Sunday, January 17, 2010

NHL on NBC - Expanding the Game... Or Not

Here's an interesting question to ponder... what exactly is the point of NBC broadcasting NHL games (as the first post-Winter Classic game of the year was shown today between Detroit and Chicago)?

Is it to cater to dedicated hockey fans? Well, me thinks these folk get their fix of the game through either their local team coverage (unless of course they live in Phoenix or some other city where many local team games aren't televised) NHL Center Ice, NHL Network or Versus (unless of course, they have Direct TV).

So... that would say that this zero rights fee paying arrangement between NBC and the NHL is for the purpose of reaching out to the casual fan. What's the best time to broadcast to that casual sports loving and male demographic skewing fan base? Why, during the exact same time that the NFL Conference Semifinals are on! I guess the league and NBC figured that the casual hockey fan would have no interest in the NFL playoffs... similar to the way coverage of puppies playing is broadcast on Animal Planet opposite the Super Bowl.

And for those few casual fans who happen across the hockey game, here's a great way to draw them in... show highlights of the game as the play is going on live, have the announcer say that a goal was scored and... keep showing the original highlight for a while longer prior to coverage of the not-shown live goal.

Nice. Reminds me of how a few years ago NBC cut away from overtime of a Stanley Cup Playoff game to start in on Preakness pre-race coverage.

Really a great way to grow the sport... or not.

1 comment:

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