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Oblong

Albom doesn't get it

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The rights for poker and college softball don't cost $72M/year. It would seem that the production costs for these events would be far less than traveling back and forth across North America covering NHL. Obviously, I'm not privy to their books but I'd be surprised if they didn't make more money on poker & softball than NHL hockey despite lower viewership.

It just seems like if the NHL is something they're willing to promote on their channel (with sportscenter highlights and analysis), who knows what they could do to get people to watch if they would make more money when people turned on the next game.

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If I was the NHL, I'd do absolutely positively the same thing. Not playing for five or six days makes zero sense. Those that are semi-excited, forget about it and lose interest in the 70 to 80-degree weather.

The NHL has it's top name and it's top team in the finals FOR A SECOND SEASON IN A ROW. It's fresh on the mind and a weekend is coming up. Play the freakin two games in a row. They are at the same venue. It's not going to kill anyone and it does put emphasis on depth - something a great team should have.

I love it. I'd love to see this happen in every sport - two games, a break and then two more games. In fact, I think the NHL did this one year about 15 years ago in the first round and I really enjoyed it.

The NHL is dead set 100 percent right with this move. And it's not like players aren't used to playing back-to-back days. Deal with it. Create some interest with these two dates.

You're right on, but I don't think it was as much the NHLs decision or planning as to when the Finals would start and game scheduling, as much as it was the needs/wants of NBC. And this is bizarre to me given the NHL only receives a small percentage of advertising revenues from NBC, no other monies.

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The kicker is NBC has all the say in an American nationally televised game. There is not even a contract involved. If the NHL wants to broadcast to a national audience they are handcuffed. (American audience)

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I can't understand why it isn't in ESPN's interest to show hockey ahead of everything except the other 3 major sports. Do they honestly think people would rather watch college softball or poker than playoff hockey? That's just silly.

Sportscenter shows hockey highlights every night during the playoffs, and none for half of these garbage "sports" they program on their own network. If they're already giving the NHL free exposure over their own programming, why wouldn't they want to show it?

Poker yes, softball no. Poker has a wider audience then hockey at this time. Poker brought higher ratings to ESPN after it replaced Hockey.

Edited by DrWho17

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I'm admittedly a fair weather hockey fan. I don't understand a lot of the rules of the game & I only became interested at all when the Wings started winning. Having said that, I think the key to Albom's column is this quote:

...when your league counts less than horses warming up, you better wonder about the relationship.

The NHL playoffs are twice as exciting to watch as the NBA playoffs, but the NBA has more marketable stars because more people play basketball than hockey. More people understand basketball than hockey. If I were the NHL I'd have Sidney Crosby's face on everything from towels to tea cups.

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This may be a little behind the discussion here, btu I saw towards the beginning people were commenting about availability of versus in hotels. Hotel cable sets up a little different than what each of us at home. They get individual chanels at a certain price, and can pick and choose which ones. I would imagine most hotels choose not to air versus, because outside of hockey they're programming is relatively weak and therefore not watched often. If their customers aren't going to watch the channel why pay for it?

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The fact that this is probably my first post on the Red Wings board shows where I stand on this issue.

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Thank God for the CBC...during the Hawks series they did a great between periods bit on Lidstrom. They followed him for an entire shift on iso and found that he never once crossed his feet. That makes it very difficult for the opposing forwards to get an idea of which way he might be leaning or moving.

There isn't a soul alive at NBC who would have thought to delve into that kind of technical detail.

They also did a great bit on Quenville and his team...during a TO he was yelling instructions at his boys and NO ONE was paying even the slightest bit of attention to him. That does not bode well for his future in Chicago.

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The real issue is that Versus is not available on a lot of cable systems and even if it is, I'd wager to guess that many people don't even realize they have it. Hence the NHL goes into this clearly inferior arrangement to ensure that A) the game is on a channel people have heard of and B) that gets at least some promotion on a channel people watch. Until the league raises its popularity enough that ESPN becomes interested again or Versus raises its profile and distribution, that's the way it's going to be. Given the quality of some of the broadcasts this playoffs though, I wouldn't be waiting on the latter.

Yep i was up in Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant) and very pissed to find out Charter Cable doesnt have VS. At least in the basic cable package. Luckily i remembered i could stream it on justin.tv

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Minus it's availability - a huge minus - I have no issues with Vs. coverage. I'd watch CBC if I had the ability to, but during the early rounds when the games were on FSN or Vs, I always watched the games on Vs.

We can sum it up in every playoff series since the MB has existed for just about every sport.....

1) The refs/officials are horrible.

2) The coverage is bias towards the opposition is obvious to the point that it may as well be the opponent's hometown crew doing the game.

3) The commissioner's office wants the other team to win therefore the conspiracy theories start coming out.

4) The other team didn't do anything to win the series - all the outside factors surrounding the first three points were the keys.

The only exceptions to this may be a couple of the 2006 Tigers' postseason series and this year's Pistons-Cavs series. Although in both of those cases, I'm sure we can find people arguing these things (certainly about LeBron and about the Tigers vs. Yankees series).

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Minus it's availability - a huge minus - I have no issues with Vs. coverage. I'd watch CBC if I had the ability to, but during the early rounds when the games were on FSN or Vs, I always watched the games on Vs.

We can sum it up in every playoff series since the MB has existed for just about every sport.....

1) The refs/officials are horrible.

2) The coverage is bias towards the opposition is obvious to the point that it may as well be the opponent's hometown crew doing the game.

3) The commissioner's office wants the other team to win therefore the conspiracy theories start coming out.

4) The other team didn't do anything to win the series - all the outside factors surrounding the first three points were the keys.

The only exceptions to this may be a couple of the 2006 Tigers' postseason series and this year's Pistons-Cavs series. Although in both of those cases, I'm sure we can find people arguing these things (certainly about LeBron and about the Tigers vs. Yankees series).

Right. The Wings' PK has been weak, Hossa isn't putting up points in the Finals, we're missing our Hart Trophy candidate, Pittsburgh's Hart Trophy candidate has 5 points, Zetterberg is being overworked by necessity, Crosby is getting chances and could break out, Ozzie was due for an average game, Orpik is hitting everybody in sight, the Pens played desperately in the 3rd period in a desperate situation, we have 4 Grand Rapids players in our lineup, Homer hasn't been as effective this playoff season as we've come to expect from him, Hudler has disappeared, Cleary took a lazy penalty, and it would be nice to have Draper for the faceoffs. But it's easier to blame the refs and Bettman.

And the Wings are still up 2-1!

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Right. The Wings' PK has been weak, Hossa isn't putting up points in the Finals, we're missing our Hart Trophy candidate, Pittsburgh's Hart Trophy candidate has 5 points, Zetterberg is being overworked by necessity, Crosby is getting chances and could break out, Ozzie was due for an average game, Orpik is hitting everybody in sight, the Pens played desperately in the 3rd period in a desperate situation, we have 4 Grand Rapids players in our lineup, Homer hasn't been as effective this playoff season as we've come to expect from him, Hudler has disappeared, Cleary took a lazy penalty, and it would be nice to have Draper for the faceoffs. But it's easier to blame the refs and Bettman.

And the Wings are still up 2-1!

And through all of that - I still expect the Wings to win this in no more than six games. Actually I still think it's going to be five. Hey, the Wings aren't playing a bunch of juniors here. They are playing a team that qualified for the Stanley Cup Finals and want to win it themselves. While the Wings are trying to play their A game, there's a qualified team out there trying to get them to play their E game. And the penalty kill withstanding (a serious issue now), I still like the Wings' depth to defeat the Penguins' depth over the haul of the series.

I really like where the Wings stand right now. Now if we can get them dang refs to do their job and the Penguins to just roll over and die. :classic:

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