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04-20-2011, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Stugots View Post
I don't think NBC/VS actual coverage is bad, I'm just concerned about the league's exposure.

Obviously everyone who has a TV is able to get NBC, but that isn't so with VS.

I can understand that concern, but I'd rather be with the network that has shown a concerted willingness to aggressively promote the game in order to attract new viewers. ESPN may be in more homes, but in the past they did a poor job of marketing the game to help reach new fans in those homes.

I expect that the number of homes Versus/NBCsports is in will continue to grow steadily; also, they actually make the NHL a priority for their network, which I'm sure will help to ensure continued growth.

Originally Posted by Stugots View Post
But the thing is, even if you do have VS, do most people (who aren't NHL fans) even know what the hell VS is? I'm pretty sure everyone knows what ESPN is, and that is why I'd rather have the NHL broadcasts on ESPN.
There's where the re-branding of Versus as NBCSports will become useful. That name change alone will help alleviate a lot of that problem.

Also, you have to consider the fact that Versus' NHL ratings have been soundly defeating ESPN's NHL ratings from when it had the TV deal. You can't ignore the potency of a good marketing effort; Versus aggressively promotes the game, while ESPN essentially gave on up on hockey even when they had the contract.

Originally Posted by Stugots View Post
If you're in the mood to watch sports, the first channel you turn to is ESPN, not VS.
I think that may be a questionable generalization. Aside from that, ESPN network was only willing to show 1 NHL game a week on ESPN2 -- it's not like ESPN(1) was going to be prominently featuring games every night.

I think some people are drastically overestimating ESPN's ability to attract new viewers to the NHL. ESPN was certainly not good at doing it during the early 2000s, that's for sure.

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