Gonna be hard because Versus owns the rights and NBC has an option year. But if the ESPN e.v.p. Skipper really wants hockey i think he'll get it done. Shapiro is gone now, and he didnt care once the previous lease ran out.
Versus won't mind if the NHL lowers the rights fee (Bettman...) but they'll be looking for some kick back advertising from ESPN similar to what ESPN does with TNT for basketball.
It would definitely help out the sport and be much easier to find thats for sure.
Oh man if that happens how sweet that would be for the game of hockey. Granted it's not the whole fix but it's a step back in the right direction. I would also state that I'm not holding my breath over this either but we'll see how it goes
I don't think it'll make a difference one way or the other. We're fans of a niche sport, guys, they could put it on prime time network TV every night and still no one would watch. This is a sport that last time saw air on ESPN2 was being out-viewed by poker and bowling.
It would be nice to no longer suffer through the crappy Versus broadcasts.
it will be nice to have hockey on some sort of national TV syndicate some time before the end of the year but i think until the NHL leaves Versus, its gonna be a joke on the TV ratings- but yes it is a step in the right direction
like others have said it would be a small step forward, but a step nonetheless.
i've long said that the nhl needs to be on 2 or 3 different tv networks. espn/abc by themselves sucked overall, and obviously versus/nbc has been worse so far. but espn/versus/nbc(or whatever broadcast network decides to pick them up beyond 2009) and cross-promotion would be a good thing.
Man does this league need this, especially w/ the NYR returning to contention!
LOL, yeah, it was the Rangers, that's why the ratings are in the toilet.
1) They're talking about NBC's package. Which is minimal, even if they extended
the weekend package earlier into the season. The most significant thing would be
that ESPN would get the back end of the finals. That could mean that the Finals would be off over the air, which would actually be a negative. ABC could carry it, they could not.
2) There's all kinds of clues in this article about ESPN's behavior that tells you why this is a horrible idea. ESPN has not turned a new leaf on promotion, their talking
heads will bury hockey, just as their talking heads (short of Mike and Mike, who are *paid* to do the games) bury AFL. They should work on getting Versus out there.
Instead, they're doing this.....
3) NHL network paired with CI? I guess alot of cable customers in the US should
get ready to not have Center Ice, because I don't think there's too many cable companies (maybe outside of Minnesota), who are going to carry the NHL Network
at gunpoint, what's gonna happen, they're going to lose their 200 CI subscriptions?
It almost didn't work with the Extra Innings negotiations, and they have more customers. Man, if that isn't a typical NHL mistake.