Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Afternoon Line

Surely strength is not the first word that comes to mind when describing the league’s historical relationship with big broadcasters. For years sports-TV pundits either teased the NHL or prayed for it. As it lost its relationship with ESPN — the sole entity possessing enough power to tell sports fans what to like and how to think, to dictate their tastes (such as they are) rather than follow them — hockey lost its footing in the sports mainstream. And ESPN seemed to bury the league out of spite. Lamentably, First Take will never take up Toews vs. Crosby, ESPN.com will never start a Winnipeg sub-site and Thomas Vanek will never sit down with Jim Gray to announce where he plans to sign.

It’s hard not to notice, though, that the NHL made its new bones by following the same blueprint that ESPN once used, albeit in a different business. The Worldwide Leader, which will clear an estimated $9 billion in revenue for 2014, came to best a field of broad networks at a game they had once dominated by owning a niche. The plan is perfectly logical: Make yourself utterly indispensable to a group of people, even a small one, and you can win. The big-tent days have probably passed. But here in our little igloo, it’s only getting hotter.

-Jack Dickey of Sports Illustrated where you can read more on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Hootinani's avatar

I understand the loss of exposure the NHL suffers by not being on ESPN, and I understand how much that limits the broadcast availability of all levels of hockey, especially here in the US.  But I never want to see Vanek on tv 10 times a day telling me where he’s decided to “take his talents”.

I may be in the minority on this one, but Im ok with players having personal lives that I know little to nothing about.  I dont need the Romes, Grays, Costases or Lampleys of the world exposing players inner most thoughts and inspirations to the world to fill airtime.  I just want to watch them play hockey, and as long as NBCSP and NHLN keep getting better at that (especially NHLN), then I’ll be just fine.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/11/14 at 02:06 PM ET

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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