Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Hollywood Reporter,
NBC Sports defended its decision to cut off Saturday’s telecast of the Buffalo Sabres-Ottawa Senators playoff game just as it moved into overtime in favor of the Preakness Stakes.
The network received criticism in the blogosphere and from some viewers for its decision to forgo the final minutes of the game to cover the Preakness from a Baltimore racetrack. A network spokesman said Monday that there was not much NBC could do: It was contractually obligated to carry Saturday’s Preakness telecast….
“We terribly regret that some of our avid fans weren’t able to see the overtime play,” the spokeswoman said. It wasn’t as much a problem among home viewers as it was for those who were watching at bars and restaurants nationwide, where the distribution of Comcast-owned Versus is still sporadic.
from MultiChannel News,
In Demand and league representatives confirm they’ve held talks to renew distribution of Center Ice; the current pact ends after the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The package provides access to about 40 regular-season hockey games per week from outside the viewer’s home area, plus some first- and second-round playoff games.
But cable executives said that so far at least, initial discussions for a Center Ice renewal have remained separate from talks about the NHL Network, or about a planned high-definition NHL service. NHL executives would not comment on the negotiation strategy.
Sabres/Sens on Saturday 1.2 rating and a 3 share
Ducks/Wings on Sunday 1.6/4
from Cris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
NBC made a business decision here, choosing high-priced horse advertising over a commercial-free overtime.
But what does this say about the NHL?
It says the league is so desperate to please American networks that it’s willing to take this kind of abuse. This is the same league that scheduled Saturday’s game for 2 p.m. to appease NBC. That decision deprived Ottawa fans of a traditional Saturday night spot while costing the loyal CBC hundreds of thousands of viewers and countless dollars in ad revenues.
For kowtowing to NBC, the league gets a slap in the face.
More accurately, it got a slap in the face, a punch in the solar plexus and a kick in the rear with a frozen boot.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
NBC pulled the plug on coverage of the overtime period between the Ottawa Senators-Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, denying viewers in most of the United States the conclusion the Eastern Conference final’s Game 5.
A source close to the National Hockey League Saturday called the decision to prematurely end the telecast “disappointing,” but said the network’s contract with the league allowed it to pull out after three hours.
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
No joke. I get a call this afternoon from a buddy of mine, livid about NBC’s decision to dump overtime of the elimination game between Buffalo and Ottawa onto Versus.
“I can’t believe it,” he moaned. “They cut off the strongman competition I was watching for a stinkin’ hockey game!”
I had to laugh. After the kick to the gut American fans got today, it’s nice to know there’s at least one sport lower on the broadcast totem pole.
As I stated yesterday, NBC should have prepared the fans with a heads up of their plans, but nothing was mentioned. I have received over 100 emails the last 12 hours, all livid with the NBC decision. Many people set their DVR to record and even allowed for extra time, but they missed the OT since no one set the DVR to Versus. If NBC would have alerted us about this switch, in ADVANCE, it would have made it a little easier to take.
Instead, many NHL fans feel like NBC just doesn’t care.
from the Palm Beach Post,
If hockey fans needed a reminder of how insignificant their sport is on the American landscape, they got it courtesy of NBC Saturday.
One minute, viewers were watching the end of regulation play with the scored tied at 2. Coming back from the commercial break, NBC switched to its coverage of the Preakness Stakes. It was almost as if the hockey game had never happened.
Word is if game goes in OT, NBC will throw the game to Versus.
added 4:51pm, Game now on Versus, but no HD available here in Detroit area with Comcast. If you are getting the HD feed, please pass it on.
Also, NBC is sticking with the game in the Buffalo area.
added 5:12pm, more on this at AVSForum...
via the Toronto Star,
The Stanley Cup playoffs are producing good results for TSN. The network’s 831,000 average for this round is up 22 per cent over last season. CBC isn’t releasing year-over-year figures yet, but Wednesday’s Ottawa-Buffalo game drew 1.7 million viewers. The CBC has to be thrilled by Ottawa’s chances of making the final.
No games tonight, we all need the time off!
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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