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08-22-2010, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Maineice11 View Post
I agree ESPN should show more NHL highlights, but I don't blame them for not showing much since the NHL went to Versus to broadcast their games and entry draft
If they're only in this to make money, sure, but they brand themselves "The Worldwide Leader in Sports." If you want to brand yourself that way, you offer good news coverage of all sports, no matter their broadcast affiliation.

Frankly, ESPN has acted in a petty manner. They tried to dictate a grotesque deal to the NHL, and when the league made the simple business decisoin to get a better contract eslewhere, ESPN went off in a sulk. The fact is, ESPN was not offering such unbelievable service that the league should have felt obliged to stay with the network no matter the terms. Ratings sagged after 1994 and ESPN made it clear that the NHL would always fall behind: the NBA, MLB, the NFL, college football, college basketball, and auto racing.

OLN promised to make the league a priority, and they did. They're being rewarded for that decision now, as the playoff ratings show.

Originally Posted by Maineice11 View Post
Versus is really such a huge joke of a television station.
At one time, yes. Not so much anymore as their ratings have been rising. They established new network highs last playoffs, and the first two rounds were the highest rated by Nielsen since 1994, so that includes the ESPN years.

Originally Posted by Maineice11 View Post
if the nhl wants to get anywhere they need to be on ESPN!
Meh. In the 90s, ESPN couldn't make non-NHL fans into NHL fans. Fox couldn't do it, either. I doubt any network can. Honestly I don't think there's an "anywhere" substantial for ice hockey, so the league should be looking for a partner that offers the fairest combination of shared revenue and creditable coverage.

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