ESPN Bumps NCAA Hockey Title Game off to ESPN2, Because ESPN is Heroically Unafraid of Being Stupid
February 28, 2012 9 Comments
It’s always really easy to pile on the nice folks at ESPN and their treatment of hockey. You know why? Because ESPN are heroes. They are truly not afraid to do anything that will piss people off who criticize them for having a narrow view of the sports world that does not include any of the networks that they are in bed with financially, which does not include hockey. A lesser network would have standards and think “You know, just because we don’t have a contract for hockey, doesn’t mean we have to treat it like a third-class citizen and every turn.” But ESPN is truly the behemoth of the sports television industry, so they don’t have to act that way.
Therefor, it comes as little surprise that when the NCAA Tournament television schedule was released on the organization’s website, a grand total of one game will air outside of ESPNU: the tournament championship game on ESPN2, which had been on ESPN every year since at least the lockout. Four games will be syndicated on various regional sports networks, all regional semifinals. All of the regional finals, and the national semi-finals, will air on ESPNU. ESPN2 will air the title game. In addition, the selection show, which had aired on ESPN2 every year since the lockout, will air on ESPNU. So it’s hard not to look at this as a total demotion for the sport.
Oh well, I’m sure that whatever is on ESPN that Saturday night will be fantastic.Because ESPN is truly the class-act of the sports television industry, which is why they can make decisions like this.
Anyway, here’s the schedule. Let’s all do our sighing in the comments.
12:00 Selection Show (ESPNU)
3:00 East Semi-final (ESPNU)
5:30 Midwest Semi-final (ESPN Syndication)*
6:30 East Semi-final (ESPNU)
9:00 Midwest Semi-final (ESPNU)
1:30 West Semi-final (ESPN Syndication^)
4:00 Northeast Semi-final (ESPNU)
5:00 West Semi-final (ESPN Syndication%)
6:30 East Final (ESPNU)
7:30 Northeast Semi-final (ESPN Syndication*)
9:00 Midwest Final (ESPNU)
5:30 West Final (ESPNU)
8:30 Northeast Final (ESPNU)
4:30 National Semi-Final (ESPNU)
8:00 National Semi-Final (ESPNU)
7:00 National Championship (ESPN2)
*-will air taped delayed at 11:30 p.m. ET that night on ESPNU
^- will air tape delayed at 12:30 p.m. ET the next day on ESPNU
%- will air tape delayed at 3:00 p.m. ET the next day on ESPNU