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Is ESPN doing this on purpose?

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04-11-2004, 11:58 PM
  #1
IslesJack
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Is ESPN doing this on purpose?

ESPN seems to be screwing the NHL over this season with the playoffs. A majority of the games are on ESPN2. They could be putting games on ESPN in the 7:00 or 8:00 slot, but the other night had a 10:00 game and had the stupid trial about the Yankees on at 7:00 when they could have had the Toronto/Ottawa game. Does anyone agree with me that ESPN would rather (and are trying to get) the ratings be low(er) this year so they can get the NHL for dirt cheap in the next contract? The playoffs this year are great and in good hockey markets such as Calgary and Montreal and markets they can attract more fans from in TB and Nashville and ESPN is obviously not taking advantage of building hockey at all.

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04-12-2004, 04:12 AM
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espn is a joke plain and simple, i can't wait til the nhl is on another network next season, there's no way in hell espn gets the nhl for the price they're trying to get, just aint gonna happen, and if it does then bettman's blown another thing, but tha'ts another rant in itself, bottom line espn sucks..... there's more words i'd like to use but then my post would be deleted by the mods

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04-12-2004, 09:34 AM
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ESPN by far has the worst NHL coverage I've ever seen....

Next season (if there is one) I am ordering Center Ice.

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04-12-2004, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslesJack
but the other night had a 10:00 game and had the stupid trial about the Yankees on at 7:00 when they could have had the Toronto/Ottawa game.
How dare you reject what ESPN spoonfeeds you like a infant!

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04-12-2004, 10:00 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry1221
espn is a joke plain and simple, i can't wait til the nhl is on another network next season, there's no way in hell espn gets the nhl for the price they're trying to get, just aint gonna happen, and if it does then bettman's blown another thing, but tha'ts another rant in itself, bottom line espn sucks..... there's more words i'd like to use but then my post would be deleted by the mods

Hate ESPN all you want, but the ABC ESPN contract is up at the end of this season and the unfortunate reality is that, regardless of when the league comes back, its not likely to be on ANY U.S. based network when it does.

ABC/ESPN has its new relationship with the NBA, and will use those games to fill the space formerly filled by the NHL.

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04-12-2004, 10:06 AM
  #6
Dr Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslesJack
Does anyone agree with me that ESPN would rather (and are trying to get) the ratings be low(er) this year so they can get the NHL for dirt cheap in the next contract?
No, they'd rather put on the show that will get higher ratings on ESPN than ESPN2. They're running a business, not a charity for hockey viewers.

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04-12-2004, 10:20 AM
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Jets4Life
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I say ESPN take feeds from CBC. Hockey is a lot like soccer in that regard. I could never get into the NASL or MSL since it is American commentators with no passion for the game, announcing it. I like to watch the Euro games because you can sense Arsenal vs Manchester is a holy war to the English by the commentators.

When you have Bob Cole and Harry Neale announcing, you sense how important hockey is to us. ESPN just does not deliver the same emotion and intensity CBC does. Until that happens, Americans will never take it more than a novelty like bowling.

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04-12-2004, 10:34 AM
  #8
ObeySteve
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Most of America has ESPN2 on basic cable.

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04-12-2004, 12:01 PM
  #9
Drake1588
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Is ESPN doing this on purpose?

No. There simply isn't much interest in hockey in the States outside of select markets, which is why Detroit, Colorado, NYR and Philly games are shown so often when the network does air hockey. Could ESPN show a Toronto/Ottawa game? Sure, but they will get better ratings by airing a Yankees special. As for the contract, there is simply no other competition, from what I understand. I'm not sure ESPN is competing against anyone else. The national contract might simply lapse... and if that is the alternative, the league will certainly agree to the ESPN bid, whether or not it is worth half of the last contract.

It is not ESPN's responsibility to sell hockey and expand interest in the States, but to make money for Disney shareholders. They will make more money with football and baseball and basketball coverage than with hockey.

I picked up Center Ice a couple of years ago and it's a most worthwhile investment for hockey fans stateside. It's basically a pay-per-view sport in the States. Be glad you can get a full-season package at a reasonable rate.

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04-12-2004, 12:45 PM
  #10
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Centre Ice is the only way to go. I've had it for five years and it is worth every penny. Watching the same 6 teams on ESPN is unbearable. Plus, being a Sens fan living in Houston it is a necessity.

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04-12-2004, 01:54 PM
  #11
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Do you think the NHL could get a T.V. contract with CBS? Or KTTV Fox? (the one that shows all the baseball games, also the channel that shows the simpsons) I used to love that little purple streak they had when players shot the puck, and it recorded the speed.

Maybe the NHL can sign with "SpikeTV" so we could be with all the other great sports like Slamball, and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.

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04-12-2004, 02:02 PM
  #12
ExplosiveLEAFman
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ESPN doesn't care about hockey. I was reading an article about hockey ratings and last year a guy from ESPN stated that hockey was overexposed. Americans are basically too stupid to understand the overly complicated game of hockey was his reasoning for the lack of ratings.

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04-12-2004, 02:24 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explosivethinman
ESPN doesn't care about hockey. I was reading an article about hockey ratings and last year a guy from ESPN stated that hockey was overexposed. Americans are basically too stupid to understand the overly complicated game of hockey was his reasoning for the lack of ratings.
if that aint a crock of garbage.... and you'd think if they wanted the 'stupid americans' to understand they'd do more to help it :|... but obviously not, ah well, im through w/ espn, thank god for living so close to windsor and having access to cbc, that's all i can say

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04-12-2004, 09:06 PM
  #14
Dr Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiesAreLikeWins 2 Us
Do you think the NHL could get a T.V. contract with CBS? Or KTTV Fox?
Uh.... KTTV is just the local Fox station in LA.

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04-12-2004, 09:12 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiesAreLikeWins 2 Us
Do you think the NHL could get a T.V. contract with CBS? Or KTTV Fox? (the one that shows all the baseball games, also the channel that shows the simpsons) I used to love that little purple streak they had when players shot the puck, and it recorded the speed.

Maybe the NHL can sign with "SpikeTV" so we could be with all the other great sports like Slamball, and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.
If they bring that damn puck highlighter back I am going to hold you personally responsible.
That was the single worst idea ever. You couldn't tell when the puck was in teh net or going wide...or whatever...I did a little jig when that was banished.

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04-12-2004, 09:17 PM
  #16
DJ Spinoza
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Nope, ESPN is just responding to what the majority of the people want. I'd rather watch hockey games on both channels at once, and I'm sure most of you would too, but when bowling pulls more viewers than hockey, ESPN isn't the place that the blame belongs.

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04-13-2004, 07:28 AM
  #17
iagreewithidiots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explosivethinman
Americans are basically too stupid to understand the overly complicated game of hockey was his reasoning for the lack of ratings.
Did he say that or is that what you think he meant?

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04-13-2004, 10:15 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
Nope, ESPN is just responding to what the majority of the people want. I'd rather watch hockey games on both channels at once, and I'm sure most of you would too, but when bowling pulls more viewers than hockey, ESPN isn't the place that the blame belongs.

where in the world is it said Bowling pulls in more viewers? bowling is hardly on the channel really BUT what is important is that the COST to put on bowling, X-GAMES, poker is significantly different than putting on a quality hockey telecast. Besides two anouncers you need a large camera crew plus a mobile van full of engineers. ANd i'm not even talking about the up front rights fee ESPN paid to the NHL to begin with. TV as a whole is taking a beating from the excess of chioces slicing up one big pie. Quality is getting shown the door once the dollar amount reaches a ever shrinking celling ( why do you think reality programming is all over the place instead of dramas and sitcoms )

DOn't buy into the spin from the media, The NHL is still a $2 BIll industry. THE PBT is harldy even close. Your not going to get 17000 fans into a Bowling match at top dollar in one city let alone 30. I fault mostly Bettman for letting the hockey hating media dump on the NHL despite a small but intense fan base which is still strong. ESPN can't seem to figure out how to grow the sport but the game itself should be enough. The powers in charge ( Bettman, Goodenow )have failed to bring this out.

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04-13-2004, 11:28 AM
  #19
Drake1588
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Again, where does the idea that it is ESPN that should be growing the sport come from, exactly? It's just a network. They will air what is popular. The onus is on the league to sell itself, to popularize the game in emerging markets. ESPN is responsive to the tastes of its viewers. It isn't looking to be a trendsetter.

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04-13-2004, 12:26 PM
  #20
iagreewithidiots
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Of course ESPN doesnt care about the NHL. Why should it? I like watching games on ESPN. I think they do a good job. But they cant do much to make the game more then it is.

The folks at ESPN are trying to run a profitable TV network. They care about ratings and advertisers. Its not up to them to promote anything other then their programming.

I hate to admit it. I dont like seeing it. But the NHL does not draw big ratings. Its not a hugely popular sport. Cars driving in circles gets bigger ratings. It makes me sick to know that. But I dont blame ESPN.

The fact NHL ratings do not allow it to be shown as much as I, or anyone else on this site would like, is the fault of the NHL. They allow star players to be mugged. They limit creativity. They want to see a hard nosed north american kid on the roster to fight. Instead of an offensive minded european kid that may generate some offense. They want to remain a fringe sport.

The NHL is too loyal to its old fashioned fans. Some commend the NHL for not going for flash and excitment. I dont. I think the NHL hurts itself on the ice and at the box office. The NHL shouldnt make us watch hockey the way our grandfathers did. I should be able to watch an NHL that has adjusted to what viewers today want to see. Let my grandfather drone on about what hockey used to be like. Its bad enough to hear about it, I dont want to see it.

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04-13-2004, 03:55 PM
  #21
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Does anyone else see the irony in a thread complaining about the lack of hockey coverage on ESPN surrounded by threads about what teams to contract or not contract?

Isn't ESPN a national network without regional coverage?

If it is, then doesn't it make sense that until the fan base is grown in some of these "unworthy" markets, ESPN will continue to cater to a broader more generalized audience? The NHL has always been a very regionally supported sport and doesn't carry the universal interest that NFL, MBA and NBA has. ESPN can't cater to a fan in Buffalo because they also have to worry about the viewer in Seattle.

It makes sense that the NHL wanted to expand to the markets it did because in search of the big TV dollar, ESPN simply can't count on regional interest.

Now that it is evident that the new markets are responding to the game slower than anticipated (I assume anyways) then maybe it's in the NHL's best interest to try and sell their rights back to a network that can break it down and broadcast to specific areas like ABC or Fox can. If mainstream networks are offering games, then the regional markets can be more specific to their audiences and I would expect the priority of the network would reflect that.

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04-13-2004, 07:18 PM
  #22
DownFromNJ
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I read somewhere that Spike TV is looking to host a large NHL contract.


Now that would rock. That could potentially be the saving grace for Hockey in the United States. Spike is a great network and would attract more to the sport.

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04-13-2004, 07:20 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownFromNJ
I read somewhere that Spike TV is looking to host a large NHL contract.


Now that would rock. That could potentially be the saving grace for Hockey in the United States. Spike is a great network and would attract more to the sport.
I hope your joking.

Hell, maybe we should give it a shot? It sounds ridiculous with all the shows they have on that network. WWE Monday Night Raw, MXC, Slamball.. the list goes on. Maybe it will give both sides a huge lift? You never know. As long as they dont have bad Play-By-Play men, because I know some of those guys that do Slamball, and "extreme robots" are absolutely horrific. So they would have to hire some new guys. I joked about it before, but Im actually optimistic.

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04-13-2004, 07:24 PM
  #24
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Well the difference is Hockey is a real sport They'll probably hire the same announces we hear already.

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04-13-2004, 07:28 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownFromNJ
Well the difference is Hockey is a real sport They'll probably hire the same announces we hear already.
Here ya go.. Maybe Spike TV and the NHL will make a deal?

http://www.startribune.com/stories/1330/4330146.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Tribune
Back to ESPN?

Published reports have linked the NHL to the new male-oriented network Spike TV as well as Time Warner, which could put a limited package of games on TNT or TBS. But while NHL and Disney officials have remained tight-lipped about their ongoing talks, an industry source said the league probably will stay put.

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