Entries with the tag: espn
(Apologies for being MIA over the last little while. We’ve had a family medical situation, which causes priorities to shift quite a bit. Fortunately, things look much better this week. Don’t worry, I won’t go all Dwayne on you with soap-operaish details about my life other than that things are probably gonna be ok.)
The NHL season is two weeks away. I still don’t have Versus on my DirecTV, and it looks like I probably won’t have it anytime soon.
According to Puck Daddy, folks with Time Warner Cable may not be able to enjoy Center Ice at the season’s start.
Great time to be a hockey fan with all this technology, right? Fortunately, there are other options, such as online streaming (both the official Center Ice Online and…uh…other not-so-official means, but you didn’t hear that from me).
Still, this whole mess just seems to be a game of chicken that doesn’t really need to be happening. While the collateral damage here is a bunch of big companies pissing off fans, Versus has the most to lose here. Sorry guys, but you’re just not important enough to most people to cause a seismic shift in how a broadcast provider measures its performers.
Today’s mega-post references two of my favorites: Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy and Steve Lepore of Puck The Media. Steve struck gold with a candid interview with ex-ESPN/current-Versus announcer Jack Edwards. As a follow up, Greg made this astute point:
The point isn’t that these people don’t do quality work; it’s that their network is training hockey fans to look elsewhere. It’s a vicious circle: Hockey fans don’t watch ESPN or visit ESPN.com for news because ESPN doesn’t give them what they want; ESPN sees those numbers, and decides no one is intersted in hockey; they cut back coverage, leading to more fans becoming disenfranchised.
Greg’s totally right. Since the NHL disappeared from ESPN, I hardly watch the channel except during the MLB playoffs. I’ll be watching it in two-week spurts now that they’ve the tennis Grand Slam tournaments too, but other than that, they don’t broadcast anything that I care about. And for my online visits, I check ESPN once a week and that’s just for John Buccigross’ column.
I’m guessing many hockey fans are like me when it comes to their online activity. For scores and updates, it’s either TSN or Yahoo (mostly Yahoo because their interface loads faster); for breaking news, it’s the Empire here at Kukla; for rumors, it’s Spector’s; and for opinion, I grab the local headlines via Illegal Curve or one of my favorite bloggers. I feel no need to visit ESPN.com anymore. For hockey, it’s too sparse, and for everything else, it’s too cluttered.
This is the thing about ESPN and Versus. Consider it like a school popularity contest in a John Hughes movie.