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What is up with these early Eastern games?

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Old
02-08-2009, 04:31 AM
  #1
The NHL Rant
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What is up with these early Eastern games?

Atlanta plays at 3pm today, and the Pens are hosting Detroit at a whopping 12:30pm eastern time. Granted, Edmonton is playing in Minnesota earlish as well, but I almost always see this happening in the east. Why do eastern teams play such early games when they play at home? Is it because they can't compete in primetime with other sports in their market, but western teams can in their market?

Can anyone shed some light?

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02-08-2009, 05:35 AM
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David Brent
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They might be targeting the European market.

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Old
02-08-2009, 06:35 AM
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Also, a bit OT for this thread. I thought teams had to have a minimum 24 hrs between game starting times. Detroit played a 3 PM game yesterday, then had to fly out immediately to Pittsburgh for the 12:30 PM game today.

The game was originally slated for a 3 PM start, but the time was moved up when NBC picked it for the Sunday game. (No one saw that coming, right?)

Regarding the OP's question, I think this is a network preference. They're accustomed to filling the afternoon with sports content, thanks to the NFL. The evenings are generally scheduled for series or special presentations.

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02-08-2009, 09:56 AM
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Could it be the teams are having early start times so that it would be more of a "family" atmosphere. With kids and parents having school/work on Monday maybe having a matinee is not a bad idea, lets the fans get home at a very reasonable time.

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02-08-2009, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Also, a bit OT for this thread. I thought teams had to have a minimum 24 hrs between game starting times. Detroit played a 3 PM game yesterday, then had to fly out immediately to Pittsburgh for the 12:30 PM game today.

The game was originally slated for a 3 PM start, but the time was moved up when NBC picked it for the Sunday game. (No one saw that coming, right?)

Regarding the OP's question, I think this is a network preference. They're accustomed to filling the afternoon with sports content, thanks to the NFL. The evenings are generally scheduled for series or special presentations.
I think it's 21 hours.

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02-08-2009, 10:14 AM
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Detroit and Pittsburgh is on NBC that's why its at 12:30

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02-08-2009, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omstormoen View Post
They might be targeting the European market.
I don't think that the European market is the primary reason, but these games certainly draw bigger numbers than the night games.

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02-08-2009, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by The NHL Rant View Post
Atlanta plays at 3pm today, and the Pens are hosting Detroit at a whopping 12:30pm eastern time. Granted, Edmonton is playing in Minnesota earlish as well, but I almost always see this happening in the east. Why do eastern teams play such early games when they play at home? Is it because they can't compete in primetime with other sports in their market, but western teams can in their market?

Can anyone shed some light?
Atlanta has always had their Sunday games in the afternoon. Easier for kids to attend. Not to late for school the next day, not too early for the church goers (a lot in the south).

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02-08-2009, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514 View Post
I think it's 21 hours.

Has this always been the case-- or this is another Bettman policy statement?

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02-08-2009, 11:14 AM
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Has this always been the case-- or this is another Bettman policy statement?
It's been the case for a few years.

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02-08-2009, 11:44 AM
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It's been the case for a few years.
Thanks, guys. I'd remembered it as 24 hours.

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02-08-2009, 12:36 PM
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I don't think that the European market is the primary reason, but these games certainly draw bigger numbers than the night games.
Honestly, I prefer my NHL hockey @ 1 a.m. for the right feeling, but that may just be me...

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02-08-2009, 12:46 PM
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I just woke up on the west coast, and flipped on the game.

that was bizarre. (I'm originally from southern Ontario)

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02-08-2009, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Vipers31 View Post
Honestly, I prefer my NHL hockey @ 1 a.m. for the right feeling, but that may just be me...
Not if you have to get up at 3 am every other night to follow your favourite team.

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02-08-2009, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Snoil11 View Post
Not if you have to get up at 3 am every other night to follow your favourite team.
Ducks fan here, so yeah, still then...
But I know what you're saying, I have to drop some of those west coast, 4 p.m. games as well. Still, it's started as something like a tradition to watch HNIC at 1 p.m. for me for example, so when I happen to be home at the time it feels a lot better than watching Pens/Wings at prime time right now...

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02-08-2009, 01:52 PM
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I don't doubt that the hardcore fans enjoy watching the games at night (I for example get up every night to watch all the Flames' games live), but the afternoon games are certainly better suited to attract a bigger European audience.

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02-08-2009, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Snoil11 View Post
I don't doubt that the hardcore fans enjoy watching the games at night (I for example get up every night to watch all the Flames' games live), but the afternoon games are certainly better suited to attract a bigger European audience.
I certainly don't doubt that... As long as it's a bonus (with other games still up lateron), I'm all for it.

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02-08-2009, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by The NHL Rant View Post
Atlanta plays at 3pm today, and the Pens are hosting Detroit at a whopping 12:30pm eastern time. Granted, Edmonton is playing in Minnesota earlish as well, but I almost always see this happening in the east. Why do eastern teams play such early games when they play at home? Is it because they can't compete in primetime with other sports in their market, but western teams can in their market?

Can anyone shed some light?
Because matinée games are a change of pace and allow teams to target families more than they can with a game Sunday night. Plus now that football's over, there's a void in action on Sunday afternoons.

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02-08-2009, 05:32 PM
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Thanks, guys. I'd remembered it as 24 hours.
the Devils and Flyers played on a Friday night and then had their Saturday game moved earlier due to the World Series.

from what I remember, the Devils had to agree to the time move. which they did because their opponent had the exact same schedule and travel.

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02-11-2009, 01:41 PM
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Also, this last Sunday NBC was showing the NFL Pro Bowl at 4:30 (speaking of an early start time...4:30 Eastern in Hawaii!), so there wasn't much leeway with a starting time there.

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02-11-2009, 05:05 PM
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TaketheCannoli
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I think Eastern teams should schedule games against Western teams at 10:00 am EST!

Based on the records this year, those of us in the East need every advantage we can get.


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02-11-2009, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Snoil11 View Post
I don't doubt that the hardcore fans enjoy watching the games at night (I for example get up every night to watch all the Flames' games live), but the afternoon games are certainly better suited to attract a bigger European audience.
I'm curious - how are you watching the games?
I'm really not sure in what ways the NHL has expanded its broadcasts into Europe? (TV deals?, is Centre Ice is available?, Gamecenter Live?)

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Old
02-11-2009, 09:44 PM
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The NHL offers both a TV broadcast and online-streaming via its European distribution partner ESPN Emea Ltd.
It shows up to 200 games live (almost every HNIC and extensive PO coverage) and a great bunch of 'as-live games' on its subscription only channel ESPN America formerly known as NorthAmericanSportsNetwork. Moreover all games are streamed on its online platform www.espn360.com with inconsistent success (you will probably not be able to check this offering, since it is limited to Europeans only, but there is a long thread about it on the General Talk forum).

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