Jump to content

NHL Coverage


  • Please log in to reply

3110 replies to this topic

#1

Hasbro

Hasbro

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 22, 2004 @ 12:40 AM

I'm fresh off of watching my beloved Avalanche win a 5-4 OT thriller on a penalty shot and another 6-5 rally against Florida. For a game that has been sapped of its aesthetic appeal these were the kind of games I feel lucky as an Avs fan to have and would love to put Gary Bettman in a Clockwork Orange eye vice and force that basketball exec to see how the game can be played.

So with the lockout looming, the game being dragged down into the sewers, and the TV contract expiring I'm sure alot of hockey fans are trying to enjoy the NHL while it lasts.

And please Canada do something about Don Cherry! I expect to download the next Coach's Corner and see him with an armband with a maple leaf on it.
  • 0

#2

overg

overg

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 22, 2004 @ 1:18 PM

Sadly, hockey is in deep hurting. Just this very morning I was lamenting the fact that although it's freaking January, baseball gets more coverage on Sportscenter than hockey. This is a station that has every reason to promote the sport (seeing as they, you know, televise it), and yet appears ready to simply eliminate it from it's flagship recap show. Hockey can't receive more than 4 minutes of coverage per average show, and rarely even cracks the first half hour anymore. I've hated Sportscenter's neglect of the sport for years, but now it's reached truly appalling levels.

Six, seven years ago I really thought the NHL was onto something, and was doing a good job promoting itself as an up and coming game. Now it appears destined to head back to regional obscurity, which is just too bad.
  • 0

#3

deimos

deimos

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 22, 2004 @ 2:47 PM

That Avalanche/Tampa Bay game was great -- too bad sportscenter is more interested in covering fights in hockey than decent games. They barely talked about the Avs-Lightning game, but they were all over the Eric Lindros/Joe Thornton fight that evening.

Part of hockey's problem is that basketball has gotten its act together in the last 5 years (the NBA was at a low point when hockey was doing well). But more of the problem lies with the league itself. It's disappointing to see fewer and fewer games on ESPN.
  • 0

#4

overg

overg

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 22, 2004 @ 9:55 PM

Did I say something about ESPN sucking ass when it comes to hockey coverage earlier? They must have taken that personally, seeing as they are right now showing freaking Baseball Tonight immediately following the hockey game they showed. In January.

I hate that fucking network.
  • 0

#5

Hasbro

Hasbro

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 1:34 AM

Oh yeah, ESPN is the worst about hockey. Forget promoting it as much as baseball how about as much as soccer or the WNBA (at least in purpotion to the fanbase.) I know ESPN can't show alot of game featuring Canadian teams because of CBC, but I had to go to a bar to watch the Heritage Classic. I like most of the announcers, who seem to enjoy the sport like anyone who has taken the time to get into it, but Gary Thorngassm is a detrement to the game. He calls the wrong name decides on a storyline for a game and sticks with it to the bitter end, intones "This is not a power play," when ever a team gets penned in its own zone for 2 seconds.

Yeah the NHL really screwed the pooch during its renaissance during the Rangers run to the Cup and the early Avs-Red Wings wars. They would have been better off to realize that the NHL is a niche market, but a viable one. Instead we get players, agents, a union and the New York Rangers who think $10 million a year garaunteed isn't enough, Bettman letting the quality of play deteriorate while remaining in denial of the problem (the joke I use "All is well, remain calm, all is well!") The refs go on double-secret probabtion every year on obstrution only to swallow their whistles about a quarter in the season and generate another wave of bad press. The league overreached into lousy markets (Some worked, but when Peter Karmanos moved the Whalers he chose Carolina over Minnesota.) And just bad ownership Bill Wirtz, and Jermemy Jacobs are putting a drag on the league by driving their fans away and remeber when the Yakuza owned the Lightning.

Now I don't think Hockey is any worse run than baseball (the other two...) but baseball can always recover because of it's built in propaganda machine of nostalgists and apologists (how to this day the argument over baseball vs football is even an issue is beyond me.)
  • 0

#6

selkie

selkie

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 2:51 PM

ESPN still shows hockey? I've had Center Ice so long that it's do not pass go, just go to channel 740 and start looking for Wings games there. The only ESPN hockey commentator I can handle is Dave Strader, and I'm not sure if he's even there anymore.

And I'm still trying to figure out the All Star rosters. Big Keith Primeau gets in? No Matthieu Schneider? No Milan Hejduk? Could they just go ahead and scrap the all teams must be represented nonsense, and give us a West team of Detroit, Colorado, St. Louis, and Vancouver, and an Eastern team of New Jersey, Ottawa, and Philly, and you'd end up with a much better situation.
  • 0

#7

deimos

deimos

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 6:26 PM

They haven't had the rule that all teams have to be represented for a while now, but they still try to spread it around as much as possible. I don't get some of the selections this year, though (Keith Primeau? Filip Kuba?).

I've heard rumors that the NHL will end up on SpikeTV if they can't get a good contract for ESPN. This might just be certain people's wishful thinking, but I hope that doesn't happen... I can't imagine that network doing a good job of covering hockey.
  • 0

#8

trainman

trainman

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 25, 2004 @ 6:08 PM

I've heard rumors that the NHL will end up on SpikeTV if they can't get a good contract for ESPN. This might just be certain people's wishful thinking, but I hope that doesn't happen... I can't imagine that network doing a good job of covering hockey.


SpikeTV is owned by Viacom, which also owns CBS and UPN, so I guess there would be the possibility that they might shift some hockey to the broadcast networks if the ratings are high enough...or at least borrow some competent technical people from CBS Sports.
  • 0

#9

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 25, 2004 @ 9:38 PM

Until the problems with the CBA are resolved, why would any network want any part of the NHL. Does anyone know when when the contract runs out?
  • 0

#10

tgrfan23

tgrfan23

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 12:53 AM

Does anyone know when when the contract runs out?

The CBA expires September 15. I'm not entirely certain when the NHL's contract with the Disney family of networks expires.
  • 0

#11

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 2:10 PM

I found a pretty good article about the current situation regarding the television contract. One of the most interesting points is that any new agreement will probably cut network revenue in half.

While it's true that NHL teams don't rely as much on national TV revenue as the other leagues, losing a couple million dollars per team is going to hurt (especially in light of the rumor that the owners want a cap in the 30-35 million dollar range.)

On a related note, I can't help but notice the huge difference between the way the NFL is marketing its new channel and the NHL's ad for their NHL Center Ice. The ads with Roenick and Carter look amateurish compared to the NFL's ads.

Now that I think about it, they also look pretty sad compared to the ads ESPN ran when they picked up the NBA despite the fact that they use a similar premise (stars living together under the same roof).

Edited by xaxat, Jan 26, 2004 @ 2:30 PM.

  • 0

#12

Hasbro

Hasbro

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 7:50 PM

The Spike TV deal sounds like on of the awful deals of the Zeigler era that weren't even nationwide. I remeber buying some playoff games on pay per view (during Denver's taint period with the NHL.) The thing is the NHL needs ESPN much more than ESPN needs it. I think even second class citizenry on ESPN2 would be preferable to getting shunted to another cable channel. Everyone gets ESPN2 these days anyway and ESPN and the Deuce are inseperrable in most minds. The league also needs to avoid losing prestige of a non sportsnet.

Got to agree the ads aren't any good even in comparison to older hockey campaigns. The Black & White ads featuring players that ran during 90's were alot funnier. My favorite was the "Now you understand playoff hockey." the only two I remeber was the kid hearing about the school closure and the guy jumping the fence and hearing the guard dog.

Speaking of ads, the Hockey, Made in America is awful by any standard. It's a factualy dubious claim to begin with, the ads a deadly dull and they seem to be in responce to the xenophobia going around. It's as if they're saying "Relax it's not that kind of Frenchmen! We don't have many Germans!"

So Jagr to the Rangers, they deserve eachother.
  • 0

#13

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 9:42 PM

I hated the Hockey Made in America campaign as well. I couldn't understand what they were aiming for. Were we supposed to believe the claim or laugh at the guys for believing that hockey was made in America. Their choice of a tv factory was also weird because while it worked visually, but there are no televisions made in America. Was that part of the joke?

My favorite hockey ads were for the Caps in the late nineties. They were very funny and managed to feature individual players off the ice as well as in action.
  • 0

#14

BillyShears

BillyShears

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 27, 2004 @ 7:27 AM

xaxat, IIRC, the Hockey Made In America campaign is based on ESPN showing US-based teams, whereas CBC(?) shows the Canadian-based teams. I'm sure some of our North of the Border friends can clarify this issue.
  • 0

#15

Penguinette9

Penguinette9

Posted Jan 27, 2004 @ 11:14 AM

Huge hockey fan right here! It's not just national coverage of hockey that is suffering, it's local coverage as well.

Look, my Pittsburgh Penguins are having some really really tough times right now, but the play so hard, I mean they battle with teams, they battled Ottawa 6-5, and played the Avs pretty evenly. They've even beat teams like Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

The hockey game coverage is fine. Mike Lange is amazing, Bob Errey is no Edzo, but he'll do, and there are great shows like "The Edzo Show" and stuff.

It's just the local media never gives any attention to the Penguins unless they lose. They beat New Jersey 4-2, nothing is said. They lose to Tampa Bay 3-1 and it's all over the news.

I'm just tiring of Pittsburgh obsession with the shoddy Steelers and the Pirates...well let's not even mention them.
  • 0

#16

michelec

michelec

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 29, 2004 @ 5:30 PM

ESPN still shows hockey? I've had Center Ice so long that it's do not pass go, just go to channel 740 and start looking for Wings games there.


Me too, except the Leafs are my team of choice. I'm not surprised that ESPN is being half-assed in their NHL coverage, I saw it coming the moment they landed the NBA broadcast rights. As far as local coverage I'm in Flyers country so they're getting a lot of attention, probably because the Eagles are done and the Sixers are circling the drain. Too bad I hate the Flyers, and if I had to see that asshat Jeremy Roenick one more time during the Center Ice preview last week I was gonna do an Elvis on my TV.
  • 0

#17

Senor Audacity

Senor Audacity

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 30, 2004 @ 5:09 AM

How many NHL games is ABC contracted to air, regular-season and playoffs? I think I've only seen one weekend's worth of games, and if they're not going to be consistent about it, a la the MLB Game of the Week lo this many Saturday afternoons ago, why are you forced it show it once?

I actually like ABC's coverage; I like Gary Thorne very much, Bill Clement is solid, and I wish Mike Emrick and John Davidson would've transposed their duties from Fox. (I miss the team of Steve Levy and Darren Pang as well, because, well, I don't have cable.) One of the big explanations as to why hockey doesn't pull in big ratings is because it "doesn't translate well to TV" and I don't get it. I saw a Wild game tonight (led 2-0 in the second and lost to the Habs 3-2 in OT; the Wild just suck shit right now, goddammit...), and while I was so glad to see it live (though having second-row seats may have helped greatly) I'm sure I'd be into this game if it were on my local station.

Which leads me to my conclusion: I don't think hockey pulls in big ratings because ... many people just don't like hockey. I love hockey, but I think that's because I live in a hockey state. With sports, you have to be inculcated in it, know your team, the players, the nuances, the rules, the reasons why the team's winning or losing, etc. It may take a generation of teams in hot-weather climes to truly make the NHL a national sport, but my guess is people in the South won't feel hockey the way people in Minnesota or Massachusetts do, as we will never know how Canadians truly feel about hockey. Sad, but ... possible.

Want more evidence? Since I'm out of work I don't have to go to sleep until 6 in the morning, and at 5 a.m. I listen to "Mike and Mike" on ESPN. I also frequent the sports boards at TWoP a lot. There is so much coverage about football, baseball and basketball on both vessels, and it gets very microscopic, and we get so passionate that we frequently go off-topic and talk about the games themselves. Not only are there many, many less mentions of hockey on that show and many, many less posts about the NHL here, but the only times I've heard or read anything about it, it isn't about David Aebischer completely filling Patrick Roy's shoes, or the stylish play of the upstart Atlanta Thrashers. We talk about the health of the sport. And when the only thing most people know about the NHL is the current labor shortage (my quick take: salaries should be at least half of what they are, 75% ideally), you're kind of fucked.
  • 0

#18

Hasbro

Hasbro

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 8, 2004 @ 6:53 AM

With sports, you have to be inculcated in it, know your team, the players, the nuances, the rules, the reasons why the team's winning or losing, etc. It may take a generation of teams in hot-weather climes to truly make the NHL a national sport, but my guess is people in the South won't feel hockey the way people in Minnesota or Massachusetts do, as we will never know how Canadians truly feel about hockey. Sad, but ... possible.


Well Hockey is a success in Colorado after being a niche sport for years, but we're an unusual case to say the least. We got a great team instead of a plodding bunch of trappers, the Avs brought the city it's first championship (it was like VJ-Day,) and we have such a massive amount of imigrants we had ready made rivalries (tons of asshole Red Wings fans.)

I agree hockey is an aquired taste, but in 1996 I went from seeing pucks having a cult following to something everyone was into. Amoungst my friends the same was true.

I say it's an aquired taste. It takes about a year to get a good understanding of the sport. I know that sounds insurmontable, but I've tried explaining our football to europeans and that is our most popular sport.

Anyway All-Star weekend the NHL gets a ratings boost from football fans who are having break-up sex with the NFL and get too drunk to turn of the TV! It makes me pine for the real all-star game to be played this summer. Perhaps I'll go see Miracle.
  • 0

#19

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 8, 2004 @ 7:21 PM

Has anyone seen hockey on an HDTV? I remember reading an article in which a league official (maybe Bettman, I'm not sure) placed hope in the fact that HDTV would provide a boost in the ratings because it could cover the sport better than regular TV.

I've seen football in high def and it is awsome (the fact that it was a 48 inch screen probably had something to do with that), but I'm skeptical that HDTV would provide hockey viewers with a more of a positive experience than any other sport. If so, hockey would be at them same place fighting for coverage, only this time on HDTV.
  • 0

#20

Gambling Moron

Gambling Moron

    Channel Surfer

Posted Feb 9, 2004 @ 12:01 AM

I just watched a bit of the all-star game in HD(on CBC) at the electronics store and I must say that it was very good. I could actually see the puck. It wasn't as good as the college basketball game I saw in HD a while ago.
  • 0

#21

Illusio

Illusio

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 9, 2004 @ 4:46 PM

David Aebischer completely filling Patrick Roy's shoes


[ot]We'll see what happens in the playoffs. Boy, oh, boy.[/ot] (Yeah, another Colorado fan here, in Colorado. Hi, Hasbro!)

I'm very interested in seeing the sport in HD, too, especially with ESPN pushing it by showing that red-outlined box of what you get vs. what you could have on each game. Is it that much sharper? Brighter? I never watch for the puck, so I dunno if that would sell me, but anything that improves the occasional muddy, blurry presentation is bonus in my book.

Count me as another fan of the Thorne-Clement team: I just like their chemistry, the sense of fun and humor they bring to games. I know the sport; I don't need someone explaining and analyzing it for me. Make me smile, that's good enough most games. I like most of the broadcasting teams ESPN/ABC fields, in fact. Maybe I'm not picky enough? (Sorry.)

Heck, I even like it when they mike up a player, such as J.R. in the All-Star Game yesterday. I'm a sucker for the personal touches, even if they are preaching the choir, with me.
  • 0

#22

Cass4

Cass4

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 2:14 PM

I notice ESPN is starting to run those 'Relax, it's just a game' ads that pissed Cherry off when they ran on the CBC last season. Of course anything is better than those Hockey Lake assholes.
  • 0

#23

michelec

michelec

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 20, 2004 @ 4:50 PM

I notice ESPN is starting to run those 'Relax, it's just a game' ads that pissed Cherry off when they ran on the CBC last season.


I love those commercials, especially the one where the father makes his son go down in a manhole during hide and seek.
  • 0

#24

deimos

deimos

    Video Archivist

Posted Feb 23, 2004 @ 6:42 PM

I love those commercials, too. My girls softball coach could have used a viewing of those when I was a kid.

So now that the season is almost over, ESPN 1&2 are showing a lot more hockey. I'm looking forward to the Tampa Bay games this coming week or so. I've picked them as my team of the moment (since my hometown team, the Penguins, are so painfully awful there's not much to root for with them). ESPN seems to be talking Tampa up a bit too much right now -- I enjoy them, because they don't trap much, but I'm not sure they're going to win the East.

Any other good games coming up?
  • 0

#25

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 23, 2004 @ 10:49 PM

deimos speaking as another Penguins fan, I assure you that you will come to regret your flirtation with another team. All we need is financing for a new stadium, for the ping pong balls to give us the first pick in the draft, in the abscence of a CBA some type of transger process that will allow us to sign Ovechkin, a work stoppage short enough so that it doesn't destroy the team or the league, and the creation of a CBA that provides effective cost controls.

That's all we need to get back into business!

Edited to ad that I alos noticed that the aptly named penguinette is also a Pens fan, how about that three of us on this board!

Edited by xaxat, Feb 23, 2004 @ 10:53 PM.

  • 0

#26

Daniel

Daniel

    Network Executive

Posted Feb 25, 2004 @ 3:42 PM

deimos, look for Philly/Detroit on Sunday afternoon. No.1 in the East vs. No.1 in the West.

Edited by Daniel, Feb 25, 2004 @ 4:09 PM.


#27

cheesesteak

cheesesteak

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 26, 2004 @ 12:38 PM

Where does Barry Melrose get his suits from? The Michael Irvin collection at Pimp Daddy Slim's mens outlet?

Edited by cheesesteak, Feb 26, 2004 @ 12:39 PM.

  • 0

#28

xaxat

xaxat

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 26, 2004 @ 2:42 PM

Considering that it's hockey, maybe he is using Don Cherry's haberdasher.

Usually people think about Deion or Irving when it comes to suits, but Cherry has never been reluctant to dispay a certain sartorial splendor.

Edited by xaxat, Feb 26, 2004 @ 2:44 PM.

  • 0

#29

zenner

zenner

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 26, 2004 @ 10:37 PM

Well Hockey is a success in Colorado after being a niche sport for years, but we're an unusual case to say the least. We got a great team instead of a plodding bunch of trappers, the Avs brought the city it's first championship (it was like VJ-Day,) and we have such a massive amount of imigrants we had ready made rivalries (tons of asshole Red Wings fans.)

You can't really tell if hockey is a success in Colorado yet, Hasbro. The team was built in Quebec and the Avs have never been supported through bad years yet, because they've never had any. If the fans support the franchise through tough times, you may be right. Most American fans won't, though, because they have too many other options. Vide Dallas. Same situation, but the franchise is now slipping, and isn't drawing.

I like to watch the Avs, though, at least they don't trap. Ditto the Wings. The Wild and the Devils should be outlawed.

The trap is a function of over-expansion, and over-expansion is a feature of Gary Bettman, a basketball man who knows dick all about hockey and proved it by running the league into the ground.
  • 0

#30

Richyyy

Richyyy

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 27, 2004 @ 9:55 PM

Not that I disagree with your reasoning, but there isn't a single major US sport that hasn't over-expanded. Football, baseball, basketball and hockey could all do with some contraction (not that it'll happen unless teams go bankrupt).

To get back closer to topic, anyone think there'll actually be a season next year?

Edited by Richyyy, Feb 27, 2004 @ 9:56 PM.

  • 0