NHL TV Should Follow NBA’s Lead on Weekends, Show As Many Games As Possible

I know there’s a lot of things that go into the scheduling of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, like arena availability and network availability and such, but lets forget that exists for a moment. Here’s the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoff schedule for next Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, April 16
1:00
Phoenix vs. Detroit (NBC/CBC)
5:00 Buffalo vs. Philadelphia (TSN)
7:00
Montreal vs. Boston (CBC/VERSUS)
10:00
Los Angeles vs. San Jose (TSN/VERSUS)

Sunday, April 17
3:00 Washington vs. NY Rangers (NBC/TSN)
6:00
Anaheim vs. Nashville (TSN)
8:00
Vancouver vs. Chicago (VERSUS/CBC)

Now, we have these games spread out a little, but not quite enough that the TV networks can show as many games in a row as possible, leaving many fans without Center Ice out in the cold. What about something like this, if you could get VERSUS and the host teams to commit?

Saturday
1:00
Phoenix vs. Detroit (NBC/CBC)
4:00
Buffalo vs. Philadelphia (VERSUS/TSN)
7:00
Montreal vs. Boston (VERSUS/CBC)
10:00
Los Angeles vs. San Jose (VERSUS/TSN)

Sunday
3:00
Washington vs. NY Rangers (NBC/TSN)
6:00
Anaheim vs. Nashville (VERSUS/TSN)
9:00
Vancouver vs. Chicago (VERSUS/CBC)

I understand that VERSUS has Indy Car and other commitments, but honestly? I’m really disappointed there’s not a way to get those Philly/Buffalo and Anaheim/Nashville games on TV. Later this week, the NBA will announce that they’ll open their post-season with two days of completely nationally televised quadruple-headers. If I were a basketball fan, that would be heaven for me. Why can’t the NHL and it’s television partners go outside the box and let us see up to three and four games on national TV during the weekends? It is something they should work towards in future years. 

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

5 Responses to NHL TV Should Follow NBA’s Lead on Weekends, Show As Many Games As Possible

  1. Arthur says:

    For someone who is trying to break into mainstream media (your recent stint at Versus), why do you continue to live in such a fantasy world on this site? How can you just say “let’s forget that exists for a while?” There are no exclusive broadcasts for Versus in the first round. If you want to see ANA-NSH so badly and don’t live in Nashvile or SoCal, buy Game Center Live. It is that simple. You do have that option.
    Your basketball analogy is a weak one as TNT/TBS has no other live programming commitments. They can dedicate their channels to programming hoops all day.
    You just can’t dismiss Versus’ or any other network’s other programming with a “But Honestly?”

    • stevelepore says:

      Why should that continue to be an option though? Why shouldn’t every playoff game have a national outlet, at least on weekends? The NBA and MLB seem to understand this (though for sure, MLB has fewer games) but the NHL doesn’t. The fans deserve as many games as possible. NHL Network should be used for post-season games. Allow the games to stay on GCL/CI, but show them on NHL Net, like the NBA uses NBA TV for overflow.

      • nosferatu says:

        I agree that the NHL is really missing the boat, once again, by not putting any games on the NHL Network. For one thing, we know they can give different schedules to viewers in Canada and the U.S., if that’s the issue.

        All I know is that other leagues make it so that viewers don’t have to do nearly as much picking and choosing in terms of what games to watch, because yes, they have access to all of them! It’s in little ways like this, and not having an overflow channel for when early games go into OT (so the late game can still be seen in its entirety), that show that the NHL and its American TV partners are still behind the times.

        We’ll see if the next TV deal alleviates some of these issues. Getting a third partner in there, making sure NHL Network is involved with more playoff broadcasts–those things could help.

      • Arthur says:

        Steve,
        The NFL broke away it’s Thursday package in hopes of making the NFL network bigger and getting on more cable companies. Hasn’t quite worked out that way.
        In the next tv deal, maybe the NHL owners will seek to do the same thing, but I doubt it. For now Versus is the one paying the rights fees for games. Do you think they would allow eyeballs to leave Versus so people can watch other games?

  2. Mike in Idaho says:

    Is it possible the national carriers (Versus/NBC) worry about splintering/damaging their ratings by having so many nationally available games on one day? It really seems like they are going out of their way to cause this situation whereas yours makes much more sense.

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