So it is no shock hockey followers reacted with frustration when it was introduced the league’s nationwide TV companion, NBC, has relegated two Stanley Cup Playoffs recreation telecasts to the Golf Channel subsequent week.
Quite than displaying Recreation four of the Devils-Lightning and Geese-Sharks sequence on NBC Sports activities, NBCSN, USA Community or CNBC, the doubleheader will air on the Golf Channel subsequent Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET).
Sure, the identical 24-7 golf channel that airs hockey-centric reveals equivalent to “Golf Central” and “College of Golf.”
NHL followers had been fast to voice their dismay on Twitter:
Nothing says “Stanley Cup Playoffs” just like the Golf Channel. pic.twitter.com/wDPwsMZEKx
— Steven Shepard (@POLITICO_Steve) April 9, 2018
How do we all know that Sharks-Anaheim and Tampa Bay-New Jersey are NBCS/NHL’s lowest-rung first-round sequence? As a result of they each get Recreation 4s shifted nationally to the Golf Channel. https://t.co/bsBQIlLD0n
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) April 10, 2018
NBC blamed the choice on a programming “battle.” The corporate additionally famous that it was the primary such battle because it started airing the Stanley Cup Playoffs six years in the past.
“Since we started televising each recreation of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012, we have now and proceed to obtain nice cooperation from CNBC and USA Community, who will air a number of nights of playoff video games this 12 months,” mentioned Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports activities & NBCSN in an announcement. “Nevertheless, due to programming conflicts on Wednesday evening, April 18, for the primary time we’ll prolong protection to Golf Channel, our extensively distributed 24/7 sports activities community.”
It is a no-win state of affairs for NBC, the NHL and the golf equipment concerned.
There’s sure to be loads of hockey followers who will not be capable to discover these video games on Golf Channel subsequent week. And in the event that they do discover them, they’re going to nonetheless be aggravated at having to click on round.
However, Golf Channel is an all-sports cable channel accessible in 70 million houses.
With the Olympics and NCAA males’s basketball event telecast throughout a number of channels, NBC is betting hockey followers will be capable to watch the video games they need after they need to watch them. Even when they nonetheless suppose hockey will get the shaft from TV fits.
“The underside line is it is only for one evening — and the video games will probably be proven on all-sports channel,” mentioned one TV supply. “Would it not be higher to indicate them on CNBC, which is all enterprise, or USA, which is leisure?