Is it Wednesday yet??
If you’re a degenerate hockey watcher like me, you loathe the no hockey gap between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs. Even casual hockey fans know that the 1st round of NHL playoffs are the best in sports. The build up of an 82 game schedule and the anticipation of binging 3-4 high intensity, drama filled games in one day can make these few days off excruciating. Thankfully, this years wait was cut a day shorter because of the January 4th postponement of a Panthers-Bruins game that pushed the end of the regular season to Sunday. But the postponement to Sunday brought with it another fact of hockey watching life that many of us loathe: the NHL.TV blackout…
Let me bring you up to speed for those that may not know. Any game that is aired on “National TV” is blacked out on the $140 per season NHL.TV subscription service. It’s an understandable protection for the media companies that pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year to the league for the right to broadcast games. If you were forking out over $200,000,000 per year, like NBC will do through 2020-2021, you wouldn’t want other services taking eyes away from your ads and the revenue that comes with it. We get it, it’s a business practice that’s common in the sports broadcasting world to protect these mega investments.
So then why do NHL.TV subscribers loathe this? Because the league considers its own NHL Network to be “national TV”. Whenever the league arbitrarily decides (they set the schedule one month at a time so they can pick the most appealing matchups) to show your favorite team’s game, you lose it on NHL.TV. Don’t have NHL Network? Sucks to be you buddy. In a world where people are cutting the cable TV cord by the millions, this unfairly leaves many fans in the dark. The final slap in the face? NHL NETWORK SIMULCASTS THE SAME REGIONAL NETWORK FEEDS YOU’RE ALREADY PAYING THE LEAGUE FOR!
To recap: The postponed Bruins-Panthers game was not originally scheduled to be broadcast on “National TV”, but because it moved to a day that had no other games, the league decided to show the NESN feed on “National TV” and give millions of their most loyal and faithful fans one last bending over to end the year.
What a league.
Now who wants to talk goalie interference???