Negotiating For NegotiationsShareThis
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.