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How Much Time Does ESPN Dedicate To NHL Coverage

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Well, an article on Deadspin today suggests that maybe the Worldwide Leader isn’t thumbing its nose at us after all … at least, not as blatantly as we thought.

I can’t comment on this myself because I haven’t watched an American SportsCenter broadcast since the early ’90s. But Patrick Burns devoted a year of his life to cataloging every minute of every broadcast and parsing out the data in a way that would make the fancy stats geeks proud.

I suspect a little piece of him died every day.

A lot of what he uncovered won’t exactly be news to anyone who watches the show. SportsCenter likes to cover the NFL. A lot. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning got mentioned more often for crossing the street than most athletes did for making game-winning plays. They’ll throw down the adjective “elite” to describe anything from a prospect to a haircut.

Where Burns’ sacrifice starts paying off is when he examines the treatment of hockey on the program. Now we all know it is an afterthought, falling just below Tim Tebow’s dating life and just above Little League baseball and arena football. His numbers bear out that belief. Out of a total broadcast time of 23,052.75 minutes last year, SportsCenter devoted all of 459.5 to covering the NHL.

That’s a whopping 2.7 percent of its airtime.

read on

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


Down River Dan's avatar

ESPN, Sports Center ???  I vaguely recall a sports news program hosted by Tom Mees, and Chris Berman. I think that was about 1981. Haven’t watched this network in 15 years.

Why would anybody tune to ESPN for hockey coverage, when there are much better alternatives where you don’t have to here about Kobe, tebow, NASCAR, soccer,football,........

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/26/13 at 03:27 PM ET

Primis's avatar

There is also, of course, the fact that apparently an NHL player won’t take a buddy out to field next door and shoot him in the head.  That hurts ESPN’s NHL coverage too.

Given the nature of what ESPN now covers, I’ve come to see the NHL’s absence from it as a blessing.  If you’re not making Sportcenter anymore, quite frankly you’re likely doing something RIGHT with your product and brand bevause it’s not at all about the actual sports anymore.

This PED thing now with baseball is only going to make it worse.  NCAA and NBA athletes are about to get taken down too along with more MLB players from what I hear.  Word is, not a single hockey player is involved (and allegedly no NFL yet if at all).  So even after the Hernandez thing fades off, the PED thing is going to practically guarantee more NCAA, MLB, and NBA mentions and coverage.

Honestly, I oddly enough think not being beaten to death on ESPN now helps the NHL.

Posted by Primis on 07/26/13 at 03:54 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

The last time I watched SportCenter (as opposed to SportCentre), it was mid-summer or so (ie, not much going on besides baseball), and they were running down the top stories of the day. This included a mention of when Patrick Roy became the head coach of that Junior team (I forget which one)! I was impressed, because this was NOT even a major NHL story, but it got a mention! Amazing! But they had to *lead* with some football player’s kid who got bit by a dog. The kid was fine. That was the lead story.

I dive for the remote when the tennis Grand Slam coverage ends.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 07/26/13 at 05:36 PM ET

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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.

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