For those of you at home trying to keep track of what game or event is airing on what station and when, you've likely noticed by now it's not all that easy. So here's another wrench to throw into the mix. The latest news surrounding the Canada-US men's game, set to air tomorrow at 7:40pm EST, is that it has been moved to MSNBC. Initially the plan was to air it on the parent station which is, of course, NBC.
This further adds to the ongoing and often unsupported theory that networks avoid hockey like the plague, even during a time (the Olympics) when airing a hockey game is considered the norm on a network that airs in-season hockey games regardless.
But before you start collaborating with your fellow conspiracy theorists, a quote from the Chicago-Tribune may shine a bit of light on the matter:
But Christopher McCloskey, an NBC Universal Sports and Olympics vice president, said one benefit of putting the hockey game on MSNBC is that it can run there without being cut up into segments to accommodate other sports as NBC customarily does in prime time to cover as much ground and as many viewer interests as possible.
In a way you have to wonder what NBC's intent was. Were they looking to gain more potential hockey fans by airing the game on NBC, or were they content with targeting existing hockey fans by airing it on MSNBC? As far as I'm concerned, I don't want to watch my hockey games in segments or short installments. What would be more aggravating than having the network pull away for an update on curling or ice dancing when the score is 0-0, only to come back later to an updated score of 1-0 or perhaps even 1-1. That only opens the door for an announcer to dish one of those canned, "While you were away," deliveries. No thanks.
Despite the level of talent that both teams possess, the same level of talent that NBC looks to promote on its Sunday afternoon games, the network has opted to instead dish the game off to MSNBC,a network that is often riddled with political content and news on a Sunday night.
I'm not sure how to take this. Was it a smart move by NBC to do what is best by the hockey fan to move the game in its entirety to MSNBC with the HOPE that fans interested enough will make the jump? Or would the game have been better served on NBC in segments and interrupted installments where new hockey fans, or those even remotely interested in the sport, could take in all the action?