Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/15/09 at 02:15 PM ET
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch, .
..the NHL still cannot cut a deal with its old broadcast partner, ESPN. The network helped the league gain popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It also stuck with the NHL in the early part of this decade when the game had become almost unwatchable due to the un-penalized obstruction.
Post-lockout hockey is an entertaining product, but the casual sports fan—the one the NHL needs to attract—isn’t programmed to search it out.
There are things I don’t like about ESPN, but it lends credibility to a sport. The league can tout its improved ratings on Versus, but it’s not a destination channel.
added 12:44pm, Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy has some suggestions for the NHL Network.
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