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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
Well, we had an exciting playoff game, heading to overtime. Good game featuring two skilled teams, that were very evenly matched. However, NBC also owns the TV rights to a horse race, so a brief graphic and one time announcement at the end of regulation sent NHL fans scrambling to Versus.

The problem is, Versus is not available throughout the US. In a brilliant move coming out of the lockout, the NHL pulled the sport from ESPN to go to a network with about 60% of the coverage. Funny thing is, they did it before, under John Zeigler. Then it was a fly-by-nighter named "SportsChannel".

Well, anyway, US fans had to scramble for their remotes to watch the conclusion of the game, so NBC could broadcast their hour and a half lead up to a three minute horse race. Obviously, NBC is more beholden to the Preakness-they paid a tidy sum to gain the broadcast rights, so it's hard for me to blame them. I blame the NHL, which basically gave NBC the TV rights and left themselves open to this sort of thing.

Of course due dilligence and well thought out decisions have never been a strong suit of Garry Bettman or NHL leaderhisp. Why start now? They are well aware the have the greatest and most loyal fanbase in the world, and they abuse it with a season long lockout and raised prices for most teams afterwards, brand new jerseys league wise, thus making all the current ones obsolete, and the current TV deal which is as fan friendly as pay toilets during intermission. I won't even get into the haphazard expansion and poor management that led to the lockout.

Today's events were just another sad mile post.
Filed Under:   Versus   NBC   Jsaq   Bettman   Senators   Sabres   Switch   NHL  
May 20, 2007 9:16 PM ET | Delete
You have to wonder why the NHL didn't insist that the game be played after the horse race rather than agree to this absurd turn of events. Boo on both the NHL and NBC.
May 20, 2007 9:58 PM ET | Delete
Because the NHL didn't have a leg to stand on iceturtle. The Preakness is huge money in the US. I agree boo on both, but far more on Bettman and the NHL for getting into such an odious deal in the first place.
May 21, 2007 9:07 AM ET | Delete
Here's the stupid part -- we all KNEW the Preakness was Saturday. WHY did the NHL Risk this embarrassment -- not to mention alienating all Canadian fans in the process. This could have all been avoided by putting the game on Versus and HNIC on Saturday night.Bettman succeeded in not only making a mockery of his own league, but he also pissed off his few loyal fans in the process. Brilliant!!
May 21, 2007 11:05 AM ET | Delete
C'mon Blues. How many playoff games go to overtime? The NHL doesn't believe in contingency plans. Every day that goes by that urban legend about David Stern unleashing Bettman on the NHL to weaken it as a rival seems less and less like a load of BS.
May 21, 2007 3:05 PM ET | Delete
loved the column, John.
May 21, 2007 5:48 PM ET | Delete
Well stated Jsaq.
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