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1 11th June 13:35
tmc
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The Stanley Cup Finals


http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2012/6/7/3069184/nbc-should-air-all-the-potential-clinching-games-of-the-stanley-cup

By Steve Lepore - NHL Contributor

Now that the production for all the Stanley Cup Finals games is under
the same roof, change the scheduling format to make sure the Cup is
handed out on broadcast.

Jun 7, 2012 - The entire Stanley Cup Finals has never aired on cable.
Back in the '60s and '70s and through the '80s, it was relegated to
local stations, with maybe NBC or CBS picking up a game here and
there. In the '80s and early '90s, local stations kept the rights, but
all the games aired somewhere on cable, like ESPN or SportsChannel
America. Even the early USA Network.

Into the modern age, there's been a more clear definition of this. All
games air nationally, some on cable, some on broadcast. FOX and ESPN
divided games up equally in the late '90s, but the games FOX had the
rights to usually never got to air because of sweeps. The Cup was only
handed out on FOX once in five years in which they held the rights.
The NHL remedied this decision by putting only the first two games of
the Stanley Cup Finals on cable for ESPN or OLN/VERSUS, then handing
things off to ABC or NBC.

In 2009, however, things changed. Thinking they could gain more
momentum, ratings-wise, for the Stanley Cup Finals, they switched the
first two games to the broadcast network (NBC) and then put Games 3 &
4 on cable (VERSUS, now NBC Sports Network). It had the desired
effect: Games 1 and 2 drew about the same numbers as Games 3 and 4 had
on broadcast, and cable was seeing better ratings than ever for more
meaningful games. It seemed like a perfect situation.

Until this year, when the possibility of a sweep came up. Last night
was the first chance for a potential sweep of the Stanley Cup Finals
since 1998. People were furious, especially out in Los Angeles, where
I heard numerous complaints when I was interviewed on the local NPR
affiliate. They were upset that the team's first chance at clinching a
Stanley Cup in 45 years wasn't available to everyone with a
television. Which, as complaints go, is pretty reasonable.

Demand was so high that KNBC (Los Angeles's O & O NBC affiliate)
sports anchor Fred Roggin basically begged the higher-ups to let the
Los Angeles NBC station air the game. For weeks, he apparently tried
to use the pull he felt he had as a 30-year employee of the company
(and, as I was made aware of last night, a big hockey fan) to get NBC
to let KNBC broadcast the game. This wasn't the affiliate fighting
hockey, as it seems they were totally willing to put the game on their
airwaves. The bosses told him "no."

I'm a big defender of how NBC does things. There are a lot of
complaints about the network, some of them are justified, but a lot of
them are way over the top and some are just flat-out not based on
fact. I will defend, as much as I need to (I won't physically fight
you, I guess?), NBC's right to put two games on cable. Those are the
biggest nights of the year for NBC Sports Network, just like those
games used to be the biggest nights of the year for ESPN before they
got the BCS. The way television's moving, it's more than likely we'll
see -- at some point -- an NBA Finals or World Series game or two on
cable. The BCS Championship is on ESPN, in a couple of years the NCAA
Final Four will be on TBS. It's a way for Gary Bettman to call himself
a trailblazer. I see nothing wrong with being ahead of the curve.

But if you've got an NBC station in the second-largest market in the
country basically begging you to put the game on, giving you a chance
to sell NBC Sports Network to hundreds of thousands of potential new
customers? I think you've gotta say yes to that. I mean, I don't have
to tell them to do anything, but it just seems like good business.
Keeping Game 3 on cable is fine, but to not at least give everyone in
Los Angeles a chance to see the Cup raised -- even if it's just the
third period and the post-game ceremony -- seems more than a little
cruel, and almost bad business sense.

Here's how I think we avoid this in future years. One, switch the
schedule. You can play with it any way you want now that all of the
production is under one NBC banner. Put Game 1 on NBC to start the
series off with momentum. Then, you put Games 2 & 3 on NBC Sports
Network, but you give the local stations an option to air the game on
their alternate networks, if not the main networks (NBC O&O's now have
alternate, digital channels that are occasionally used for sports
programming) and -- while were at it -- involve the affiliates more in
the series, as NBC does with the Olympics. Make it mandatory to have
some on-site pre-game and post-game coverage, and maybe an exclusive
hit from the NBC studio team during the sports report on the local
news.

From there, Games 4 through 7 -- under my idea -- would air on NBC,
and you have no problem with the Stanley Cup being handed out on
cable, even if there is a sweep, and even if you don't let affiliates
have a shake at Games 2 and 3. I imagine part of the problem in the
past was having VERSUS travel between cities and similarly with NBC,
but now that it's NBC, it's the same crew. There's nothing really
prohibitive about changing things up like this.

I think the Stanley Cup post-game ceremony is so valuable -- the one
thing everyone on Earth agrees is cool about hockey -- that it has to
air on broadcast television. While everything may be moving toward
cable now, not everything has to be yet. I think the NHL nearly had a
huge missed opportunity on Wednesday. The team in the second-largest
television market in the United States lifting the Stanley Cup on home
ice. Low-rated as this series may be, that moment -- and every Stanley
Cup-clinching game -- should be important enough to air on the
league's most important partner, and that's NBC.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1202765&page=2
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2 11th June 13:35
remysun
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The StanleyCup Finals


That was not a problem in Detroit, where every station cut over to the
SC celebration, even if they borrowed the CBC's feed to do it.
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3 11th June 13:35
j.c. watts
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The StanleyCup Finals


It's 2012....get cable television.
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4 11th June 13:35
antonio veranos
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The Stanley Cup Finals


[J.C. Watts, jonenslin@charter.net]
[Fri, 8 Jun 2012 05:45:49 -0700 (PDT)]

: It's 2012....get cable television.

It's not available over here, for the first time in many years.

Fortunately, NHL GameCentre is only $59.
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5 11th June 13:35
ant
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The StanleyCup Finals


On 6/8/2012 5:45 AM PT, J.C. Watts typed:

Why do I want to play for cable and satellite TV services when over the
air (OTA) works fine? I can get NBC easily! I get over 100 channels OTA!
--
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6 11th June 13:35
michael anderson
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The StanleyCup Finals


this "nhl contributor" doesn't seem to get it........the stanley cup
finals is an event of very low interest that almost nobody is
watching. Until the nhl can drum up more interest and viewers, they
will be relegated to cable(and not even good cable)........
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7 11th June 13:35
don del grande
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The Stanley Cup Finals


Unfortunately, this runs the definite risk of pre-empting, say,
"America's Got Talent" - and NBC isn't about to give up what is
probably the top-rated summer show, even for one night, and especially for ice hockey.


This, on the other hand, makes no sense - why is there no ability for
a local station, especially in the two cities involved, to air the
broadcast? Aren't ESPN's Monday Night Football games simulcast on
local stations in the home markets (except when blacked out)?

Note that, according to KNBC's website, they are airing Game 5 (and,
if necessary, Games 6 and 7).

In San Francisco, there's an independent channel in San Jose that
pretty much every cable company carries, that carries network shows
when that network's station pre-empts the national feed for a locqal
sporting event. I'm surprised LA doesn't have something similar.


Another part of the problem is, having to schedule the "if necessary"
slots. Yes, Fox has a similar "problem" with the World Series, and I
wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the reasons no other networks
seem to bother with baseball any more.


San Francisco's CBS affiliate once aired a Cup-clinching game (one of
the Islanders' wins, I think), but actually cut away before the
ceremony - so it could air an A's baseball game instead.

------------------------------------------------------


-- Don
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8 11th June 13:35
ant
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The StanleyCup Finals


On 6/9/2012 11:09 AM PT, Don Del Grande typed:


Sweet! I wished they did that with the earlier finals games!! I will be
at home this evening and tonight. Woohoo! Go Kings as a bandwagon fan. :P
--
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9 11th June 13:35
don del grande
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Default NBC Should Air All The Potential Clinching Games Of The Stanley Cup Finals


It looks like all NBC stations are airing games 5-7, which brings up
the questions: if that was the plan all along, why didn't they bother
showing games 3 and 4 (especially as 4 was on a Saturday, which is
network TV's "throwaway" night), and if it wasn't, then why change?

-- Don
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