NBC Could End Up Shut Out of Hockey For Awhile
May 5, 2011 12 Comments
I’ve contacted NBC to see what their plans are for the weekend, so that’ll be updated when I find out, but first, a little speculation.
NBC will almost certainly be shut out of their Saturday window this weekend. Tampa Bay/Washington has ended in four games. There’s no chance NBC can air a game from the Nashville/Vancouver series either, since the latest they could start a game is 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT, which would not jive well with the series in Vancouver at the time. So, it’s likely we won’t see the NHL on NBC Saturday.
What about Sunday, though? Both Boston and San Jose have 3-0 leads in their series. Boston appears dominant and likely won’t suffer the fate of last year’s team against last year’s Philadelphia Flyers. Detroit seems the more likely of the two teams with the deficits to take their Game 4. In all likelihood, they’d find a way to set Detroit/San Jose Game 5 for the Sunday, 3:00 p.m. ET slot on NBC.
What if both series end in sweeps though? NBC will be out of hockey for a second consecutive day and for a full weekend. Don’t forget, NBC skips next week out of hockey because they have to air the PGA’s Players Championship. So, the NHL could go two full weeks without any broadcast television exposure on NBC’s side.
Let’s go even further into the hypothetical sphere: What happens if Vancouver wins tonight and Saturday, ending the second round? You’d think the latest the NHL could legitimately start the Conference Final would be Tuesday or Wednesday, just to save momentum. NBC could likely be left to hold out for if necessary games just to get some Conference Final action on the weekend of May 21st and 22nd.
It’s almost entirely impossible because a lot of things would have to go wrong, and the Conference Finals would have to be as limp as much of the Conference Semis, but it’s surely possible we might not see hockey on NBC until the Stanley Cup Final, unless they were to spread out the Conference Final big-time, or if somehow we see these series get extended beyond the weekend. Obviously not the second round the NHL or it’s TV partners wanted after a fantastic Conference Quarterfinal.