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03-19-2004, 12:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
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There is certainly a market for the NHL and ESPN expected all fans to go the extra mile in finding out when they were going to air things (which varied, often) and somehow expected us to know when games would be broadcasted. ESPN hardly put any effort in advertising the sport and thus the NHL and U.S. television are no more closer then they were 5 years ago. The argument that the sport isn't going to be accepted in the U.S. or that it'll never catch on is false, it has never been given a legitimate shot and never will on ESPN.

As either Bucci/Melrose said once - hockey's a cult type of sport in America, the fans it has are hardcore and love the sport. ESPN was targeting popular teams like Colorado and Detroit and bandwagon fans - you can't expect to show 8 teams for the duration of the NHL's contract and expect to get a growing number of fans. If it takes the NHL a step backward to get more airtime, so be it.

This whole ESPN situation was poorly handled - and it's the fans who pay.

All those who even have the option for Center Ice should consider themselves lucky. I'm from Hawaii and don't even have the option to purchase Center Ice. ESPN and Fox Sports West are my sources for the NHL .. ESPN was a non-factor - FSW has been my NHL source for awhile. There's only so much Los Angeles/Anaheim hockey that you can watch - but even then, I've been extremely satisfied with the little I've gotten. I only wish I can get more.

I liked the entire ESPN/ABC crew, they were faces to a sport that wasn't even given a shot to have any and they brought us, the underprivileged, the opportunity to watch the sport. They weren't always the most informed or knowledgeable crew, but they were something. And something, albeit not much - was much better then nothing.

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