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04-19-2011, 11:32 AM
Orange Crush 89
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Comcast-NBC had right of first refusal (just checked, exclusive negotiating ended in January). ESPN definitely had interest in getting in on the NHL action with the looming NBA lockout (which seems like a sure thing), and the potential for a NFL lockout... the combination of which will leave ESPN without much programming for the fall after baseball is over (and ESPN no longer has MLB playoff games).

Comcast, however, has a longstanding blood feud with ESPN, so they were never going to get into bed with one another. Similarly, the NBC portion of the partnership isn't going to be sharing with Fox and co.

What we're about to see is a potential coup for Comcast, who has been trying to get after ESPN for years... the potential lockouts are going to make NBC Sports the premier sports network once baseball is over, and give them a chance to grow the network and maybe get a bit more exposure.
This is part of the reason I'm really hoping for an NFL and NBA lockout. Hockey deserves recognition and hopefully would get it when there's no football or basketball going on. It's a shame really because hockey is such a great game, just unfortunate that it's not as accessible as other games. It's easier to follow, have interest in and discuss a game you probably played growing up (football, baseball, basketball, soccer) whereas a lot of people never played hockey so in turn don't really "get" it.

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