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07-26-2010, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Originally Posted by
It's because no one knows wtf versus is. Everybody knows ESPN. The NHL is losing whatever popularity they have left by selling their TV rights to versus.
edit: also ESPN broadcasts Poker, Bowling, Softball and freakin' Billiards. You don't think that if the NHL proposed a competent plan to them they wouldn't take it? Hell even if they broadcast hockey on ESPN2 that would be fine. The NHL is settling for less with Versus.
I don't love Versus, but I'd rather have full-on hockey coverage on Versus than be an afterthought on ESPN. ESPN has a wider reach than Versus, but I don't think that being on ESPN alone would make hockey more popular. Hockey has to improve it's popularity and make a good business case, then ESPN will make the investment. Then the NHL can continue to grow.
ESPN's coverage was no better than Versus, except that they had a couple of good personalities who love the game (Melrose, Buccigross). They even ditched NHL2Night. At least with Versus, the NHL is pretty much their big-ticket item.
I love the Tour de France and watch it each year. It's the same story there: on Versus, you get hours of coverage (though you sit through way too many "human interest" distractions); on ESPN, you'd get a half-hour wrap-up show or have to tape it, not-live, in the middle of the night.
If the NHL were on ESPN, it would mean that the sport is growing bigger, which would be great, but until that happens, Versus is fine with me.
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