Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Boone at The Hockey News,
The 30,000 members of the NHL Fans’ Association recently identified their primary concerns related to the game and the issues that surfaced were unique, based on a fan’s nationality (approximately 60 percent involved are US-based fans and 40 percent are Canadian fans).
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. A tear comes to my eye when I hear American fans talk about the game on Canadian television stations such as CBC, TSN, Sportsnet or the French-language RDS. Americans who have witnessed the game on one of these networks speak like they have had an out-of-body experience. They marvel at how the same product can be packaged so differently in Canada. They have tasted the good stuff and long for an opportunity to taste it again.
The NHL is alienating fans with its limited, often low-quality TV exposure in the U.S. and fans are frustrated. Many are walking away from the game entirely. This issue is the primary concern of American fans.
The number two man at the National Hockey League joins Hockeycentral @ Noon to discuss a variety of topics including: Updating the status regarding the running of the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes franchise; the league’s relationship with three-time failed NHL owner candidate Jim Balsillie; the potential of bringing the NHL to Hamilton; and Wayne Gretzky’s future with the league.
listen here and Bill also said the NHL has tried to help both Directv and Versus settle the dispute and the NHL hopes it gets settled soon.
from Kevin Maney of Daily Finance,
A large chunk of NHL fans would welcome being able to see their favorite teams on a laptop screen if they can’t see those games on TV. The NHL does offer live games via the Web, but it’s a premium service that costs $159 a year—and the price kills the convenience for all but the wealthiest and most devoted fans.
Last year, I interviewed Ted Leonsis at a telecommunications industry event. Leonsis, who helped build AOL in the 1990s, owns the Washington Capitals NHL team. I asked him about the NHL’s decades-long struggle to get even lukewarm TV ratings. What would he do about it, if he could start from scratch?
Without hesitation, he said he’d move the league to the Web, in a huge way. He’d put every game online—live, supported by advertising, and free to viewers. Web sites like Hulu are finally bringing high-quality programming to computer and TV screens via the Internet. It seems like an opportune time for the NHL to take a daring leap into a new medium, and making the NHL the premier sports league of the digital generation.
Leonsis’s idea doesn’t just sound provocative—it sounds right.
I am sure I am missing out on one of the great, early season regular games, Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers.
Sure there are ways to get the game, but I want to watch it on my HDTV 55 inch Sony!!!
You too, let Versus, Directv and the NHL know how you feel.
Please keep the comments civil in nature.
from pucksandbooks of On Frozen Blog,
Gary, like a lot of other hockey fans, has made a lot of furious phone calls to DirecTV about the situation, but the impasse remains. It’s a brutal one, from my vantage, because of DirecTV’s seemingly incongruous negotiating position. On the one hand, the provider has quite publicly alleged that Versus is little more than an elaborate infomercial outlet, the provider of esoteric outdoor broadcast coverage like game hunting and such. Simultaneously, however, DirecTV is attempting to bundle Versus in a costlier sports package for all of its subscribers.
No doubt DirecTV this offseason acknowledged the NHL’s increased television popularity—fueled to no small degree by the wide array of the league’s likable young guns—and is seeking to profit from the enthusiasm surge. From its vantage Versus understandably doesn’t want a dramatic alteration in the way it is offered by providers, as specialty bundling packages as opposed to basic plan inclusion necessarily decrease overall viewership numbers. Until the impasse is resolved, millions of hockey fans across the country are denied access to the league’s national network provider.
Gary noted that changing providers, in addition to being a general nuissance, seems impractical for a service he’s otherwise pleased with, and particularly when only about a half dozen Caps’ regular season games are broadcast on Versus. Potentially more, however, could run there in the postseason.
from Greg of PuckDaddy,
Yet this dispute lingers on, and one can’t help but sense DirecTV winning a war of attrition. It’s suffered PR backlash from college football, MMA and hockey fans in the last several weeks. It’s been the target of national ads and an open letter on NHL.com urging fans to take action. Now, Versus is sending drones to canvass arenas like the network’s running fro state delegate.
DirecTV has acted unprofessionally and hypocritically in this dispute, but Versus is working PR channels extremely hard and not getting that much traction. Whatever losses DirecTV is taking in subscribers, it wasn’t enough to get into serious talks before the NHL season started; so what will it take?
And how much longer are hockey fans going to have to suffer through this?
The scariest thing about going to an NHL game is seeing decent, non-mouth-breathing types among the media and hockey executives huddle around a television set whenever Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner segment is on. Most of us learn at an early age that it’s impolite to rubber-neck at car accidents.
-Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail.
Mike Millbury, Glen Healy and Al Strachan joined Ron MacLean and discussed the Phoenix situation, Atlanta moving to Winnipeg, the Lighthouse Project, the NHLPA and the Canucks feel Burke has been tampering.
Coach’s Corner tonight- Don talks Leafs goaltending, NHLPA, Andrei Markov injory & Matt Duchene is going to be the rookie of the year.
from Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News,
More than any other play-by-play and analyst team, they are ambassadors for their sport. Back when the Stars were looking for a new analyst in 1996, Strangis was among those who recommended Reaugh. They are not particularly close away from the ice but exhibit rare chemistry in the booth.
On the eve of another season, Hot Air, in separate interviews, posed 10 probing questions to each:
If you could work with a different partner who would you choose?
Reaugh: “Danny Gallivan. He was my idol. He was the voice of Hockey Night in Canada when I was growing up. He had the most eloquent, intelligent call of the rises and falls in a game.”
Strangis: “Howard Cosell. “He broke a lot of conventions and gave people a different view of what sports broadcasting can be.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com