Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/10/13 at 09:57 AM ET
from Micael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
“I’ve worked for them all, NBC, ABC, Fox, ESPN, CBC … and I loved them all,” said Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson, a Hall of Fame broadcaster. “The one thing they have in common is people who love hockey and want to convey that passion. Sam Flood and the NBC guys, they’ve taken full ownership. It has never been better.”
Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network, is the son of a hockey coach and a former college hockey player. His mission has been to take the raw appeal of a so-called niche sport and translate it to a wider audience. To that end, he has been part of such innovations as the Winter Classic and Wednesday Night Rivalry, and he is credited for sticking Pierre McGuire behind the glass, for good or ill.
Since the Comcast-NBC merger, Flood said, “All the hockey content has come under one roof and we have the ability to create a common template and send the same message: There is a passion and enjoyment people get from this game, and it is unlike any other. We want hockey players to become as big a stars in the U.S. as they are in Canada. We can’t equal the NFL in this country, but we can expand it
The NHL is not the most enlightened enterprise, not when it locks out once every decade, eschews meaningful revenue sharing, shelters foundering franchises and imports officials from ancient Byzantium. Yet, credit must be given where it is due, and the NHL is shaping up well on the NBC Sports networks. One might even say that it is better off on NBC than in some dark corner of Bristol. Boo yah.
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