Saturday, October 4, 2008

2008-2009 Regular Season: Game On... sorta

Ahhh... hockey's back. Taking a cue from other league's season opening bonanzas, the NHL brought in the regular season with a bang in a manner sure to bring in the casual fan.

Well, not really...

I was able to wait on hold with Comcast and then sign up to pay $4.95/month to watch the CBC Hockey Night in Canada feed of the Rangers-Lightning game broadcast in non-HD on NHL Network.

Yes, Gary Bettman... this was much better than say, having the games broadcast on ESPN. I mean, why would you want (likely) High-Definition coverage on a network that people don't have to pay extra to get? Oh, I know... to get a few extra dollars in rights fees from a network (VS.) who doesn't even bother to show the first two games of the season.

Amazing. VS. paid for rights to the NHL and didn't even broadcast the first two games. I presume the rocket scientists at NHL HQ in New York (totally different than the NHL War Room in Toronto) would have WANTED these games on TV in the US, so I'm going to operate on the belief that VS. simply chose to air something they viewed as "better".

To see what our friends at VS. likely viewed as more important than the start of the NHL season, I went our to their website (on this note... don't go to vs.com from a work connection; rather than the network website, you'll get something a bit more... naughty).

Here's what I found at www.versus.com during the time slot of the two opening games from Europe:

Kansas at Iowa State
Navy at Air Force

I love college football as much as the next guy (and probably more than the typical hockey fan (if any of us are in fact, typical), but 2nd tier week five college football instead of the first games of the season???

Granted, VS. made I'm sure a business decision based on viewership and contracts they signed, but I'm sure the NHL knew what they might do and feel the league could have scheduled accordingly so the games would be a bigger event. Of course, this is also the league that had an overtime playoff game bumped off NBC in favor of horse racing preamble coverage.

Uhhh... yep, hockey's back. I care, but sure wish that the league office would try to get others to join me.

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