NBC Shows Disregard For Hockey Fans Two Days in a Row
February 18, 2010 11 Comments
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.