Why isn’t the Bruins/Canadiens game on TV in the New York area?
It’s Game 6 in what is probably the best rivalry in professional hockey and it is nowhere to be found on Time Warner cable. Some of the “must see TV” that one can find at 7pm on Time Warner; The Bad Girls Club, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Law & Order: SVU , Ultimate Cake Off, and Bones.
Too bad I’m a Bruins fan and not an overweight Reality TV junky with a jones for rapists and murderers.
I’m going to answer my own question, since you are physically unable to respond to a hypothetical question that I am posing aloud in my empty apartment.
The reason is that the NHL does a shitty job of marketing itself as a brand.
The NFL is so popular that people tune in to repeats of playoff games that happened fifteen years ago. The NBA has every playoff game televised, as does MLB. The NHL has been stuck in professional sports purgatory for so long that Game 6 of the B’s/Habs series is on CBC.
FYI, that’s the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. And you know what? Those simple folks across the border are offering the game for free on the CBC website. Unfortunately you have to live in Canada. The inept stewards at the helm of the NHL are offering to broadcast the game at NHL.com for $19.95.
I understand that they have partnerships with NBC and Versus. Apparently Extra and Access Hollywood draw a better market share than playoff hockey would. Think about that. Maybe there is some other reason that NBC doesn’t carry NHL games any time other than the early afternoons on weekends, but doesn’t it speak to a serious lack of drawing power?
As far as Versus, they have to pick when there is more than one game on at a time. I don’t fault them for going with Game 7 of the Flyers/Sabres series. It ‘s Game 7 after all.
But the NHL is putting out a quality product that no one (at least no one in the New York area without Direct TV) will be able to see tonight. It’s not like it is a regular season game. Playoff hockey is a steel cage death match on ice, and that’s coming from someone who is only recently becoming a fan.
Do you think that the NFL would allow the AFC Championship to be broadcast on CBS while the NFC’s version went unseen in a market as large as New York? If you do than please stop reading and slap yourself right in the face.
It is time for the NHL to use this momentum to expose their brand to as many people as possible. The way to do that is to find some way to get every game in the playoffs broadcast in every market, at the very least the major ones. If that is not legally possible, then go guerilla style and show that shit for free on your own website.
This isn’t a new problem. A few years back the same thing happened with Game 7 of the Bruins/Hurricanes series. It’s time for the NHL to heed the words of Floyd Mayweather Junior and step ya game up. You know he keeps a private jet don’t you?
The best way to do that is to get the NHL playoffs to the masses.
If you show it, they will watch.