Semi-OT, but I think the NHL and sports fans in general, are big winners with the Comcast-NBC merger.
Since they merged, Versus (soon to be NBC Sports Network) not only has added more NHL games but will:
-Cover all NHL playoff games
-Added more original programming for the NHL (NHL OT)
This season Versus added:
-NBC Sports talk (Monday-Friday)
-Monday, hour long, all NFL recaps
-Friday, hour long, all NFL preview
-All other days, covers all sports, including hockey
-Half hour pre-game NHL show
-NBC sports biz
-NFL turning points
I just started watching NBC Sports Talk and NFL turning points.
These shows are awesome. They show why sports on Versus is better than on ESPN, because they keep it simple.
They have fewer hosts, fewer gadgets, toys, they just have 1-2 guests who know the game.
It is so much better getting my sports news from somebody besides ESPN, because even if ESPN talked hockey, I just can't stand the sideshow they have become.
The constant promoting of themselves (we now bring in our "expert" or the "coors light segment").
Versus with NBC Sportstalk and Turning Points does so much better a job covering the NFL and all sports.
Not only that, but with Sunday Night football on ESPN, they now cross-promote the NHL games for the week.
I really feel not only us as hockey fans gained, but sports fans are starting to get a real alternative to ESPN.
This is such a change from 2005, when all you got were TWO NHL games per week on Versus, no NHL network, and it was impossible to follow the sport.