Streaming Episodes Online Could Be a Way to Build NHL Overtime’s Cred With Hockey Fans

In the past half-decade, television has found ways to connect with other forms of media to help sell shows to viewers across various platforms. When The Office became a hit on the backs of iTunes episode sales, a paradigm shifted and networks started looking for new ways to sell their wares on the internet and through portable, personal media. While you might not be able to make money directly off of Hulu or iTunes, there is a chance that your show can build buzz, grow audiences, and eventually generate revenue through the old-fashioned means – TV advertising.

So why not bring VERSUS’ flagship NHL show, NHL Overtime, to one of these sites, if not their own? While Hulu and iTunes are considered most popular, CBS has it’s own streaming site that joins it with The CW, while shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Conan and Lopez Tonight all have their own individual websites which feature streaming of every episode. One would figure they could find a way to get NHL Overtime on VERSUS.com fairly easily.

A move like this would be similar to how the NHL sold their own network’s highlight show. A few years ago, NHL.com launched a microsite that played nothing but episodes of NHL On the Fly just as the NHL Network was getting into American homes. It helped build up the show’s recognition with hockey fans and proved an invaluable online source for live hockey anytime you wanted to see what happened last night.

This is just a suggestion for VERSUS, but why not do something similar with Overtime? With fairly low ratings throughout the season, and the addition of Jeremy Roenick as a regular analyst on the show, this would be the perfect time for the show and the network to reintroduce itself with more of an online presence. In fact, the show already embraces the web by taking questions from Facebook every night. This could be a way to keep the show in people’s minds all day, and allow them to keep up with what’s going on in the NHL every night without having to stay up late. It would also help the (still substantial) number of folks that don’t get the network.

I assume there are reasons not to do it, but why not take a shot – at least until the end of the season? The results could work out in the long term, or at least until the playoffs, when I imagine the show will be on seven nights a week and after Stanley Cup Playoff doubleheaders that would have it on people’s minds every night anyway. The network already puts clips and highlights online, why not just give ’em the whole thing?

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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