Most Of America Can Only Watch One Game Seven Tonight

Thursday, May 14, 2009

There's a whole lot of choices as far as games go tonight, but your biggest choice is going to be in Hockey. The NHL has chosen to start the two game sevens for tonight, an hour apart. Not only is the timing ridiculous in its own right, both games are being aired on Versus, meaning that you will likely only being getting the Anaheim-Detroit game because it's starting earlier. There is good news though, you can watch the other game online. For $19.95....

For U.S. hockey fans who live outside the local Carolina and Boston viewing areas, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal between the Hurricanes and Bruins Thursday at 8 p.m. ET is available live on NHL Center Ice and NHL GameCenter LIVE. Please call your cable, satellite or telephone provider for details on how to order Center Ice. Or to watch online with NHL GameCenter LIVE, visit

NHL Center Ice is the only way to watch your favorite teams and players on TV if you don't live in their area, with up to 40 out-of-market games per week during the regular season and select games in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As a reminder, fans in the Carolina area can watch on Fox Sports Carolinas, and fans in Boston can watch on NESN. The game will also be joined in progress by Versus following the conclusion of Anaheim at Detroit.

Canadian viewers can see the Carolina-Boston game in its entirety on TSN.
You would think with all of the bad press that the NHL has gotten over recent years, and more recently about games on Versus, that they would make tonight's game available for nothing. Other leagues seem to pull this off just fine. Just another great move in the legacy that is Bettman. God forbid, the Wings and Ducks goes into overtime.

'Canes-Bruins to be on Center Ice, NHL GameCenter (

Posted by Awful Announcing at 2:28 PM


When will Wayne Gretzky become the commissioner again?

Nathan Brice said...
May 14, 2009, 2:59:00 PM  

As a fan of hockey, this frustrates me to no end. This is a perfect exam[ple of why the NHL is not taken seriously by the rest of the sports world.

BK said...
May 14, 2009, 3:00:00 PM  

The 19.95 day price is ridiculous so i'm not going to comment on that. As for the game 7's going on at the same time there is nothing the league can do about that. Of the 4 conference semifinal games the 3 or 4 teams holding home ice advantage holding home ice avantage are in the eastern time zone. And all 3 of those series went 7 games. That means there has to be overlap on the game because you can't have on starting at 10 local time on a work night.

It's either have overlap or stretchout an already stretched out playoffs even more. If you do the latter and then have series end early (which usually happens) you are stuck with days without games.

The NHL did the best they could and did the right thing by staggering the starts so people will be able to see the last half of the Bruins-Canes game.

jkrdevil said...
May 14, 2009, 3:04:00 PM  

The problem is not necessarily the scheduling, it's the fact that the NHL is not making the game available for free whether it be online or on the NHL Network.

Or you can always do what I do whenever Bettman gives you the big, fat middle finger. Find a free (and illegal) online stream! And yes, there are plenty out there, it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

Justin F. said...
May 14, 2009, 3:28:00 PM  

You would think with all of the bad press that the NHL has gotten over recent years, and more recently about games on Versus...Translation: Since nobody else has the balls to cross ESPN the way the NHL and Comcast have...

May 14, 2009, 3:43:00 PM  

Translation: Since nobody else has the balls to cross ESPN the way the NHL and Comcast have...How's that worked out for either of them?

Unknown said...
May 14, 2009, 3:57:00 PM  

Eh, just watch basketball.

GMoney said...
May 14, 2009, 4:12:00 PM  

How's that worked out for either of them?NHL game ratings are higher on Versus today than they were at the end of their run on ESPN, even though Versus is in only about 3/4 as many homes. Versus' distribution has been growing at a steady pace since picking up hockey. ESPN's last offer to the NHL was so low, it would have been fiscally irresponsible for Bettman to accept it, regardless of the number of eyeballs it might attract.

This is just more of the same "the NHL can't get anything right" narrative that every non-hockey sports writer/columnist/blogger has been pushing for the past 15 years or so.

May 14, 2009, 4:59:00 PM  

They could have maybe approached NBC about putting the second game on MSNBC/CNBC (even if it was simulcast of regional or Canadian feed) that would give people chance to see. But to not simulcast the TSN broadcast on NHLN in the US is ridiculous.

At least they staggered the start times.

And the WWL (alleged) wouldnt show ending of second, you would be lucky to get one of the games.
As someone who remembers when ESPN2
first came on the air, some of the same comments about production values and availability were being made then that are now said about VS.

Some of the blowdried talking heads that want the NHL back on ESPN are the same ones who constantly deride hockey in the first place.

Anonymous said...
May 14, 2009, 5:58:00 PM  

I am one of the people that pay for Center Ice Online, and one of the reasons is for games in the playoffs that I otherwise would not be able to watch. I don't think it would be fair to me to give this game away for free because I'm paying for it. That being said, 19.95 is an absurd price for 1 day.

However, this does illustrate the problem with Versus in that it doesn't provide multiple outlets for games. If they were with ESPN, it is possible that they could have run the Canes on ESPN Classic

Anonymous said...
May 14, 2009, 6:07:00 PM  

I'm not buying jkrdevil's argument. The NBA would NEVER have a situation where there are only two games on one night and most of the country can see exactly one. (Part of the problem, of course, is that the NHL's conferences are so ridiculously unbalanced that Detroit is in the West. But you will NEVER grow the game with situations like this. I don't think the Southern Strategy was a bad idea so much as I thought it happened too fast; don't put two teams in LA, start with maybe one team in Atlanta and one in Dallas and that's it, that sort of thing. The Nashville Predators? WTF? WAY too small a market to justify it. And Hartford and Winnepeg or Quebec should never have been moved.

Hold on, I'm going back to the beginning of Bettman's term and instituting a small-scale Phase One of the grow-the-game strategy. Instead of adding Tampa Bay in 92-93, add Atlanta, or maybe Atlanta instead of Florida in 93-94. In 93-94, instead of the Mighty Ducks you have a new Dallas team. North Stars don't move. So you have, northeast: PIT, BOS, MON, BUF, QUE, HAR, OTT. Atlantic: NYR, NJ, WAS, NYI, ATL, PHI, Florida team. Central: DET, TOR, MIN, STL, CHI, WIN. Pacific: CAL, VAN, SJ, DAL, LA, EDM. I'm fine with either Quebec or Winnepeg moving to Colorado, but the other team never moves to Phoenix and Hartford doesn't move to Carolina. You don't deprive traditional hockey markets of their teams to fuel your Southern Gamble this way, and you end up with a nice 26 teams, and you don't need to put a makeup expansion team in Minnesota this way, and you don't put expansion teams in ridiculous places like Nashville because if you do expand Arizona and that place in Florida you didn't go to and even Carolina are waiting.)

Morgan Wick said...
May 14, 2009, 7:11:00 PM  

In 2007 Carolina drew more fans than Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Edmonton, New Jersey, Washington, and St. Louis.

I think it is important to know that the Triangle region of North Carolina is barely even Southern anymore. There are a ton of people who moved there from Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts.

The league was lucky to get the Hurricanes to move there when they did.

And don't look now, but the Canes are about to showcase their "league's loudest arena" in the conference finals for the 3rd time this decade.

Secor314 said...
May 15, 2009, 8:32:00 PM  

The NHL was Crosby and Ovechkin-less when they left ESPN, I think. At least at the time nobody that wasn't a hockey fan had heard of them. Now though, they put asses in the seats. ESPN would market the hell out of them. It's a very different NHL now, an NHL that actually has marketable stars. And if they were on ESPN, they'd dwarf their current Versus ratings.

Jesse said...
May 16, 2009, 2:39:00 AM  

My post is late but at my hotel room in Provo, Utah, Versus had audiences watch Detroit vs. Anaheim while going to TSN's coverage of Boston-Carolina at its conclusion. TSN really does a remarkable job in supplying its coverage into American markets as often in July, we get the CFL on TSN feed and watch the Stamps and Esks in Utah, it's pretty cool.

Brad James said...
May 18, 2009, 2:03:00 PM  

Post a Comment