Freakin' FIGURE SKATING?!?!?
Can NBC really be serious?
Other than the fact that Mike Milbury is still a broadcast analyst for NBC's NHL coverage… I have to say I haven't really had many complaints about the new television contract between the NHL and NBC. I'm especially stoked at being able to watch any Playoff game I want on an NBC Universal station on any given night this year. (They're still going to do that, right?)
However, it looks like I'm about to have a complaint.
The league posted on Facebook on Thursday, asking fans if they were going to be watching the NHL All Star Game. Simple enough question, really. The post had only been up for a few minutes, and of course I put in my "hell yeah" response. Then as I'm reading briefly through the other responses, I come across someone who responded with "I can't… I don't have cable."
And that's when it dawned on me... "You know, that's right. The All Star Game is on NBC Sports Network at 4 PM on Sunday... and strangely not on NBC." NBC would seem to be the more logical choice, since you don't have to have cable and just need that digital antenna thingy.
So, I checked the little channel thing on my phone to find out what was on that was so important. Maybe NBC had the Pro Bowl or something, and the NFL trumps the NHL in most aspects no matter what. Surely there wasn't any other sporting event that would be more important than the NHL All Star Game on a Sunday afternoon.
Well... I stand corrected... and it's freaking figure skating!
Don't get me wrong… I can understand the importance of NBC re-launching Versus as the NBC Sports Network, and wanting to put attention on it. I'm a "branding" type of guy. I'm all for that.
I can also understand the logic that all the other All Star Weekend stuff is on NBCSN, so why not have the All-Star game?
But would figure skating really get better ratings than the NHL All Star Game? My money says the only reason the answer to that question would be yes... is because figure skating is on the main channel that anyone can get, rather than the cable channel that not everybody can get.
More eyes. Plain and simple.
Now, NBC is also huge on the Olympics, and the figure skating thing is apparently the U.S. Championships. I suppose that has something to do with it, too.
It just doesn't strike me as particularly fan-friendly, or a good way to sell the game in the U.S.
But that's just me. I'm the delusional soul who wants everyone in America to love this sport as much as we all do. I just think the more people who can watch, the better.
I will say I am glad to see Zdeno Chara took Tyler Seguin and Tim Thomas, and then grabbed Gabriel Landeskog from the Avs* and Ryan Johansen from Columbus for the rookie team, though. So, even if I'm not crazy about the "Fantasy Draft" format of the All Star Game, at least all the players on my "good guys" teams are on the same side.
I'll take it.
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*Hey, Foote retired, so I feel like I can watch them again... sue me.