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If this is true, I will throw up.

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Old
04-23-2010, 11:48 AM
  #26
TheMoreYouKnow
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Originally Posted by 67coach View Post
Hate to burst your bubble with facts but according to NBA.com only 5 out of the next 22 basketball playoff games are on ESPN, the rest are on TNT, ABC or NBA TV.
So you're talking about 22.7% of the basketball playoffs and that is for all of the ESPN channells.There is plenty of room for Hockey on ESPN
Regardless of the precise numbers, ESPN NBA broadcasts continue through the conference finals. And there are 3 NBA games on ESPN tonight, so no NHL games tonight, no NHL games last night either, 2 more NBA games on Saturday so no hockey then either. On Sunday night you have Sunday Night Baseball, on Monday night, Monday Night Baseball then Wednesday Night Baseball. NASCAR on weekends as well.

Besides it's not a matter of room, it's a matter of room ESPN is willing to make for the NHL. ESPN's NHL ratings were in decline, they had cut their coverage and never forget that it was them who refused to make even a modest financial commitment to hockey.

If ESPN had the NHL rights, do you think they'd show say a Devils vs. Hurricanes playoff game over say a Yankees vs Red Sox regular season game? If ESPN had the rights, the same people who whine about VS not showing two games at the same time would whine over the lack of games offered on ESPN.

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04-23-2010, 11:52 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
The fact people actually think ESPN would have hockey on both ESPN and ESPN2 at the same time makes me wonder in what kind of bizarro fake reality I find myself in here. Even if they actually had an "open" schedule this time of year they wouldn't do it, but given that they are showing NBA playoffs on a nightly basis and then have stuff like the NFL draft in addition to baseball it's worse than wishful thinking, it's the deranged ramblings of lunatics.


Way to not address the argument and sound like a fluff ball all at the same time.

Does ESPN televise any NBA games Monday-Thursday? ESPN2?

No? Well, that seems odd. You make it sound like you can't pass gas on those networks without making an NBA game ask for you to excuse yourself.

I think the problem you are having is that you're twitching over into assuming anybody is saying that the NHL would be the flagship sport for them. Obviously, no. But there is no rational reason of any kind to not have an actual game presence on ESPN.

Nobody is suggesting that the NHL should sell the rights to 100% of their regular and post-seasons to ESPN, but a presence there would do nothing but help the league as a whole.

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04-23-2010, 11:55 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
Besides it's not a matter of room,
A convienent modification to your position, now that it's been demonstrated there is room.

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it's a matter of room ESPN is willing to make for the NHL. ESPN's NHL ratings were in decline, they had cut their coverage and never forget that it was them who refused to make even a modest financial commitment to hockey.
...which is why it makes sense to just get the postseason there, or a limited package of regular season games in addition to a portion of the playoffs, while still maintaining alternative distribution channels through NBC and VS.

Capiche?

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If ESPN had the NHL rights, do you think they'd show say a Devils vs. Hurricanes playoff game over say a Yankees vs Red Sox regular season game?
Would they show an NBA game over a Yankees/Sox game?

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04-23-2010, 12:41 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by doublejack View Post
+1

I love the bonus coverage, that's something that ESPN never did and would never do.

The biggest drawback of the NHL on VS was that not everyone got VS. That's improved a lot over the years. Now, many people who have ESPN also get VS. That being the case, hockey is better off on VS. If the league went back to ESPN, it would probably end up on ESPN2 or the upcoming ESPN3. Why be a second class citizen?
Espn3 is here. It used to be called espn360.com.

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04-23-2010, 12:53 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
A convienent modification to your position, now that it's been demonstrated there is room.
A day has 24 hours both for the NHL and ESPN, ESPN has two channels, that it's a matter of priorities and not quantity of time available is obvious from the start. I never said there is technically no room for the NHL, I said that ESPN has plenty of other stuff that is more desirable than the NHL in their minds.



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...which is why it makes sense to just get the postseason there, or a limited package of regular season games in addition to a portion of the playoffs, while still maintaining alternative distribution channels through NBC and VS.
There's no indication ESPN is interested in getting that sort of deal, in fact, aside from tweets of a ESPN.com blogger we have little indication ESPN was seriously interested in the NHL to begin with and similarly we don't know what terms they'd want and what they'd be willing to pay.

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Would they show an NBA game over a Yankees/Sox game?
Who knows, but it can probably be more easily juggled now than if you add the NHL to the equation where fans are apparently only happy if you have at least two games on every night. People may have forgotten but ESPN cut their NHL coverage because they re-acquired NBA rights. ESPN had much less in their portfolio in the days when ESPN signed their original contract with the NHL, they have since added new sports or expanded their coverage of sports considerably. All ESPN had to do in 2005 was commit a modest sum to the NHL over a few years and they said no thanks - mostly because of the miniscule ratings they did have when they showed the NHL.

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Old
04-23-2010, 03:06 PM
  #31
HockeyinHD
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
A day has 24 hours both for the NHL and ESPN, ESPN has two channels, that it's a matter of priorities and not quantity of time available is obvious from the start. I never said there is technically no room for the NHL, I said that ESPN has plenty of other stuff that is more desirable than the NHL in their minds.
And there are a lot of things more desirable than the NHL in lots of peoples minds. That's why NHL ratings tend to suck.

Why would a broadcast partner who treats the NHL the way the broadcast viewing public treats the NHL be perceived as some sort of insult?

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There's no indication ESPN is interested in getting that sort of deal, in fact, aside from tweets of a ESPN.com blogger we have little indication ESPN was seriously interested in the NHL to begin with and similarly we don't know what terms they'd want and what they'd be willing to pay.
Well, duh. Note the thread title.

Beyond that, if you need to see signed affidavit-level evidence of a thing before you discuss the nature of a thing, messageboards probably aren't for you.

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Who knows, but it can probably be more easily juggled now than if you add the NHL to the equation where fans are apparently only happy if you have at least two games on every night.
A couple things. 1) That's why you have multiple NHL-approved broadcast outlets. 2) I don't think anyone is complaining about not having two games on every night, exactly, but rather that there just aren't enough games on.

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People may have forgotten but ESPN cut their NHL coverage because they re-acquired NBA rights. ESPN had much less in their portfolio in the days when ESPN signed their original contract with the NHL, they have since added new sports or expanded their coverage of sports considerably. All ESPN had to do in 2005 was commit a modest sum to the NHL over a few years and they said no thanks - mostly because of the miniscule ratings they did have when they showed the NHL.
And the NHL product back in 2001-2005 was outright crap. That is a fact which is rarely accurately remembered around here, mostly because even when the whole league was crap to watch, the Wings were still pretty entertaining. Again, blaming ESPN for not wanting to pay to air a sport that was in shambles as far as it's on-ice product went doesn't seem to be a particularly compelling argument to explain why we as fans should be happy that the NHL is allegedly stiff-arming ESPN now. It's not like NBC ponied up too much for broadcast rights. It's not like VS is paying much more than a pittance, either.

Games were, by and large, unwatchable hug-fests. Now they aren't.

Games then had very few compelling superstars. Now they have two NHL-sponsored and assisted onces.

It's completely undeniable that being on ESPN is huge for a sport, and not being on ESPN is not good. Whether you view this as good or ill, ESPN is the 700lb gorilla in the world of sports. Maybe the Comcast/NBC merger will create a direct competitor, and maybe not.

Until then, it's pretty petty and shortsighted to allegedly spurn ESPN if they are legitimately interested in being a broadcast partner.

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04-23-2010, 03:15 PM
  #32
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Does it even really matter? ESPN would be milking the Crosby-Ovechkin 'rivalry' for all its worth just as vigorously as VS/NBC do, you'd just be pressing the mute button for a different channel. I guess any kind of 'positive' attention is good for the league but do you really want even MORE of that kind of bandwagoning BS floating around?

Maybe I'm just spoiled, with basic cable up here you can watch virtually every game of the playoffs nationally, and even the worst commentary is better than the average VS broadcast I've tuned into.

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Old
04-23-2010, 03:27 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Yeah, let's sign up with ESPN because they don't want to pay the league AND because they'll throw us on ESPN 6 to air poker, gymnastics, soccer, old college football highlights, and cheerleading on the first five networks.

No thanks.

ESPN sucks.
It doesn't matter how much you hate ESPN

The fact remains that the NHL is better off with them then without

It was no coincidence that it took UFC(not the NHL) to get Versus back on Direct TV.

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04-23-2010, 04:23 PM
  #34
HockeyinHD
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Originally Posted by CorbeauNoir View Post
Does it even really matter? ESPN would be milking the Crosby-Ovechkin 'rivalry' for all its worth just as vigorously as VS/NBC do, you'd just be pressing the mute button for a different channel. I guess any kind of 'positive' attention is good for the league but do you really want even MORE of that kind of bandwagoning BS floating around?

Maybe I'm just spoiled, with basic cable up here you can watch virtually every game of the playoffs nationally, and even the worst commentary is better than the average VS broadcast I've tuned into.
Let me re-state.

Personally, which stations the NHL is on has almost no impact at all on how I view the NHL, if you know what I mean. ESPN, VS, NBC, the History Channel, Playboy... I could not remotely care less which station it is on (well, maybe the Playboy thing has some interesting options) because I don't watch studio shows and I don't particularly care what the hockey 'media' does in general.

One way or the other I will make certain I see 90-100% of the games I want to see. If that means I can watch them on TV, fine, if I can't get them on TV, there are other options.

My point here is that it is better for the league as a whole, as a business, to be on ESPN in addition to other outlets than it would be for them to allegedly shun ESPN for petty reasons.

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04-23-2010, 04:48 PM
  #35
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So it's really a very hypothetical situation based on a lot of IFs, I have a feeling in reality ESPN would want the NHL only if the NHL dumps VS and if ESPN can have it for very little money with very little commitment. I can see why Bettman wouldn't want that: crawling back to ESPN with ESPN calling all the shots, now that'd be bad for the NHL's image.

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04-23-2010, 08:46 PM
  #36
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Is this really news? ESPN has been rumored to have wanted hockey back for years.

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04-24-2010, 12:09 AM
  #37
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ESPN is garbage though. I haven't watched it in months (no NFL, no MNF).

It's cheaper, and probably gets them better ratings to show poker. And I've actually warmed up to Vs, especially since they're owned by Comcast, and they've really pushed it. Downside to Comcast/Vs, is how often they show Chicago/Washington/Penguins, but those of some of the more promotable players; it's not like it's as bad as the CBC and the Make Beliefs.

ESPN usually did a terrible job of promoting the NHL, and while I miss seeing Buccigross, Ray Ferraro, and Melrose, meh, Vs has really improved IMO.

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04-24-2010, 12:34 AM
  #38
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The NHL's need for ESPN has nothing to do with how many games they show or how awesome their studio show would be.

ESPN's influence is massive. They have the power to create headlines in sports... and they love to cross promote. Someone above mentioned MNF... it's spammed with ads for other programming across the family of networks. As is SportsCenter. ESPN can, if they want to, make the NHL must see TV for the casual sports fan. They've turned European club soccer into a mainstream sport in the US, they can do anything.

Increased ratings for the NHL means increased revenues and increased revenues benefit everyone.

As for their treatment of the NHL 6+ years ago, the NHL deserved it. ESPN signed up for a league with Gretzky, Fedorov, Jagr, etc. and got a league full of traps and bump and grind style hockey. Convincing people to watch hockey in the first place is hard enough, convincing them to watch the most boring style of hockey ever played is too much.

Those problems no longer exist. The NHL today is full of high scoring, high octane teams and players that will excite casual fans. And there are generational superstars, one of them is even an English speaking Canadian... which is huge, because that's basically an American in most people's minds. Plus, for a company that is hot to expand globally and become a true worldwide leader in sports, hockey's wide array of international tournaments must be particularly appealing.

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04-24-2010, 11:26 AM
  #39
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Comcast is also owned by the Snider family, the same Snider family that owns the Flyers. Vs is essentially building their sports network around the NHL

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04-24-2010, 11:38 AM
  #40
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It comes down to basically if it's better to have hockey featured on a lesser channel like Versus and hope that the coverage and ratings improve over time.

Or to go back to ESPN, which has the ratings, but have hockey take a backseat to baseball, basketball, football, pre-season baseball, poker, etc.

Essentially it's bigger fish small pond, or small fish in a big pond. As someone said earlier, it all depends on the terms, and I'm guessing ESPN wasn't offering a lot. I hate Bettman, but maybe he's hoping ratings will improve while on Versus until he actually has some leverage to use with ESPN.

Him going there hat in hand isn't going to lead to a good deal for hockey.

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04-24-2010, 12:00 PM
  #41
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I hate Bettman, but unless ESPN guaranteed that say X NHL games would be shown one main networks, then it wouldn't be worth it.

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04-24-2010, 12:34 PM
  #42
Brodie
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Originally Posted by Booyah! View Post
Comcast is also owned by the Snider family, the same Snider family that owns the Flyers. Vs is essentially building their sports network around the NHL
This is a common mistake. The Snider family owned a company called Spectator (which owned the Flyers and 76ers) which was bought by Comcast, who allowed the Sniders to continue to run the company.

The Snider family has no real involvement in Comcast's other operations.

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