NBC Does Not Approve Of Your Viewing Parties NHL Fans

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Both Pittsburgh and Detroit had been holding viewing parties inside and outside of their arenas for away games, but those fun times have come to an end. Last week you may have noticed a giant jumbotron screen missing from Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, and today comes word that the NHL told the team to remove it. Via Detroit News....

There will be no "Joe Vision" broadcast of Tuesday night's Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals because NBC would not rescind its exclusive rights to the telecast.

The game will not be shown at Pittsburgh's outdoor plaza either.

At issue is television ratings, and a large crowd at Joe Louis Arena could be hundreds -- if not thousands -- of television sets not tuned in to NBC.

"It is certainly something we wanted to show but were unable to secure the rights," said Steve Violetta, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for the Wings.

NBC representative Brian Walker did not immediately return a phone message for comment, but NHL media relations vice president Frank Brown confirmed the situation while expressing sympathy to Red Wings fans.

"We are very much in tune and very sensitive to the great experience that fans have by coming to a great venue and watching a great hockey game," Brown said. "That said we need to be sensitive to the business end of things and that business is ratings driven."
Really? Really NBC? You're trying to make the argument that a thousand or so people not watching the game at home would cause a dip in the ratings? Really?!?! That's just idiotic. Ratings in those two cities will still be through the roof because it's a Game Six, and to deny Red Wings fans a chance to witness their team win the Cup in their own arena, is just plain wrong. Hopefully wiser heads prevail, but with the game starting at 8pm tonight, there's not much time to change the decision.

NBC blocks Joe Vision broadcast of Red Wings-Penguins (Detroit News)


Are we really sure NHL wouldn't be better on ESPN? It's obvious NBC doesn't care about the sport and Versus would rather air "Sports Soup" than the post-game show.

49er16 said...
Jun 9, 2009, 12:27:00 PM  

If a change of 1,000 fans causes the ratings to change, it's all a moot point, NBC.

We need a new vodka commercial for this: Absolut stupidity.

bceagle91 said...
Jun 9, 2009, 12:30:00 PM  

The NHL seriously cannot get out of its own way. Why couldn't they have scheduled the potential final game of the Stanley Cup Finals last night, which would not have gone against the NBA Finals like will tonight. It's also funny that "Sports Soup" aired on Versus between the conclusion of the game and the Post game show. Would that have flied in any other sport? How Gary Bettman still has a job as NHL Commissioner amazes me.

walnuts said...
Jun 9, 2009, 12:36:00 PM  

If what NBC is saying were really true, wouldn't it be more effective to ban all bars and restaurants from showing the broadcast? That would force all hockey fans to watch the game at home. Then NBC could make it illegal to allow family members to all watch the same TV.

Seriously though, this is a NETWORK station broadcasting over the air (meaning you can get this on bunny ears or OTA HD). How is it that a station can make it illegal to show a FREE PUBLIC broadcast to a crowd of people??

amamamama said...
Jun 9, 2009, 12:56:00 PM  

amamamama - the only thing I could possibly think of is if they were charging people to watch it, but I'm positive that's not the case with the outdoor TV in Pittsburgh.

Sadly though, if even one of those of people are Nielsen homes...NBC would probably get credit for more than 1,000 viewers.

Sean OLeary said...
Jun 9, 2009, 1:09:00 PM  

Ladies and Gentlemen, your National Hockey League!

JFreak said...
Jun 9, 2009, 1:27:00 PM  

No one hates their fans more than the NHL.

GMoney said...
Jun 9, 2009, 1:30:00 PM  

What happens if there is a Game 7 on Friday, when incidentally, bunny ears become irrelevant? I plan to watch the first hour of Game 6 but at 7:00 MDT, it's time for the NBA. Gary Bettman needs a short walk off a long pier. How does he justify jamming fans in Quebec City while he condones putting hockey in the greater Phoenix area?

Brad James said...
Jun 9, 2009, 1:53:00 PM  

Reason #637 that Gary Bettman need to be fired. I really don't understand why they didn't play this game last night, and game 7 on Wednesday. Instead Gm. 7 is scheduled for Friday, which is always bad for TV ratings anyway.

Anonymous said...
Jun 9, 2009, 5:59:00 PM  

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