When the NBC deal was announced last summer, it was believed that the network was going to broadcast their games either on Saturday or Sunday. But now, NBC is back in the football game, taking over the Sunday night games. As a result, it is unlikely that they will be showing any games for the first half of the season, until after the Super Bowl. From a marketing point of view, it would be a good idea to fill that Sunday evening time slot with NHL hockey. Take advantage of that sports audience that you’re already getting. They’ll already be in the habit of tuning into for the past five months, so build on that. You’d probably move the start times back an hour for games in the eastern time zone from NFL games, but that’s a minor change.
There was a suggestion that instead of going with a network deal, the league should go with a cable package. This would allow them to maybe do something more innovative like miking the benches or individual players, without having to censor anything or operating on a time delay. There was even a story on a Canadian sports network about getting someone like movie and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who’s a big hockey fan, to help the networks in their coverage of the game to make it more appealing and help draw new fans. Half of the problem with the NHL’s inability to draw a TV audience is that the camera angles in many arenas is just horrible. I’ve watched games from Pittsburgh where it looks like the camera is hanging 5 feet from the roof of the building.]]>
they didn’t pay them through the lockout, but if they want to come back i’m sure they will be invited.]]>