More Hockey Today, Open Thread!

USA vs. Norway, 3:00 PM, USA Network

Women: USA vs. Finland, 5:30 PM, MSNBC

Canada vs. Switzerland, 7:30 PM, CNBC (Or whenever curling finishes.  Or between 7:30 and 8 on MSNBC.  Or something…)

Women: Russia vs. China, 10:00 PM, CNBC

Russia vs. Slovakia, Midnight, CNBC (Or whenever a meaningless women’s game ends)

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NBC Shows Disregard For Hockey Fans Two Days in a Row

7:30 PM and 8:22 PM.  Let’s get these two times agreed upon.

7:30 PM ET was the time that the Sweden-Germany men’s game was scheduled to begin.  8:22 PM ET is when it was available to viewers for it’s conclusion.  In between, it spent time off the air due to curling and a 13-1 women’s hockey game, it spent time on MSNBC.  But, it was scheduled to air on CNBC for it’s entirety.

Headed toward 8:00 PM ET, play-by-play man Mike “Doc” Emrick told his audience that they could switch over to CNBC and see the game, as MSNBC had to get to a regularly scheduled “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” (As Olbermann whined to Deadspin yesterday, don’t blame him for this).  However, Emrick told the people watching that they could turn on CNBC and see the rest of the game.

However, this turned out to be not true.  There was still more curling, which apparently goes beyond 10 ends and into extras.  It’s about as interesting to watch as baseball extra innings.  Very little to fleeting moments of cool.  It was another 22 minutes until we saw hockey.  In fact, an entire period had gone by before we got to see any of this game.

This is absolutely ridiculous.  I get that NBC scheduled the start as 8PM, which is stupid to begin with as the matches are scheduled when they are scheduled.  Why would you intently schedule coverage for a half an hour after the game starts?  That’s simply counterintuitive… and maybe a little bit stupid… or a lot stupid.  But if even 8PM goes by and there’s no hockey… the fact is, NBC Universal owns USA, MSNBC, CNBC, SyFy, Bravo, Universal Sports, Universal HD, and Telemundo.  Not all of those channels could’ve been airing marquee programming like Olbermann.  One of them could’ve been a home for the game.

I hope to get an NBC statement on this stuff, because I believe they deserve their side of the story to be heard.  However, the fact is that NBCUniversal owns half of my cable stations.  They could very easily have plopped this game on one of the networks.  The fact that they didn’t even try – and that they out and out had Emrick lie to the audience already watching – is a clear sign of complete ignorance and disrespect for the hockey fans.  You know, the audience that gave you five consecutive ratings wins in the 18-49 demographic last June?  The ones that lead you to a very rare – especially with the state NBC’s in – 18-49 weekly win in June?

Fact is, NBC owes hockey fans an explanation and a better plan to show these games in their entirety, which is all hockey fans really want.  Who am I kidding?  The same thing will likely happen today.  The fact is, NBC doesn’t care what I think, and I doubt it cares what you think.  I hope I see the ratings for the Team USA games of this tournament.  I hope I see the overall hockey ratings, to see what audiences truly wanted to see – hockey or curling.  I’d love to see NBC eat it’s words in this situation.  I think all of us would.

Hockey Coverage the Next to Days on NBCUniversal

CABLE:
Crosby, Ovechkin and Team USA all skate in men’s hockey on USA Network and CNBC. On USA Network, live coverage of men’s hockey includes undefeated Team USA facing off against Norway. Also live, men’s curling with Team USA taking on Denmark. Two of the NHL’s biggest stars compete live on CNBC as Team Canada, led by Sidney Crosby, takes on Switzerland, and Alex Ovechkin leads Russia against Slovakia. Both Canada and Russia are undefeated in the tournament thus far. Also live on CNBC, USA’s women’s curling team goes up against Denmark. MSNBC’s live coverage includes women’s hockey with undefeated Team USA facing Finland.

Highlights for Thursday, February 18 include:

Thursday, February 18 (DAY 7)

Cable
USA
Noon – 5:30 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – USA vs. Norway (LIVE)

CNBC
5:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Switzerland (LIVE)
Slovakia vs. Russia (LIVE)
Women’s Ice Hockey – Russia vs. China (LIVE)

MSNBC
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey – USA vs. Finland (LIVE)

USA HIGHLIGHTS:
Men’s Ice Hockey: USA vs. Norway – The most anticipated international tournament in the sport – men’s hockey at a Canadian Olympics – continues as Team USA takes on Norway, LIVE.

CNBC HIGHLIGHTS:
Men’s Ice Hockey: Canada vs. Switzerland – One of the faces of the Games, hockey superstar Sidney Crosby, leads the Canadians in their drive for gold LIVE against Switzerland. “Sid the Kid” was controversially left off the 2006 Canadian Olympic Team roster. Now, he’s arguably the tournament’s best player. No medal means more to the host country than gold in men’s ice hockey and the atmosphere will be electric.

MSNBC HIGHLIGHTS:
Women’s Ice Hockey: USA vs. Finland – Coached by 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hero Mark Johnson, the USA women’s hockey team is favored to meet Canada in the Gold Medal Final. Today they place their third game and toughest test yet of Vancouver tournament, LIVE vs. Finland, the team that Team USA beat for bronze in Torino.

Highlights for Friday, February 19 include:

Friday, February 19 (DAY 8)

MSNBC
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Belarus vs. Sweden (LIVE)

Midnight – 3:00 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Finland vs. Germany (LIVE)

CNBC
5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Czech Republic vs. Latvia (LIVE)

MSNBC HIGHLIGHTS:
Men’s Ice Hockey: The men’s tournament continues with LIVE action featuring the teams that met for gold in 2006; the defending Olympic gold medalists from Sweden take on Belarus while defending silver medalist Finland clashes with Germany.

Quotes From NBCU Hockey Coverage Yesterday

BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST NIGHT’S MEN’S HOCKEY
MSNBC:
9:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Bill Patrick (Host), Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick (Studio Analysts), Kenny Albert (Play-by-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst)
MEN’S HOCKEY
Russia: 8 Latvia: 2

ROENICK ON TEAM RUSSIA:”I would be scared if I was a goaltender going up against these guys.”

MILBURY ON ALEXANDER OVECHKIN:”This is the new era, this is the Ovechkin era. He is setting all sorts of records.”

MILBURY ON TEAM RUSSIA: “This is a very skilled, very special team.”

MSNBC:
MEN’S HOCKEY: FINLAND vs. BELARUS
Bill Patrick (Host), Cammi Granato (Studio Analyst), Kenny Albert (Play-by-Play), AJ Mleczko (Analyst)
Finland: 5 Belarus: 1

OLCZYK ON TEAM FINLAND’S MIKKO KOIVU:
“Mikko Koivu, is the most underrated player in the NHL. He does so much, he is so smart.”

EMRICK ON BELARUS’ HEAD OF STATE ATTENDING A PRACTICE:
“It is not often that the Head of State will attend a practice and go on the ice with you. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko did that.”

CNBC, Men’s Hockey:
Sweden 2 vs. Germany 0
Bill Patrick (Host), Jeremy Roenick and Mike Milbury (Studio Analysts), Mike Emrick (Play-By-Play), Ed Olczyk (Analyst)

Emrick on Sweden’s roster: “Four members of the Detroit Red Wings are on this team. Nineteen of the 23 players are NHL players; eight from the Eastern conference and 11 from the West. One powerful Team Sweden.”

Roenick on Team Sweden’s Nicklas Backstrom: “He’s only 22; wise beyond his years and talented beyond those years. He makes everything look really easy. He is very, very good with the puck.”

Team Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist: “We’re confident, but we also have a lot of respect, especially for Canada and Russia. They look really strong.”