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Negotiating For Negotiations



Bill Simmons recently released a podcast where he and another sports pundit decided to fix hockey.  They spend 50 minutes bouncing ideas back and forth off each other about how to reclaim lost fans and become profitable again in the US.

Bill’s my favourite when it comes to sports, but sadly, that conversation was about 47 minutes of awful suggestions.  There was only one valid point, which he beat like a rented Johan Franzen (which is doubly clever because he’s both a “Mule” and “red-headed”… wonder if he’s a step-child?).

That point was that he wanted to watch the Bruins/Canes game seven and the Detroit/Anaheim game seven and literally couldn’t without paying $79 dollars to the NHL network, which he did (which clearly tainted his enjoyment of the game – he mentions it about 79 times).

He had a chat posted on his page where he was watching both games, a Celtics playoff game and a Red Sox game (he has four TV’s in his man-lair… Bri, that’s what you have to look forward to when I’m a sports media guru).  In that chat, fans from everywhere were commenting on how frustrating it was that they couldn’t get the game.

They could get the Detroit one on Versus (which I think is an 18 year old with a Handi-Cam, some free time, and access to Brian Engblom), which eventually switched to the Boston game, but due to piss-poor scheduling (really NHL, two premier game sevens and you’re running them damn near simultaneously?), most fans only caught OT of the Bruins game… unless they paid 79 bucks.

It’s time to re-negotiate with the major networks, hockey. 

Years ago, when I was mad at the lack of American coverage, I almost understood why they didn’t pick up hockey – hell, I didn’t like watching hockey in those days.

But high-def has been good to the sport, and as I’ve beaten over and over like… damnit, nothings as good as Franzen… the rule changes have been great.  We have a sell-able product now.

All I know is, if people want to watch the sport, and can’t, somebody is underachieving in advancing the game.

Why this rant now, for the 400th time?

I’m in Phoenix, AZ, with a basic TV cable package.  If it ain’t on NBC, I can’t watch it.  I didn’t see last nights game, but after looking at the box score, I want to leave you with a Nostradamus-esque quote I found somewhere randomly on the internet:

Fancy-pants Malkin is gonna wake up, and Sid is going to produce less, but regardless, he’ll still be a constant threat.”

Man… that guy was bang on.


13 Responses to “Negotiating For Negotiations”
  1. Neil says:

    Ya that same guy was saying something about backhands the other day too…

  2. jtbourne says:

    The fact that Malkin can rifle a back hand of the back of a banana is an anomaly.

  3. T Jones says:

    Dude the lack of coverage must suck, living here in canada we never have that problem in the playoffs, thank god. Heres hoping you get to catch the next few games.

  4. Andrew Belanger says:

    When the NHL finally gets back on ESPN, I’m gonna run around naked here in the dead of winter. (AK) Or better yet, the NHL should make there own channel, just like the NFL, MLB, and also sign with ESPN, but I’m dreaming right?

  5. jtbourne says:

    Ha…. hate to burst your bubble, but ummm…. call your cable provider. The NHL has a channel, I think it’s called, um, the NHL channel (actually NHL network).

  6. P Turk says:

    Hey, Justin, it’s your ole’ college statistics teacher here. You gotta’ love what Malkin and Crosby are doing to the ‘Canes right now. While they will never have the hands of silk of Bourne/Gilchrist, it is entertaining to watch.

    Go Cavs!

  7. pat says:

    Oh tooooooo bad about the basic cable in AZ .Here in Boston ( to cold no paaaaaaakin ) basic cable u get NHL channel and NESN for free .Granted you have to brave the winters ( dah !!! your Canadian …cold weather) but its worth the coverage. Oh yeah I think I heard we are getting the 1/1/2010 outdoor game here ….enjoy the holiday !!!

  8. Geezette says:

    podcast where he. (first sentence)

    I think this is the first time reading your blog that my editor instincts took over. Love your writing.

  9. Officer Koharski says:

    Agreed, the coverage here in the US fucking bites, it’s a joke. I’ve been watching every game as a stream on

    Check it out, they have almost every game and lots of junior games. I got to see Kelowna – Rimouski last week and that was the first junior game I’ve ever seen, it was pretty rad.

  10. Officer Koharski says:

    As this game starts (finally) a thought occurred. If I played with a guy named Filpula, his nickname would be Flipper. I have no idea what they actually call him but how can you beat that. You can’t.

  11. jtbourne says:

    Mr. Turk, good to hear from you! I do love what the Pens guns are doing to the Canes… I’m sure the Penguins brass has gotten over missing out on hands like mine and Gilly’s, since the Crosby/Malkin duo seems to be a fairly sufficient substitute.

    Go Cavs indeed, I’m a hockey break away (series ended in four and five games) from addressing my Cavalier love!

  12. Andrew Belanger says:

    Sarcasm is hard to show across the innernets, from friends I’ve heard that the coverage isn’t so great-what good is having a 24 hour coverage of the world’s best sport if you don’t have good people to cover it.

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