Why Game 7 of the Western Conference Final is Listed as TBD

In the quagmire of scheduling conflicts that the Stanley Cup Playoffs often make up, the conference finals are supposed to be a relief from it all. You can show a game a night for two weeks on a channel and not have any problems or conflicts. A couple of games get thrown on NBC on a weekend afternoon and it’s all settled away.

There may be a bit of a problem this year, however. You may have noticed in the NHL’s third round schedules that the if necessary Game 7 of the Western Conference Final between the Kings and the Coyotes on Saturday, May 26th is listed as “TBD” next to the usual CBC and RDS names on the slate. It’s Game 7 of a conference final, what’s the confusion? Just put it on NBC Sports Network and let’s roll.

As you probably have predicted, there is a problem with this. As part of NBC’s deal with Major League Soccer, the network gets a few US Men’s and Women’s National team friendlies throughout the calendar year. The first such event is Saturday, May 26th. The US Men take on Scotland in Jacksonville, in a game scheduled for 8 p.m. ET live on the NBC Sports Network.

So, what do we do here? While Game 1 would suggest that these teams won’t need seven games in any stretch of the imagination, who’s to say the Coyotes can’t continue their run? Everytime they’ve been pushed, they’ve pushed back harder. Of course, I don’t really need to sell you on belief in a hypothetical situation, since we deal with that sometimes here on Puck the Media. Let’s face it, about half of the posts that have ever appeared on this site deal in them.

Anyway, the most likely option – besides moving the game up a few hours, as I’m sure they’ve sold a ton of tickets and don’t want to inconvenience people, or moving the hockey up a few hours which could affect CBC – would be CNBC. Can you imagine? The deciding seventh game, which would determine who makes it to a Stanley Cup Final, pushed to a channel that couldn’t draw more than 600,000 viewers for second round games. It would seem a bit of a knockdown, though CNBC is in more homes than NBC Sports Network.

One would suppose NBC could be an option, and I would be fully supportive of that. You’d have to imagine a Game 7 – even between Los Angeles and Phoenix – would draw at least enough of a demo number to make it worth skipping reruns of the cancelled Harry’s Law and the erstwhile Law & Order: SVU. Let’s face it, no one wants to watch the show without Chris Meloni anyway.

The only problem there is that the other networks have decided to go with sports that night as well. ABC is planning to air either Game 7 of an Eastern Conference Semifinal (Boston-Philadelphia or Indiana-Miami) or an early game of a conference final that night. FOX is continuing along with their absurd Baseball Night in America series where they show 40 games at once and hope enough local viewers tune in to justify it. Philadelphia-St. Louis is their main game that night, though the Angels are also in action, which could draw away local viewers.

I’m sure something can be figured out here, and whether it’s NBCSN, NBC or CNBC, the game will probably be well watched and on a channel people can find. That said, it does make for an interesting little dilemma that we’ll all be following if the series gets to that point.

5 Responses to Why Game 7 of the Western Conference Final is Listed as TBD

  1. E says:

    This stuff only happens in hockey. They should put the game on Saturday afternoon on NBC. They should have done that with the Rangers-Caps game 7 as well.
    Soccer gets better TV coverage than hockey.

  2. kevin says:

    Huh? CBC wants nite games especially Sat nite. NHL has to throw them a bone as well. Sat nite Caps/Rags was fine. As for the Conf final LA/PHX…it will never happen. Kings will win in 4 or 5 so don’t get your panties in a knot……..

  3. DM says:

    If it does happen, NBC needs to bite the bullet and put it on network TV. You won’t run into SNL conflicts, you’ll just piss off local news broadcasts.

  4. bubblescreen says:

    What about a late start? The NBA just put a huge Lakers game 7 on at 1030pm on a Saturday night.

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