I am pissed off! Not a good way to start a Monday morning that’s for sure. I was surfing around last night looking at the usual hockey websites and blogs that I normally check out on a daily basis, and came across the NHL Networks TV schedule for the first two months of the season.
It appears that they are going to cut back on the Saturday night broadcasts and no longer give us in the United States the pleasure of watching an entire night of Hockey Night in Canada! We will still get to see the HNIC pregame, but the typical Saturday night doubleheader of Canadian games appears to be over for this coming season, as the network has decided to broadcast more games during the week! For me this SUCKS!
Why should I/we care? Well, let me tell you as a passionate fan of this game, I absolutely love Hockey Night in Canada and the entire production of that broadcast. Even when I am not home I will record the entire evenings’ lineup and watch it the next day, or at least the parts I want to see. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing this broadcast, you’re missing something. The HNIC pregame, Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry after the first period, The Hotstove after the second period, and this is just during game one. Then for game two of the late game that is on the West Coast, we get Behind The Mask with Kelly Hrudey, and after the second game is over they do a wonderful job with After Hours, which usually is a 30 minute interview with a player or coach form the game.
If the NHL is going to ever try and get more fans to follow the game, this is not a way to do it. The Canadian Broadcast in this writer’s opinion is far superior to any broadcast here in the U.S. At least until ESPN gets it back, CBC does an excellent job. So what if the games focus on Canadian teams. So what if most of the broadcasters are Canadian. If you want to show the passion of hockey that exists and a true objective outlook on the NHL itself this is the broadcast to watch. The information that this broadcast provides not only with Coach’s Corner, but especially with The Hotstove, is information that most people never get. And to me, that’s important.
Now I will have to depend on Direct TV to do the right thing and make sure that every Saturday night I am getting both games, which will more than likely happen. There will be two problems. If for some reason a game is blacked out, I won’t get it. Number two, after the second game, the broadcast usually doesn’t stay on long enough to see the After Hours show.
People, send a letter, write and email, make some calls to the NHL Network. This needs to change.
For the full story and first two months schedule click on the link below:
Thanks for reading.