Wild Horses drag the NHL away

So the hot topic du jour is NBC's (businessly correct) decision to move the Saturday OT game from NBC to Versus when the game went into overtime. Here's a good post on why the NHL, and not NBC, is at fault.

So what's the NHL supposed to do? I think this gaffe, more than anything, should be the wakeup call that the NHL needs to say "Versus we like you, you've been good for us, but it's time to move on." I like Versus but until they get into more American homes they will be a second rate network. As long as the NHL is there, the NHL will be seen as a second rate league.

I am particularly opposed to getting on the 4-letter. They were terrible for the NHL and treated it as a second class sport for a long time. So they can go to hell. The only reason to go back would be more Gary Thorne.

What the NHL should do is get a deal similar to TNT's deal with the NBA. While they kind of have that, they need a different network. there are a ton of networks there that would be perfect for them, TBS, USA, even one of the NBC news (CNBC, or MSNBC). One of those networks could do an adequite job of getting hockey into more homes without caving to the demands of the network that makes sports no-fun. We could get a nightly hockey-highlight show that you could see from any hotel room in the country.

The NHL needs to work on this, as getting access to more american fans is one of the best ways for the sport to continue healing from the lockout.


  1. TBS is pretty heavy on the baseball and TNT has just about all of the NBA playoffs anymore. I suggest either USA or even a return to ESPN in the form of ESPN2. Something, anything other than Versus, unless Versus can guarantee a massive expansion of their reach by next season.

  2. I forgot about TBS's baseball commitments, but that's just the Braves. (and overlaps with Hockey fairly infrequently.)

    I am completely opposed to a return to ESPN.. they would treat hockey poorly