Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thanks, NHL and Versus

The NHL and Versus released the schedule today of what games will be aired on the Bull-riding channel. Puck Daddy does an excellent job of breaking down the schedule in terms of how many times a team is shown for next season. How many of you are surprised that the Kings are shown ZERO TIMES?

No one? That’s what I thought.

I really don’t like to bag on other markets/cities outside of the Pacific Division because I have mad respect for everyone. But Buffalo? 9 times?? REALLY? 7 times for Boston?? St. Louis 5 times???

In the Pacific Division only the Dallas Stars get a bit of love by having 4 games aired nationally. The rest?

San Jose – 3
Phoenix – 1
Anaheim – 1
Los Angeles – 0

Zero. ZERO! Oh my god, really? Look, I’m not whining and complaining about this because I’ll be able to watch almost all of the games myself. What I’m angry about is the fact that the NHL and Versus are essentially telling hockey fans that the Kings, Flames, and Oilers are not relevant. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t air ANY games from 2 of the 6 Canadian teams. I know that the eastern teams are the big hockey markets that draw in the biggest numbers, but how does that create exposure for other teams? In a league where certain markets aren’t perceived as being relevant, the NHL and Versus have made it clear that they think so as well.

x-posted on A Queen Among Kings


Lucky13 said...

I am not al all surprised that Vs is doing this. Any channel that thinks bull-riding is a market draw is definitely sleeping with some cowboys. No offense to all you bull-riding fans out there (can you both hear me?), but to pre-empt any of the mainstream professional sports, especially hockey, with men riding pissed-off animals is a bit hard to swallow. Thank goodness for Center Ice.

Kerri said...

Can we throw out there the fact that I have serious ethical questions about bull-riding?

It is 100% unfair that some teams don't get any national coverage. These a usually the teams who need as much coverage as possible, too, but unfortunately, the NHL cares more about the stats a Detroit-Penguin game would get then promote the smaller franchises. Ironic, coming from "anti-big market" Bettman over there.

And then you have the opposite. I'm going to rant here for a minute. I would personally prefer that the Rangers don't spend so much time on national TV. Give me MY announcers and information on MY team. It's painful to listen to the Sidney Crosby show when you aren't Sidney Crosby.

I have my gripes with Versus. Why, when watching on local TV, there are several different angles to see questionable goals with, but on Versus, there is only one or two? I'm pretty sure the camera's are there, so I don't understand the difficulty. Plus, they have "unbiased" analysts who are currently employed by certain teams *coughmikemilburywhoworksfortheislandersand oncehitarangerfanwithashoecough.* Sometimes they even forget to mention someone is sitting in a penalty box. It drives me insane. /end rant.

Connie said...

Lucky - I agree with you. I also don't think that a hockey fan should have to pay for Center Ice just to see every team at least once in the season. You know? It should be in their cable package (i.e. VERSUS).

Kerri - I like the rant. I totally agree, it's hard to find "unbiased" commentators. That being said, I absolutely love my commentators. You forgot to mention Eddie Olczyk's Pittsburgh tilt.

Heather B. said...

While I get and understand your gripe about L.A. not being shown, Buffalo is consistently one of the best TV markets in the NHL. Throughout the playoffs the last couple of seasons they've been the third or fourth highest market, right behind whatever two teams are actually playing so they're even a good market when the Sabres aren't involved. I'm not surprised to see Versus trying to take advantage of that. I also don't think it's coincidence that a few of those games are against Pittsburgh/Washington.

Agreed that the love should be spread out some though. The NHL has a number of potential stars that no one is seeing.

Heather B. said...

And for the record, I'd prefer the Sabres not be on Versus that much. Just more time I have to spend queuing up the radio with the DVR so I don't have to listen to the Versus announcers.

Kirsten said...

I guess now isn't a good time to mention that MN has 8 games, huh? Sorry, chica, it's not cool. The Kings are my west coast team, so I'm also offended.

The Oilers and Flames might have all of their games locked up elsewhere/maybe VS doesn't exist in Alberta so they figure they don't have fans outside of Alberta? I don't know. VS is dumb as far as I can tell.

Connie said...

Heather - That's exactly what I mean, Buffalo is a good draw and the NHL and Versus are feeding off of that. They know it's going to get good ratings, so they're choosing to show them 9 times. I'm not angry about seeing Buffalo multiple times; I'm cool with them. In the end, you can't do anything but just accept it. And, yes, there are superstars that no one knows about, for sure.

Kirsten - I think I only saw the Oilers once last season and that's when I was at Staples Center. I didn't see any of their games on TV because I honestly don't think they were aired on Versus or FSN wasn't carrying those games. Don't know for sure though.