Putting any hard feelings from the NHL lockout aside, I have to admit that the late start of this year’s regular season and subsequent late start for the playoffs has been kind of nice.
Think back to the Chicago Blackhawks 24 game streak and the amount of positive press both the team and the league got. Would they have gotten the same amount of buzz if the regular season had begun in early October instead of early January?
In October, you have the on-going NFL regular season, the entire MLB post-season which is soon followed by the start of the NBA regular season. This year’s NHL start happened in the midst of college basketball, a two month old NBA season and weekend NFL playoff games. Still, that seems like a lot less clutter then in October.
What if it was like this each year? You start the NHL season on New Year’s Day with the Winter Classic. The playoffs begin in mid-June, just after the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
By summer, baseball is on the verge of becoming boring to many people. Also, the week of the MLB All-Star Game, which is typically deemed the most boring sports week of the year, is now occupied by the added excitement of post-season hockey (except on that Tuesday)!
If this worked as well as I suggest, television ratings increase, league attendance increases and the NHL becomes healthier. Again, all this assuming that people are willing to watch hockey when its 95 degrees outside. I would like to think that if the hockey is that good, then the people will watch.
Does any of this seem plausible or am I just absolutely crazy and should never blog about hockey again?
Odds & Ends
– Speaking of hockey, the entire NHL post-season is covered television wise thanks to the NBC Sports Group. The first round of the NHL playoffs will air on the NBC Sports Network, CNBC and the NHL Network.
The caveat… NBC apparently has decided to do this on the cheap. Awful Announcing recaps how last night’s Sharks and Canucks game on NBCSN (NBC Sports Network) was not a true national broadcast. Instead, NBCSN aired the local CSN Bay Area broadcast, meaning the national audience got to hear the Sharks’ home team announcers.
At this very moment, I have CNBC on which is televising the Senators and Canadiens game courtesy of CBC (a television network out of Canada).
NBC and parent company Comcast are far from poor. There is no excuse for NBC to not have put 100% effort into their post-season games, even if it only is the first round. This is rather disappointing on the part of NBC.
– The local SportsCenter anchors on WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000 in Chicago are now opening their updates by saying “Live from the ESPN Chicago newsroom,” before introducing themselves. The new scripted opening sounds awkward and is unnecessary. It doesn’t make the update or the station seem anymore more impressive. While the opening script won’t do anything to further damage the station, it just is one more odd decision coming from ESPN 1000 management.
– While on the topic of sports update openings, WSCR-AM/670 The Score has been beginning their Scoreboard Updates with the anchor saying “From the Chicago Wolves update studio,” before introducing his or herself, followed by a brief snippet about Wolves tickets being affordable. The Wolves have been sponsoring those openings for a long time now — well over a year.
I’ve always wondered how this is working for them. Usually once the sponsored reading is over, there’s no further mention of the Wolves in the update — never a score or injury news. I suppose if they continue to pay for this sponsorship, they must be getting something out of it. If you would have asked me a year ago though, I would have predicted “waste of money.”