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NHL product delivery/Centre Ice fail?

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Old
10-18-2009, 02:03 PM
  #1
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NHL product delivery/Centre Ice fail?

So its Sunday, the weather sucks outside and I was looking for some good hockey crack on the free Centre ice preview going on until October 24.

Centre Ice is being made available free so that customers can have a chance to assess whether they want to subscribe.

The only problem? No NHL games on tap today. Not one, nada.

How is it that a league with 30 teams has gaps in the schedule where theres days like this with no games played?

This is the second or third time I've noted a "no games today" blank in the NHL schedule. The second time its occurred on a Sunday.

Which leaves me to believe its intentional, and from a league that doesn't want to get murdered going up against NFL Sundays.

But avoiding that day is avoiding a huge potential audience and a day where people are relaxing and have time to watch a game or two. This would seem to be the best day of the week to get some exposure and promote your product. For the NHL and particularly Centre Ice during the free preview.

But unfortunately the moose sez: "Sorry, NHLWallyworld is closed today, please comeback some other time..."

If the NHL wants to seriously market their product as a high subscription paid service should it not actually provide consistent daily product? Or even attempt to.

How would anybody feel if the Movie channels or Super channels had black screens with no programming all day. Sorry, no movies today. On Sunday. Sorry we suck.

It seems to me this is poor service delivery and ill-advised scheduling strategy. It seems common sense that making your product available every day and especially on weekends would be the way to go.

If I get bored enough today I might actually watch an NFL game. (Although I seriously doubt it.)


Last edited by Replacement: 10-18-2009 at 02:31 PM.
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Old
10-18-2009, 02:06 PM
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I think you covered it. It is probably intentional in order to avoid the nfl conflict. Sucks, but so does paying for the service and having to buy ppv games.

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10-18-2009, 02:09 PM
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I believe today, and a couple weeks ago are the only 2 days of the entire year (other than Christmas break, and Olympic break) that their aren't any games.

One other weird thing I've noticed with the schedule is how some teams are having massive gaps while only playing a few games. The Maple leafs for example, played last night, but they had 3 days off before that, and they don't play again until next Friday. Same sort of thing with Calgary. Played Vancouver Friday, 3 days off, then Columbus, 3 days off, then Edmonton, then another 3 days off. Over a 20 day stretch the only play 5 games.

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10-18-2009, 02:19 PM
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I love Center Ice. For me it means all of the PPV games and anything that is not on CBC or TSN.


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10-18-2009, 02:24 PM
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Avoiding the NFL is a weak reason for a dark schedule. Having no hockey on today is a freaking travesty - I will NOT watch the NFL even in this vacuum. The NFL is the ShamWow of sports. It is hyped up like no other product but when you actually try it out, it isn't anywhere near as good as Vince said it was.

This is also why I don't like the Olympics - for two weeks no NHL games. :-(

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10-18-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourier View Post
I love Center Ice. For me it means all of the PPV games and anything that is not on CBA or TSN.
Didn't the NHL network drop the 2nd half of HNIC? I get those games from the CBC feed on Center Ice now. I also live in the States though, so perhaps thats why you don't get that in Waterloo.

Anyways, I feel for those of you in Edmonton that are thinking about CI. Not getting the PPVs included is a substantial reason not to shell out the money. Then again, thats what bars are for yeah?

CI in the States is awesome this year. All the Oiler games (except for the couple that will be on the 1st half of the HNIC broadcast) for about $2 a game. If only they were all HD!

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10-18-2009, 02:29 PM
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I find it annoying that they jam all the games on Saturday so that you are forced to choose 1 game out of 10 games that's currently on. Couldn't they split the games up over the weekend.

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10-18-2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soli View Post
Didn't the NHL network drop the 2nd half of HNIC? I get those games from the CBC feed on Center Ice now. I also live in the States though, so perhaps thats why you don't get that in Waterloo.

Anyways, I feel for those of you in Edmonton that are thinking about CI. Not getting the PPVs included is a substantial reason not to shell out the money. Then again, thats what bars are for yeah?

CI in the States is awesome this year. All the Oiler games (except for the couple that will be on the 1st half of the HNIC broadcast) for about $2 a game. If only they were all HD!
Thats because you are exempt from the legal mumbo jumbo/regional BS that NHL's marketing team thinks is necessary for the leagues sustainability

I'm pretty sure any subscriber outside of the "Oilers jursidiction" can get it just fine[ie. Those Atlanteans? Martimers?...out in the east population]

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10-18-2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
So its Sunday, the weather sucks outside and I was looking for some good hockey crack on the free Centre ice preview going on until October 24.

Centre Ice is being made available free so that customers can have a chance to assess whether they want to subscribe.

The only problem? No NHL games on tap today. Not one, nada.

How is it that a league with 30 teams has gaps in the schedule where theres days like this with no games played?

This is the second or third time I've noted a "no games today" blank in the NHL schedule. The second time its occurred on a Sunday.

Which leaves me to believe its intentional, and from a league that doesn't want to get murdered going up against NFL Sundays.

This. And TV broadcasters most likely asked the league to do what they could to maximise attractiveness for advertisers. For broadcasters in 24 markets, that means not going head to head with the NFL if it can be helped.

It would be nice if the NFL didn't dominate Sundays in the US, and there were no recession, and wishes were fishes...

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10-18-2009, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilerNut View Post
I find it annoying that they jam all the games on Saturday so that you are forced to choose 1 game out of 10 games that's currently on. Couldn't they split the games up over the weekend.
Just to add EVERY game last night was an evening contest and not one afternoon game among the 13 games played. This is really poor league product delivery. How does it expect to penetrate market share if it does not increase the chances that its product might be seen on a weekend.

This weekend for instance there was a couple of games on Friday but other than that all the product was crammed into one Saturday night time slot.

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10-18-2009, 02:35 PM
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the NFl

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10-18-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nye View Post
This. And TV broadcasters most likely asked the league to do what they could to maximise attractiveness for advertisers. For broadcasters in 24 markets, that means not going head to head with the NFL if it can be helped.

It would be nice if the NFL didn't dominate Sundays in the US, and there were no recession, and wishes were fishes...
I could see the point but to surrender the Sunday entirely is missing out on a huge opportunity for audience all day long. This is when people could be watching. Sunday is huge.

I think it makes sense for some NHL games to be played on a Sunday.

Which arguably could increase market exposure and penetration on the key day of the week that the audience is available and not doing much.

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10-18-2009, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by I am the Liquor View Post
I think you covered it. It is probably intentional in order to avoid the nfl conflict. Sucks, but so does paying for the service and having to buy ppv games.
If you have any family/friends who have NHL CI outside of Alberta and are nice, you can always get them to do a quick 1 min sign up with NHL GameCenter (Free) and let you use the Game Center.

Free PPV and no blacked out Oiler games.

I have my own Bell Account and Game Center free with it, but I also have access to my buddies account from BC for the PPV's

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10-18-2009, 02:56 PM
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The NHL has always been clueless about these kind of things.

If they would have brought Ball-silly into the league maybe he could have straightened out the keystone cops routine from the NHL.

1 - Make sure that ALL games are televised. What is this, 1980 ? It's the age of the interweb. Games should be available on your cell-phone for gods sake !

2 - The 'common' website is a standard move by the league, but the design is....remedial at best.

They need is for teams to have a website with a much smoother and more holistic web experience for fans. It looks like the Ottawa EX on crack right now.

Too many links and not enough white space. Could be better.

Hell, I wouldn't have a clue from an NHL website that would tell me where I can download NHL clips to make a fan tribute video.

3 - Have games every night (with 30 teams someone can play someone every night) and dispense with the concept of blackouts.

Blackout are an analog idea that just forces people to use live streams. You would think the NHL would want Americans to watch hockey and would provide center ice for free.

No such luck - instead the league aggressively moves to make sure no-one in the US actually watches hockey

Some degree of the blame for the 'southern strategy' has to be analyzed in the context that the NHL has been using marketing tactics circa 1995 in 2009. The complete lack of any broad marketing strategy by the NHL is baffling. They are also very much at odds with member clubs over basic marketing.

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10-18-2009, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
So its Sunday, the weather sucks outside and I was looking for some good hockey crack on the free Centre ice preview going on until October 24.

Centre Ice is being made available free so that customers can have a chance to assess whether they want to subscribe.

The only problem? No NHL games on tap today. Not one, nada.

How is it that a league with 30 teams has gaps in the schedule where theres days like this with no games played?

This is the second or third time I've noted a "no games today" blank in the NHL schedule. The second time its occurred on a Sunday.

Which leaves me to believe its intentional, and from a league that doesn't want to get murdered going up against NFL Sundays.

But avoiding that day is avoiding a huge potential audience and a day where people are relaxing and have time to watch a game or two. This would seem to be the best day of the week to get some exposure and promote your product. For the NHL and particularly Centre Ice during the free preview.

But unfortunately the moose sez: "Sorry, NHLWallyworld is closed today, please comeback some other time..."

If the NHL wants to seriously market their product as a high subscription paid service should it not actually provide consistent daily product? Or even attempt to.

How would anybody feel if the Movie channels or Super channels had black screens with no programming all day. Sorry, no movies today. On Sunday. Sorry we suck.

It seems to me this is poor service delivery and ill-advised scheduling strategy. It seems common sense that making your product available every day and especially on weekends would be the way to go.

If I get bored enough today I might actually watch an NFL game. (Although I seriously doubt it.)
No doubt they're dodging the NFL juggernaut. I wonder how many Sundays this will be the case over the entire winter?

I will offer this: The quality of play provided from teams playing the back<>back sets is often bad to gawd awful.

So, to me the NHL trades off a more sensible, player friendly schedule in exchange for what they hope will be better ratings nites.

I mean...I can understand not playing Sunday afternoon slots as much...but Sunday NIGHT games would only be going up against ONE NFL game.

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10-18-2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueChipper View Post
If you have any family/friends who have NHL CI outside of Alberta and are nice, you can always get them to do a quick 1 min sign up with NHL GameCenter (Free) and let you use the Game Center.

Free PPV and no blacked out Oiler games.

I have my own Bell Account and Game Center free with it, but I also have access to my buddies account from BC for the PPV's
I have CI but this year Game Center was not offered for free.

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10-18-2009, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
I could see the point but to surrender the Sunday entirely is missing out on a huge opportunity for audience all day long. This is when people could be watching. Sunday is huge.

I think it makes sense for some NHL games to be played on a Sunday.

Which arguably could increase market exposure and penetration on the key day of the week that the audience is available and not doing much.

Uhm, sports fans in the US are mostly watching the NFL.

What part of that is difficult to grasp?

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10-18-2009, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nye View Post
Uhm, sports fans in the US are mostly watching the NFL.

What part of that is difficult to grasp?
Hockey fans watch hockey. It makes no difference what day of the week a game is on, hockey fans will watch. If someone is watching NFL, they aren't really that much of a hockey fan.

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10-18-2009, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nye View Post
Uhm, sports fans in the US are mostly watching the NFL.

What part of that is difficult to grasp?
The NHL is watched in the US, Canada, Europe etc.

But for demonstration I'll put it simply.

With zero games on Sunday there zero chance of attracting new consumers in the US. Theres zero penetration or potential exposure on that particular day.

With some modicum of telecasts the NHL is at least putting the product on with a chance at market share.

By your logic what sense would it make for a US network to just shutdown on a given night because they thought another channel had swallowed the market whole.

Thats really what you're saying. Just shutdown "because they're mostly watching somthing else"

Doesn't make marketing sense.

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10-18-2009, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Hockey fans watch hockey. It makes no difference what day of the week a game is on, hockey fans will watch. If someone is watching NFL, they aren't really that much of a hockey fan.
I would rather watch my NFL team then 29 teams that aren't the Oilers. Guess I am not much of a hockey fan.

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10-18-2009, 04:25 PM
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I would rather watch my NFL team then 29 teams that aren't the Oilers. Guess I am not much of a hockey fan.
Correct!

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10-18-2009, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
The NHL is watched in the US, Canada, Europe etc.

But for demonstration I'll put it simply.

With zero games on Sunday there zero chance of attracting new consumers in the US. Theres zero penetration or potential exposure on that particular day.

With some modicum of telecasts the NHL is at least putting the product on with a chance at market share.

By your logic what sense would it make for a US network to just shutdown on a given night because they thought another channel had swallowed the market whole.

Thats really what you're saying. Just shutdown "because they're mostly watching somthing else"

Doesn't make marketing sense.
There will be plenty of NHL games on Sundays, just not early season when they would be head to head with the NFL.

It makes perfect marketing sense IF (big if) broadcasters requested it so that they do not have games with very little attraction to advertisers.

It makes perfect marketing sense when you take into account the fact that interest in the NHL in the US increases once the NFL and college football seasons are concluded.

It makes perfect marketing sense to move games from before New Years to after. If this is what the NHL has done I see no harm in it. It's a good idea, actually. That way they would have more of their product exposed to a larger audience. That is good marketing.

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10-18-2009, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Hockey fans watch hockey. It makes no difference what day of the week a game is on, hockey fans will watch. If someone is watching NFL, they aren't really that much of a hockey fan.

What if the idea is creating more hockey fans?

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10-18-2009, 04:33 PM
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What if the idea is creating more hockey fans?
I think in the 17 years of this idea of creating more hockey fans across the US we have found that you can't force someone to like something they don't want to like. Why make the real fans suffer to try to convince people that don't want to watch the game?

It is the law of diminishing returns.

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10-18-2009, 04:33 PM
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The CFL usually has at least one game on Sundays.... in direct competition with NFL games and their attendance and ratings are doing fine. The NHL shouldn't be such *******, especially considering CFL/NFL fan overlap is probably much more than NHL/NFL fan overlap.

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