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NHL rumored to be Back on ESPN


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#61 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:50 PM

ESPN is to sports what MTV is to music. Thanks to the NHL and NFL Networks, I never have to watch ESPN for highlights or news. Which is just fantastic by me.


Throw in the new MLB Network and this is the post of the year.
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#62 eldon

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:31 AM

Whether you're for it or against it, try traveling to a hotel & getting the Versus channel to watch a game. I don't travel much but the few I've been to do not have it.
Until ESPN gets back a piece of hockey, it will be out of the American mainstream.
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#63 MantaRay

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 08:31 AM

Whether you're for it or against it, try traveling to a hotel & getting the Versus channel to watch a game. I don't travel much but the few I've been to do not have it.
Until ESPN gets back a piece of hockey, it will be out of the American mainstream.


Again, ESPN HAD a piece of hockey and treated it like trash. The American mainstream is never going to follow hockey anyway.
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#64 BlueSkirt

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:07 AM

Whether you're for it or against it, try traveling to a hotel & getting the Versus channel to watch a game. I don't travel much but the few I've been to do not have it.
Until ESPN gets back a piece of hockey, it will be out of the American mainstream.


A good point, but where there's a will there is a way.
Countless times over the years while away from home, including the Sportschannel years, I would just find a Sports Bar to go watch the game.
It was always funny being in someplace like FLA, CA, TX etc and asking the barkeep to turn on a hockey game (!) & better yet for a Devils game !
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#65 MDPucks

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:44 PM

Whether you're for it or against it, try traveling to a hotel & getting the Versus channel to watch a game. I don't travel much but the few I've been to do not have it.
Until ESPN gets back a piece of hockey, it will be out of the American mainstream.


Exactly

Its not only about how ESPN treats hockey in terms of game presentation but its more about ESPN following hockey on Sports Center. Notice since hockey disapeared from ESPN both in the early 1990's and post-lockout hockey highlights have been nearly nil except for a 2 minute blerb with Melrose at the far-end of SC. There's no reason for ESPN/Disney to promote the NHL because they get nothing out of it in terms of marketing and promotion for ESPN/Disney (which we all know is all they're about). Look at the change in ESPN's overkill on NBA coverage versus their actual ratings which are dismal. Heck they even mention the games on TNT during ESPN games just because of they hope a high tide raises all boats.

Like it or not ESPN is the national sports channel where people tune in for sports conversation and Sports Center is the "town square" for that conversation.
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#66 MadDog2020

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:54 PM

Throw in the new MLB Network and this is the post of the year.



Baseball is a distant 3rd for me in terms of sports... I have spent about 10 minutes watching the MLB Network since it started. Over the summer I'll check it out more.
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#67 Devils1985

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:55 PM

My worry with ESPN is that they obviously think their MNF broadcast crew is working. That shows a serious lapse in judgement & I'd be concerned that the crew they'd assemble would make Thorne & Clement sound like hall of fame hockey broadcasters. I'm thinking that knucklehead Jennrette from Buffalo here.

With Vs. and NHL Network they get the support and attention that I'm not sure ESPN will give.

As far as the casual sports fan being attracted, in order to do that I think we need more convicted felons and a steroid controversy. All we've got is Sean Avery and that just doesn't cut it.
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#68 MadDog2020

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:56 PM

Whether you're for it or against it, try traveling to a hotel & getting the Versus channel to watch a game. I don't travel much but the few I've been to do not have it.
Until ESPN gets back a piece of hockey, it will be out of the American mainstream.



fvck ESPN. The last time they had hockey they did everything they could to keep it out of the American mainstream while airing bullriding and poker all the time. If the NHL is going to be treated like a second class citizen over there, I'd rather have them stay on Versus where it's the main draw for the network.
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#69 MantaRay

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:12 PM

fvck ESPN. The last time they had hockey they did everything they could to keep it out of the American mainstream while airing bullriding and poker all the time. If the NHL is going to be treated like a second class citizen over there, I'd rather have them stay on Versus where it's the main draw for the network.


Amen
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#70 BlueSkirt

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:33 PM

Exactly

Its not only about how ESPN treats hockey in terms of game presentation but its more about ESPN following hockey on Sports Center. Notice since hockey disapeared from ESPN both in the early 1990's and post-lockout hockey highlights have been nearly nil except for a 2 minute blerb with Melrose at the far-end of SC. There's no reason for ESPN/Disney to promote the NHL because they get nothing out of it in terms of marketing and promotion for ESPN/Disney (which we all know is all they're about). Look at the change in ESPN's overkill on NBA coverage versus their actual ratings which are dismal. Heck they even mention the games on TNT during ESPN games just because of they hope a high tide raises all boats.

Like it or not ESPN is the national sports channel where people tune in for sports conversation and Sports Center is the "town square" for that conversation.


Wow, your memory of ESPN/Sportscenter are 180 degrees from mine. There was virtually ZERO coverage of the NHL on SC.
I wish I had tapes to prove this, but I recall being really pissed about how little coverage there was, and this was during the Finals !

during Oct/Nov it is all college football, and nothing on the NHL
in Dec/Jan it is all NFL
Feb/Mar is all college b-ball
April thru June it is all MLB


Again I understand the viewers & money were in the Big 3 (base, bask, foot) so I know why they did not cover the little NHL.
But to recall that they did a "good job with the NHL" is a real stretch, IMO.

in contrast the most coverage espn gave the NHL was when Brasher chopped Mcsorely.
That even forced the Sportsreporters to talk about the NHL !
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#71 SueNJ97

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:10 PM

There is far too much emotionality in this thread for this argument to be rational.

ESPN is not my favorite channel, but it is the hub of sports. If the NHL can get a better contract out of them (when games are played, how they are presented, ancillary coverage), it will be better for the sport which has grown DESPITE Versus, the student film of sports channels.

The NHL returning to ESPN will be a benefit to the sport. Anyone who believes that it's better off on channel six-hundred-and-fvcking-four needs to pour themselves another drink.

They were promised this before and ESPN broke almost every promise. But, I will admit, ESPN did it for a reason. The way ESPN used to justify their coverage of the NHL was that it delivered one key demographic. Despite the continual low ratings (and they were always low, they just became lower as it went along) the sport used to attract a solid, coveted demo in decent numbers: white men 18-29. Around the year 2000, this demo started to watch less and less TV, inlcuding cable (if it wasn't movie channels, basiaclly, anything that had commercials) and, if they did watch it, they were early adapters to TiVo. ESPN lost any reason to carry the sport. It lost the only reason it had to sell the sport to advertisers.

You will recall the last campaign ESPN used to try to attract viewers. It certainly wasn't trying to attract 'casual' sports fans. No casual sports fan was going to see the 'Hockey Falls' ad execution, which portrayed hockey's rabid fans (and their own ESPN announcers) as hicks and idiots and basically said - "look everyone, here's our core audience and the people who announce our games, join us, why don't you - watch the NHL" and go anywhere near the sport. Yep, that was the way ESPN decided to go out and sell the NHL to the casual fan near the end of the contract. That, and not giving the game a regular night. And laughing at it - when they discussed it at all - on any other ESPN programming.

ESPN now has Monday Night Football, the NBA (and, as part of that contract, they have contractual obligations that they cannot break to the WNBA and believe me, they give a damn about not breaking the NBA contract - they don't give a sh*t about not breaking an NHL contract), MLB, men's college baskeball, women's college basketball (and thus, at some level, both tournaments, which is they have it), college football, plus a sh*t-load of other stuff. Where are they going to program the NHL? Oh, right, they'll do what they did before. Shove it in wherever they can fit it, which was part of the problem, and it will die, just like it did before.

And, if you really think ESPN is going to give up a college bowl game on News Years day just because this year the Winter Classic outdrew some of the bowl games, it isn't happening. If, somehow, this were to wind up on ESPN, I guarantee you, it suddenly wouldn't be what it is now, good alternative programming for people who are bored by the lackluster bowl games now on New Year's day, ESPN will make them move the game, and ruin it.
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#72 PeteyNice

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:50 PM

My worry with ESPN is that they obviously think their MNF broadcast crew is working. That shows a serious lapse in judgement & I'd be concerned that the crew they'd assemble would make Thorne & Clement sound like hall of fame hockey broadcasters. I'm thinking that knucklehead Jennrette from Buffalo here.

With Vs. and NHL Network they get the support and attention that I'm not sure ESPN will give.

As far as the casual sports fan being attracted, in order to do that I think we need more convicted felons and a steroid controversy. All we've got is Sean Avery and that just doesn't cut it.



I disagree. Putting NHL On The Fly on NHL Network is a big mistake. That can be a powerful tool in bringing in casual fans and it is wasted on a pay channel. Not that ESPN would be better but Versus and NHL Network is not all peaches and lemonade. I travel fairly regularly and unless I am in a real dive I have gotten Versus.
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#73 nmigliore

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:53 PM

Throw in the new MLB Network and this is the post of the year.


Hell yeah MLBN rocks.. they have carried a ton of WBC games and have a bunch of cool shows and they actually kinda over-due the MLB Hot-stove show.. the classic games are awesome too. Its just gonna get better once this season starts and they carry MLB season games.
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#74 Devils1985

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 01:05 PM

I disagree. Putting NHL On The Fly on NHL Network is a big mistake. That can be a powerful tool in bringing in casual fans and it is wasted on a pay channel. Not that ESPN would be better but Versus and NHL Network is not all peaches and lemonade. I travel fairly regularly and unless I am in a real dive I have gotten Versus.


On Comcast at least NHL Network is on the same package as NFL Network and a bunch of other sports channels, and it costs peanuts. Most any casual sports fan is going to pop for this package; heck all we watch is NFL Network and NHL Network and it's more than worth it.

I don't know how it works on other systems.

Nightly two hour game recap marathons just is not going to work on any channel not dedicated to hockey; it's just not.
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#75 MantaRay

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:43 PM

I disagree. Putting NHL On The Fly on NHL Network is a big mistake. That can be a powerful tool in bringing in casual fans and it is wasted on a pay channel. Not that ESPN would be better but Versus and NHL Network is not all peaches and lemonade. I travel fairly regularly and unless I am in a real dive I have gotten Versus.



NHL on the Fly on the NHL Network negates ever having to sit through SC. ESPN would NEVER have this type of show on their network or espn2 for that matter because it will interfer with their Pro Bowling contract.
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#76 CRASHER

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:49 PM

Until ESPN gets back a piece of hockey, it will be out of the American mainstream.


I can live a happy and full life knowing the NHL is NEVER in the American mainstream thank you

and it will be a happier life with no need EVER for the Anti-Sports Network!!!!
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#77 MantaRay

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:56 PM

I can live a happy and full life knowing the NHL is NEVER in the American mainstream thank you

and it will be a happier life with no need EVER for the Anti-Sports Network!!!!



Odin be praised.
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#78 Z-Man

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:56 PM

I haven't watch Sportscenter in probably over a year, but I had to check to see what kind of coverage they'd give Marty.

SC was supposed to start at 11:30ET (after NIT basketball), but started around 11:40.

After one of their stupid montages, they led off with...

5-6 minutes about Team USA winning a game in the World Baseball Classic. Not the tournament, just one game.

6-7 minutes about the "playoff positioning" matchup between the Cavaliers and Magic.

Finally, the 3rd story was Brodeur. Linda "Gopher" Cohn doing the highlights, with Barry Melrose commenting via satellite, from parts unknown.

After the Elias highlight, she comments that "The Captain" has broken the Devils all time scoring record. Right as they show him celebrating with the big "A" on his chest.

They did show Marty cutting down the net, showed a bit of his press conference, and some meaningless banter between Linda and Barry.


I really vomit at the thought of the NHL on ESPN again. I can't believe some of you are happy about this potential news.
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#79 DevilNurn

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 11:14 PM

AOL Fanhouse reported that the NHL on ESPN business is bunk, and that it has no credibility.

Not that it seemed like anyone wanted it :rolleyes: .
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#80 Devilsdude530

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:21 AM

It was a HockeyBuzz rumor. Whenever he posts a trade rumor, you all deride it in unison.

Yet, he somehow seems to be some kind of expert once he reports on a TV rumor.

Sigh.

Edited by Devilsdude530, 18 March 2009 - 12:21 AM.

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