Jack Edwards Doesn't Trust ESPN With The NHL

Monday, April 06, 2009

One of AA's favorite announcers, the homerific Jack Edwards, was interviewed by Puck The Media, and not only did he say that he thinks ESPN won't give Hockey a good run, but he even called Disney execs "bozos". Here's a section of the interview....

Jack Edwards: We went from Toronto to Philadelphia, we were in (Bruins radio play-by-play man) Dave Goucher's room, having a couple cold ones. Now, the Sweet 16 is going on in college basketball at the same time, the only hockey we saw in the entire sportscast of "SportsCenter" was about 45 seconds of the UNH-North Dakota game, which was the one UNH tied with one-tenth of a second to go, that went into Overtime. That was 56 minutes into the telecast. There was nothing on the NHL in the entire show.

So, for those of you that hope that hockey gets back on ESPN, that's what you're gonna' get.

That's where it belongs in ESPN's hierarchy, because there are some bozos sitting in the accounting department in a bunker in Burbank, California running Disney, who look at the numbers and completely ignore the passion of hockey fans. They say "Poker gets better ratings because we can attract more compulsive gamblers to the screen than we can passionate hockey fans, so just for the sake of that number, we're gonna' run poker instead of hockey. We're gonna run women's basketball instead of hockey."

We saw highlights of the Division II NCAA basketball championship, we didn't see a single NHL highlight in that entire "SportsCenter". Case closed.

PTM: Well Jack, you're gonna' be a big hero to a lot of hockey fans when this goes up...

JE: I'm not a hero, I'm just telling you the facts. I mean, that's what it is and you know, this whole idea that hockey will do better if you put it back on ESPN is a delusion. It is completely delusionary [sic]. It's more convenient, certainly. But it's not going to be better for the sport, because it's going to be behind golf, it's going to be behind women's basketball and, you know, I'm not dissing those sports.
I'm not sure if I exactly believe all of that, but it certainly could be turn out to be true if the "Leader" gets Hockey back. Hockey ratings aren't anything to right home about, but the NBA hasn't been faring all that well either. There has to be a way to capture the extreme passion that Hockey fans have, but a network hasn't pulled that off besides the Winter Classic on NBC.

And just for good measure, here's Edwards giving it to Sean Avery over the weekend....

Puck the Media’s Interview with Jack Edwards (Puck the Media)
Jack Edwards says ESPN boosting NHL's fortunes is 'delusional' (Puck Daddy)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 3:31 PM


Actually, Jack, you ARE dissing those sports. I reference the numerous mentions to women's basketball.

GMoney said...
Apr 6, 2009, 4:06:00 PM  

I don't get the notion that these smaller sports have to be on ESPN to succeed. The NHL has an entire cable network basically to themselves in Versus, has a weekly broadcast game on NBC and will have five primetime games during the Stanley Cup final on broadcast. The NHL should be concerned with raising the profile of Versus...it won't happen overnight, but it is happening slowly.

I don't think being shoehorned into ESPN's crowded lineup is really something the NHL should be too excited about it.

Sean OLeary said...
Apr 6, 2009, 4:14:00 PM  

I think you meant "it's nothing to write home about".

Personally, I still don't understand the apeal of watching poker on tv, but that's probably just me.

walnuts said...
Apr 6, 2009, 4:39:00 PM  

Why does it seem when people talk about the popularity of the NHL it keeps coming back to comparisons to basketball?

Hockey is a niche sport in most markets. Selling out games is great, but those are the niche fans at the game.

FightingPike said...
Apr 6, 2009, 5:17:00 PM  

Versus needs to be built up and be in more households on basic packages. Even on Dish Network you have to move up to a different package to get it

Math Geek said...
Apr 6, 2009, 5:27:00 PM  

I agree with everything he said in this. No matter how good the games, what the implications or how slow of a sports day it is-- "The Leader" refuses to show NHL highlights.

Bazooka Jones said...
Apr 6, 2009, 6:17:00 PM  

What I don't get is how infrequently NHL games are actually shown on Vs. There's nothing else going on on that network; why not have hockey four or five nights a week? I want to get into the sport, but it's nearly impossible for me because I live in a city without a team (Seattle) and it's hardly ever on TV.

Unknown said...
Apr 6, 2009, 7:14:00 PM  

The NHL sucks....don't get mad at ESPN for finally realizing it...Jack!!!

Smucker D said...
Apr 7, 2009, 5:15:00 AM  

The NHL caters to the niche fans and no one else.
The NHL caters to the "original six" and no other teams.
We in the West weren't brought up on hockey, and no one on air or in the NHL hierarchy tries to teach us the subtleties of the game.
It's tough to sustain a modicum of interest when you don't extend the marketing efforts.

Steve Smith said...
Apr 7, 2009, 11:31:00 AM  

"The NHL caters to the "original six" and no other teams."

I don't think people in Pittsburgh would likely agree. Or all the Crosby haters.

odessasteps said...
Apr 7, 2009, 11:40:00 AM  

Hockey needs more Don Cherry appearances. I care little for hockey, unless Cherry is providing commentary.

Brad James said...
Apr 7, 2009, 1:35:00 PM  

ESPN doesn't show highlights because if hockey succeeds it pulls viewers away from their network. If hockey in on ESPN there will be more highlights on Sportscenter because they want to get people interested to watch ESPN's broadcast later.

Showing versus highlights is like giving them free advertising

mmmm beefy said...
Apr 7, 2009, 2:24:00 PM  

Post a Comment