What If the NHL on NBC was a real, NFL-Style TV Package?

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Stevedude530, Jan 28, 2006.

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  1. Stevedude530

    Stevedude530 Registered User

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    I've had some time to myself lately, and I've started thinking: How kickass would it be if the NHL had a real National TV Contract? Not like the one with NBC, but like the NFL has with the Fox. Like HNIC, where the game is aired every week. That's what needs to happen. So I drew it up.

    NBC's NHL Saturday

    The broadcasts air every week of the season on every Saturday. 2 weeks out of the month, 6 regional games will air at 3:00 PM. The other 2 weeks, doubleheader action will air at 1PM and 4 PM.

    Pregame

    Depending on the week, the Nextel NHL Pregame Show will air on Saturdays at 12:30 PM or 2:30 PM. It will be preceeded by NHL Cool Shots at 2:00 PM or 12:00 PM.

    It will be hosted by John Buccigross, and he will be supplemented by analysts Cam Neely, Bret Hull and Paul Stewart. The foursome will also guide you through the Dodge Intermission Reports for the 1 PM games (Or 3 PM telecasts).

    If it is a doubleheader week, the 4PM Intermission reports will be hosted by David Amber, along with analysts Keith Jones, Pierre McGuire, and Ray Ferarro. That trio will host a 30-Minute Earthlink NHL Postgame at 6:30 PM. If it is a 3PM start, the postgame will be hosted by Buccigross and Co. and be at 5:30 PM.

    The Nextel Pregame will feature segments like Live At the Warmups, which features the Play-By-Play man from each game giving a quick preview of what's ahead and an interview with a player (A la NFL On Fox's "Foxwatch). Then, Buccigross and Co. will break down each game. Each week, Bob Costas will host a segment called "Man in the News", which, much like Elliot Friedman's The Headliner on HNIC, features the big story of the week, and interviews with those people.

    Broadcast Staff

    The "Game of the Week" as well as the Stanley Cup Finals and 1 of the Conference Finals will be called by Mike Emrick and John Davidson, with reporter Bob Harwood in the stands. Other broadcast pairs include:
    -Chris Cuthbert and Joe Micheletti (Who will call the other Conference Final)
    -Dave Strader and Brian Hayward (Will Call Select Playoff Matchups 1st & 2nd Round)
    -Bob Miller and Peter McNab (Will Call Select Playoff Matchups 1st & 2nd Round)
    -Sam Rosen and Denis Potvin (Will Call Select 1st Round Games)
    -Jim Jackson and Bill Clement (Will Call Select 1st Round Games)

    Graphics
    -We will use the same scoreboard NBC currently employs in their broadcast. The shift clock will stay. We will use Goalie Cam, Railcam, and occasionaly Referee-Cam. Refs will be Mic'd and occasionally, so will players.

    Example of Schedules:

    Here's an example of the NHL On NBC's 2 different Saturday schedules, using the 1st 2 weeks of this Season:

    October 8th
    12:00
    NHL Cool Shots
    12:30
    Nextel NHL Pregame Show
    1:00
    NYR vs. NJ ( Strader/Hayward)
    FLA vs. TB (Rosen/Potvin)
    BOS vs. PIT (Cuthbert/Micheletti)
    4:00
    COL vs. DAL (Emrick/Davidson)
    ANA vs. NSH (Miller/McNab)
    SJ vs. STL (Jackson/Clement)
    6:30
    Earthlink NHL Postgame

    October 15th
    2:00
    NHL Cool Shots
    2:30
    Nextel NHL Pregame Show
    3:00
    NYI vs. PHI (Strader/Hayward)
    BUF vs. FLA (Miller/McNab)
    NSH vs. STL (Jackson/Clement)
    DET vs. PHX (Emrick/Davidson)
    CHI vs. SJ (Rosen/Potvin)
    TB vs. PIT (Cuthbert/Micheletti)
    5:30
    Earthlink NHL Postgame

    If you have any questions, I'd love to get into a detailed discussion about this. Feel free to ask.
     
  2. puckhead103*

    puckhead103* Guest

    maybe in canada...unfortunately, nhl is still a niche sport in the US despite increased fan support in nashville and in other non tradtional US markets...
     
  3. Firefighter Havok

    Firefighter Havok Registered User

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    dear god, do I wish that would happen in the U.S.

    but unfortunately, my wife would divorce me for watching that much hockey in 1 day. She'll watch the Pens and that is it. :shakehead
     
  4. Drop The Gloves

    Drop The Gloves Registered User

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    We can all dream... :shakehead


    I would cry tears of joy if that happened.



    Oh well, at least I get to watch hockey besides the Sabres on Sat....
     
  5. Spydey629

    Spydey629 Registered User

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    The truly unfortunate part of it is that it will NEVER happen, even if every football and baseball stadium in America imploded this second.

    While I like the idea, NBC will never go for it because of their NDBC (Dotre Dame Broadcasting Company) contract each fall.

    The best thing that could happen on US TV would be this - a major package, split up between OLN, ESPN, and NBC...with every possible game that can be in HD -- in HD!!!

    Regular Season

    OLN and ESPN would be the major players, showing the majority of games each week. OLN would broadcast one double-header a week, beginning Opening Night. A Tuesday or Wednesday night possibly. They would also have at least one other game a week. Thursdays?

    With ESPN getting Monday Night Football, Sunday nights are now open. ESPN (or ESPN2 when baseball conflicts in October & April) would have a true National Hockey Night EVERY SUNDAY at 8pm - all season long.

    NBC would kick off National Coverage on Thanksgiving Night, with the "Turkey on Ice" game - a full national marquee game. Regular regional coverage would start in December, running every Saturday until the end of the season, much like the Fox package, way back in the day. And I do agree that 4 or 5 announcer teams and the occasional doubleheader would be awesome.

    (Side note... how many NBA games does ABC carry?? Seems like it is WAAAAY less than what NBC televised. I'm hoping NBC takes the same thought with the NHL as the years go on, and show as many games as possible).

    All-Star WEEKEND (Seriously... Wednesday night in Dallas in 2007????)

    OLN or ESPN would show the skills competition Friday Night. The Game would be on NBC. All-Star festivities would be on the weekend in-between the NFL Conference Title games and the Super Bowl. -- You know, like today!

    Playoffs

    For the first two rounds, OLN would show double-headers nightly. ESPN (or ESPN2) would pick up as many games as possible, pending basketball and baseball obligations. (Trying to keep it as real as possible). NBC would air a national double-header each Saturday of those rounds.

    The Conference Finals would be split by network, with OLN carrying one conference, ESPN the other, both exclusively. NBC would have choice of what series it would want to air nationally on Saturdays.

    The entire Stanley Cup Final would be on NBC. Honestly, this league will NEVER be taken seriously until it's entire Championship round is broadcast over the air.

    And finally... (I know, too late) my whole plan here really isn't all that original. As much as I dislike the NBA, this is pretty much a cut and dried copycat of their present TV deal. Just substitute TNT for OLN and it will pretty much read the same.
     
  6. HABitual

    HABitual Registered User

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    Do you think national exposure would not help to promote the NHL? :dunno:
     
  7. detredWINgs

    detredWINgs Registered User

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    THAT WOULD SUCK!!!!!!!!


    NBC commentating is the worst ever. They make so many mistakes it makes me want to rip my ears off.
     
  8. Emerald City Bruin

    Emerald City Bruin I-90 W for 2500mi

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    Wow, 4 games in a row (2 on NBC and 2 on CBC). That's a long day. Not that I'd be complaining. :handclap:
     
  9. Mwd711

    Mwd711 Registered User

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    Sunday nights???

    Yeah, so Sunday nights are open on ESPN from October on. There's only one problem. That little ratings killer the NFL will be on NBC. You think the ratings are bad now for hockey. They would be NOTHING on a Sunday night against the NFL. There is no way that would ever happen. Nobody would be watching!

    And there will be no more Saturday games on NBC. Notre Dame football creams the NHL in ratings. NBC would be crazed to drop football, not to mention ratings for the NHL would be awful going head to head with college football. The NHL should be happy they are on TV at all in the States. The NHL is a "home team sport" Everyone might watch their home team, but few seem to seriously follow anyone else in the States. Sad, but true and this will always make the NHL a niche sport here. Until fans give up their "homer" attitude, the NHL will never grow on the national television side.
     
  10. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Of course ALL ratings and whatever is shown is completely dependent on the schedule of football so it's not even worth wasting your time or breath trying to think of ways to show hockey when there is any football showing so until Feb forget it. Besides there are a lot of weeknight games which are never covered unless you get Center Ice (like me) so that's really the only solution to seeing many or any games for the first 3-4 months of the season. I wish there was a hockey network that would show just hockey for the whole season from start to finish- now that would be GREAT! Center Ice is really great to have too and it better not EVER go away but I would love to have a network just devoted to hockey and you could have hockey stories and other supplemental things along with the game too.
     
  11. Spydey629

    Spydey629 Registered User

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    For one, Sunday Night Football is only during football season, so we'd only be up against it for the first half of the season. Also, I know a lot of people who are "Footballed out" by the end of the 4 pm game, and don't even watch the Sunday night game. Sunday Night Hockey would be a pretty good alternate for them.

    My whole thought process is that to grow this game, you need it to be seen as early and often as possible. 4 to 5 games a week broadcast on cable or over the air would go a long way for that.

    Had this thought too. With Comcast bringing the NHL Network to the States, could it be possible that we'll see a game or two a week on there? Similar to what NBA TV does and the NFL Network will do next year?
     
  12. Dr Love

    Dr Love Registered User

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    Well, it's not going to happen anytime soon. NBC's already got commitments to Notre Dame football, golf, tennis (I think), and various other sports that they've already signed a contract with and are paying the rights for. Until the NHL becomes a big enough investment for NBC, it's going to play second fiddle to other interests.
     
  13. SuperMario45

    SuperMario45 Registered User

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    I'd be happy if they just put NHL2Nite back on the air.
     
  14. Stevedude530

    Stevedude530 Registered User

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    Fine, go back to Fox then, they have open Saturdays from October until Mid-May, and any games that mix with baseball can be moved to Sundays.

    Why not The CW? WB or UPN I would've said no, but maybe The CW would be big enough to do this.
     
  15. Rails

    Rails Registered User

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    You'd get a better broadcast, but as others say, you have to compete with either the NFL or NCAA for 16-17 weeks of their regular season plus the weeks of Bowl Games and Playoffs. And hockey isn't going to stand up to that test in the majority of the United States.
     
  16. Mwd711

    Mwd711 Registered User

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    Replies to several of the comments :)

    First off, I don't see how anybody can say people are "footballed out" on Sundays. Do you know what SNF ratings are on ESPN??? They are always the top ranked cable show for the week and any 4PM overruns on Sunday nights always make it into the Top 20 for the broadcast ratings. There is no way the NHL could compete with this. Any Sunday night games would have to start airing in January like ESPN used to do. There was a reason for that. Nobody watches any sports besides the NFL on Sunday nights. This also is hampering OLN as they have been battling MNF for the first several months of the season. They would be better off with bull riding and moving the NHL game to another day of the week.

    Saturdays are out on Fox for several months as well. Between Saturday NFL games late in the season, MLB, NASCAR and now the NCAA BCS games, there's not much room there either. Basically, what you have now is as good as it will get. I do think NBC should have more games scheduled as the year goes on, but like I said before, the NHL is lucky they have anything at the moment.

    The NHL Network roll-out is still under discussion. Comcast planned to roll it out next year. I haven't heard anything in months though whether it is still a go. Whether they will just feed Canada's version, or do some other programming is unknown. One thing is for sure, a daily wrap up show is desperately needed in the States and this network would certainly include that.

    I will just repeat my opinion like I did earlier. Unlike other sports, the NHL suffers the most from "homer syndrome" They watch their home teams then flip off the televison. So what little ratings the NHL gets in many markets becomes nothing. Just look at the ratings in supposed hockey hotbeds like Detroit and Philly when it isnt their home team. They drop off considerably. Much more than any of the other major sports. Sure they love their Wings and Flyers but have very little interest in anybody else. Until the NHL can figure out why this is, compared to the other sports, it will never have a major television presence. The ratings do not justify it. I would love to see more games out there but it just isn't possible right now. Stick with Center Ice and be glad you have that option :)
     
  17. Spydey629

    Spydey629 Registered User

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    Funny how Pittsburgh is exact opposite. 'Stillers' ratings go thru the roof, with an EXTREME drop off at 4:15 pm. NHL regional coverage, Pens or not, ends up with one of the highest local ratings in the country.

    Then again, trying to figure out the population of this town will make your head explode.
     
  18. mr gib

    mr gib Registered User

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    gee i enjoyed it - and the bonus coverage with - CHRIS CUTHBERT - calling the dallas wings game was truly a fantastic surprise
     
  19. nyrmessier011

    nyrmessier011 Registered User

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    That idea rules, however, NBC has too many other tv shows that probably make more money than the NHL can for them, and for the NHL to take up a huge 7 hour block would be too much. NHL has to become more popular and lucrative, but an awesome idea if it can do that.
     
  20. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Pathetic- I guess we might as welll just throw up the towel and say as long as there is the almighty game of football in the US then hockey will never have a chance. I think this is all the more reason there needs to be a hockey network devoted entirely to hockey and you could have a wrap of show, interviews, etc. I hope Comcast or whomever can get this worked out in the near future. I still think there needs to be better marketing by the league- I know there was all that talk at the start of the season about marketing, new rules, and the new schedule to get rivalaries going. The marketing aspect is still way below expectations and for long term growth it needs to addressed as one of the main hurdles to overcome and change.
     
  21. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Simple Solution: NHL is only one when Notre Dame is not at home.
     
  22. SJPuckPlayer

    SJPuckPlayer Registered User

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    Id settle for the home teams to telecast on network TV. Us poor college kids who have no money for cable have to wait until NBC does finally show a hockey game. :(
     
  23. stevenwoj

    stevenwoj Registered User

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    Here is something else, the first game of the season should highlight the reigning Stanley Cup champ. There should be a pre-game ceremony highlighting the teams run to the Cup and their banner raising. This game should be preceded by a season/playoffs highlight show. Remind people how great last season was and they will look forward to this season more.
     
  24. Isles72

    Isles72 Registered User

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    I had to laugh last weekend when the dal-det game went into the o'time then shootout.

    the fella hosting some sorta horse race afterwards must have mentioned at least 10 times ''oh , we had so much more to cover before the race BUT THE HOCKEY GAME kept us from doing so'' blah blah blah

    milk the heck out of the regional sport net $$ and the gate $$

    keep the nhl as a corner store league in the U.S -seems to work fine
     
  25. futurcorerock

    futurcorerock Registered User

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    NHL needs to avoid the NFL at all costs. Their best bet is matching up against Poker, Bowling, and Pro Basketball
     
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