian series, Washington-Ottawa, while throwing Montreal-Devils with LA-San Jose.  Meanwhile, TSN will feature Canucks-Hawks, while also giving playtime to Boston-Pittsburgh.  Nashville-Colorado and Rangers-Buffalo are reserved for doubleheader filler and TSN2.

American Networks

NBC: Thank goodness the playoffs don’t start today, because a lot of puckheads would be angry at NBC skipping out on the West in Round 1 for a second consecutive year.  Boston-Pittsburgh and Rangers-Buffalo would almost certainly be chosen over Los Angeles-San Jose or Nashville-Colorado.  It’s hard to argue that NBC would even try to televise either series if one of their 2 original picks ended early.  Sorry, fans west of Pittsburgh.

VERSUS: The VERSUS network would be more economical.  Bruins-Pens and Rangers-Buffalo are likely the key featured Eastern series, but LA-San Jose would also be regularly televised, with a combo of Nashville-Colorado and Vancouver-Chicago alternating between when you can get those series into the 10PM hour.  Montreal-New Jersey, Washington-Ottawa and Calgary-Phoenix likely relegated to weekends only.

VERSUS available announcers:


John Forslund
Rick Peckham
John Ahlers


Darren Eliot
Daryl Reaugh
Billy Jaffe


Charissa Thompson
Bob Harwood
Lindsay Soto

3 Responses to Broadcast News: This Segment Really Doing Anything For Ya?

  1. Chris says:

    Not sounding rude or anything but why is it so hard for NBC to televise Canadian teams? I know they lose a market for ratings, but seriously, how can you pass at televising a game from Montreal? The atmosphere in the Bell Centre translates to tv better than any other crowd in the NHL. If CBC has no problem going down to Texas, for example, NBC should return the favour once in a while.

    • Josh says:

      Because NBC doing hockey isn’t a charity thing – it’s not about ‘returning the favour’. It’s about making money, and drawing eyeballs to televisions. CBC and TSN actually draw viewers when they air Canadian teams against American ones or even, occasionally, all-American matchups.

      NBC needs big, (relatively) hockey-loving American markets involved in the games it broadcasts in order to draw respectable ratings. It’s the same reason that most of the games on TSN involve at least one Canadian team, while most of the games on TSN2 involve all-American matchups: TSN knows that having a Canadian team in the game means a much bigger number.

  2. Jason says:

    Because they would get few eyeballs in Canada since TSN would inevitably simulcast the game and it’d be simsubbed on cable and probably Star Choice/Bell TV. They threw Canada a bone when they did the NYR/MTL game on Super Bowl Sunday in ’08 but that was just as much Dick Ebersol realizing one of his dreams. It also doesn’t help that save for the Canucks eternal trying to court fans in Seattle that the Canadians have few fanbases across the border.

    It doesn’t help matters that even if the game wasn’t simsubbed, most of the NBC affiliates serving Canada’s NHL markets are flawed. Toronto’s (Buffalo) comes from another NHL market, Montreal (Burlington) and Edmonton/Calgary (Spokane) are smaller markets, Ottawa’s (Detroit) is via satellite. Again, the only case which would benefit from an NBC game would be Vancouver with Seattle and you have a west coast problem there.

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