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auxlepli

The "Sports Leader" killing hockey?

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No way I say, but this article supports my opinion that ESPN doesn't need to carry NHL games because the network treats the League as a "punch-line."

http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/...s/#comment-4231

ESPN's anti-hockey stance was evident pre-lockout, and it's still around IMO.

That's why I'm very happy it's off that network, and would reject any overture made to bring it back to the so-called "Sports Leader." That name, BTW, is a joke when it refuses to remain objective about the NHL, or dismisses the League in its highlight show.

The NHL is better off on Versus IMO. There is lots of potential for growth. There is zero growth for it on ESPN.

Versus is happy to have the NHL, while ESPN ridicules it.

Edited by auxlepli

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Not a word of that article surprises me.

I do agree with the people who say ESPN has become a pretty horrible network in general, even without the NHL. Some of the guys they have on for SportsCenter (or girls shall I say) are damn airheads when it comes to sports. I could do a better analogy of a baseball game blindfolded with the TV on mute better than the morons they have on that network now.

I don't even watch SportsCenter anymore, because it's garbage. FSN's Final Score is a decent highlight show, and the people on there aren't a bunch of bricks that don't even know sports like the people on SportsCenter now. It's ridiculous to see a good sports network like that go down the s***ter. ESPN sucks for a variety of reasons not including not having the NHL.

Sigh... unless Versus becomes the next big network, things won't be changing anytimg soon. I kinda hope Versus does come out on top though, because ESPN blows.

edited for grammar

Edited by Kp-Wings

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Even when ESPN/ESPN2 were airing games - they IMHO treated the NHL as the proverbial "red-headed step-child"...Now their Canadian counterpart TSN does a fine job - giving the NHL the respect it deserves.

I'm fine with watching games on NHL Center Ice; would much rather watch the Wings on FOX with Mickey Redmond, & Ken Daniels versus some hacks on ESPN (or VERSUS for that matter).

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Insert overembelished ESPN is the worst network since TV was invented post *HERE*

ESPN isn't killing hockey, and the game isn't going away. We get so overhyped on why hockey isn't the most popular sport or why more viewers don't watch the game. We need to let it go. The game isn't going away, and as long as it's on TV somewhere, we are going to watch it.

I watch hockey and sporting events on TV for the action on the field, court, or ice. I barely pay as much attention to what commentators say on a game live.

I could care less what station NHL games are played on, whether it's ESPN, VS, The Family Channel, Cartoon Network, or FX. Just be on some station. If I thought the commentary was that torturous to watch a game through, I'd hit the mute button.

There is nothing wrong with ESPN. There is nothing wrong with VS. It's on TV, so that's fine with me.

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Pretty good article and I'm glad some light is being shed on the issue. While I don't buy into all of the hypochondriacal speculation, I do believe ESPN could potential damage the leagues image in a way beyond simply avoiding it.

Needless to say the last time I watched ESPN in the past year or two was the Nathan's Hotdog eating contest, that pretty much sums up my opinion of that network.

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Insert overembelished ESPN is the worst network since TV was invented post *HERE*

Lifetime!

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ESPN is utterly terrible...

just look at their MLB coverage. They'ers 30 teams in the league but you wouldn't know it.

It's either the Twins, Tigers, Yankees or BoSox in the AL, and St Louis or Atlanta in the NL..

you never see any other teams.

i hate also that they're obsessed with the "celebrity" of certain players..pisses me right off

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You guys may not like the network, but between ESPNews and the variety of programs on ESPN and Classic, I really do. So what if they show things like darts and dominoes, what the hell else is there to put on during the day? They arent choosing these things over hockey, they're choosing to air more popular things like college basketball in what used to be the hockey timeslots. How can you blame them?

ESPN is utterly terrible...

just look at their MLB coverage. They'ers 30 teams in the league but you wouldn't know it.

It's either the Twins, Tigers, Yankees or BoSox in the AL, and St Louis or Atlanta in the NL..

you never see any other teams.

i hate also that they're obsessed with the "celebrity" of certain players..pisses me right off

What a coincidence...some of the more popular big named teams! Imagine that! I can guarantee you if you owned a network you'd care about ratings as well. What possible good comes out of them showing Kansas City? As we've seen with the Tigers, build your team into something of value and they'll air you. The Tigers used to NEVER be on.

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Seeing this post made me very happy. I have been making some of the same points in here for a couple years that some of you already mentioned.

The quality of ESPN has diminished significantly since 2000. One of the largest problems is they focus on sports gossip way too much. Also, no matter what sport they cover, only 8 teams will be seen on the network in any given sport.

As for it's blond hair blue eyed child, that obviously is the NFL.

ESPN spend hours talking about all the druggie loosers who get suspended in the NFL, the brawls in the NBA, and steroids in MLB, but hockey has the fewest off the playing field problems and it's still doesn't get credit.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

F**k off ESPN.

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While ESPN has horrible hockey coverage now and does not treat it on par with other major sports, I don't think it can be denied that hockey would be better off on ESPN.

ESPN has transformed American culture over the past quarter-century. It has brought sports into a new popularity like never before. I bet you could find a lot more people who can talk more intelligently about sports than they can about politics, science, music, etc. Sports is a huge factor in American culture today and that is largely due in part to ESPN and the sports coverage it has provided.

That being said, the NHL would be fools not to jump on a chance to get back on ESPN. I was amazed they signed with OLN (now Versus) post-lockout. ESPN provides exposure and has the equipment and resources to put together a much better program than a small network like Versus. Factor in to the equation the fact that Versus does not come standard in many cable packages around the US, and you have a lot more exposure with ESPN.

ESPN's Sportscenter is also one of the most watched programs on TV these days. If it had a reason to promote hockey that was being shown on its network, it would. I believe Versus is part of NBC so why wouldn't ESPN turn a blind eye to hockey? That's just competition and smart business.

It would be in the best interest of the NHL to get back on ESPN and off Versus IMO.

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While ESPN has horrible hockey coverage now and does not treat it on par with other major sports, I don't think it can be denied that hockey would be better off on ESPN.

ESPN has transformed American culture over the past quarter-century. It has brought sports into a new popularity like never before. I bet you could find a lot more people who can talk more intelligently about sports than they can about politics, science, music, etc. Sports is a huge factor in American culture today and that is largely due in part to ESPN and the sports coverage it has provided.

That being said, the NHL would be fools not to jump on a chance to get back on ESPN. I was amazed they signed with OLN (now Versus) post-lockout. ESPN provides exposure and has the equipment and resources to put together a much better program than a small network like Versus. Factor in to the equation the fact that Versus does not come standard in many cable packages around the US, and you have a lot more exposure with ESPN.

ESPN's Sportscenter is also one of the most watched programs on TV these days. If it had a reason to promote hockey that was being shown on its network, it would. I believe Versus is part of NBC so why wouldn't ESPN turn a blind eye to hockey? That's just competition and smart business.

It would be in the best interest of the NHL to get back on ESPN and off Versus IMO.

Versus shows a lot more playoff hockey then I could ever envision ESPN showing if they do bring hockey back. I just know they'd wind up cutting off a game right in the middle of overtime to broadcast the paper, rock, scissors world championships which will undoubtedly become as popular as poker.

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Versus shows a lot more playoff hockey then I could ever envision ESPN showing if they do bring hockey back. I just know they'd wind up cutting off a game right in the middle of overtime to broadcast the paper, rock, scissors world championships which will undoubtedly become as popular as poker.

When's the rps championship on? Is that coming up or did i already miss it? They need to get flicks on there, you know, that game where you flick each other's knuckles? I'm sending that idea to ESPN.

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You guys may not like the network, but between ESPNews and the variety of programs on ESPN and Classic, I really do. So what if they show things like darts and dominoes, what the hell else is there to put on during the day? They arent choosing these things over hockey, they're choosing to air more popular things like college basketball in what used to be the hockey timeslots. How can you blame them?

What a coincidence...some of the more popular big named teams! Imagine that! I can guarantee you if you owned a network you'd care about ratings as well. What possible good comes out of them showing Kansas City? As we've seen with the Tigers, build your team into something of value and they'll air you. The Tigers used to NEVER be on.

:clap:

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ESPN is not responsible for the "demise" of hockey. If anyone can be blamed for the killing of hockey, that would rest solely on Gary Bettman.

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ESPN is absolutely great in covering MLB, NFL, and NBA. They cover those 3 sports in an absolutely wonderful way. The fact that they don't care about the NHL is pretty devistating though (obviously).

But hey, I don't care... I live in Canada, TSN REPRESENT. In ESPN's defense though, I bet fans of other sports are often in disbelief how biased TSN is towards hockey, in which they are.

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ESPN is absolutely great in covering MLB, NFL, and NBA. They cover those 3 sports in an absolutely wonderful way. The fact that they don't care about the NHL is pretty devistating though (obviously).

But hey, I don't care... I live in Canada, TSN REPRESENT. In ESPN's defense though, I bet fans of other sports are often in disbelief how biased TSN is towards hockey, in which they are.

NHL Center Ice airs many games via TSN - they do a great job!

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ESPN is absolutely great in covering MLB, NFL, and NBA. They cover those 3 sports in an absolutely wonderful way. The fact that they don't care about the NHL is pretty devistating though (obviously).

But hey, I don't care... I live in Canada, TSN REPRESENT. In ESPN's defense though, I bet fans of other sports are often in disbelief how biased TSN is towards hockey, in which they are.

The coverage of events on ESPN isn't that bad. I think their college basketball coverage is very good since they got into that.

It's SportsCenter that really makes me want to throw gas over the TV and burn it. The highlights are basically bare minimum, and like I said before, the news anchors they have on there anymore are the most illiterate people I've ever seen when it comes to sports. You think some of these women anchors have never seen a baseball game in their entire life they way they describe things.

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I don't think that article was arguing that ESPN didn't cover hockey as much as the disrespect they show the sport when they do. It's one thing for a network not to cover the NHL, in the same way that TSN doesn't really cover the NFL, but when TSN does cover football, it's done respectfully and professionally. How many mullet jokes have you heard on Sportscenter (note: not Sportscentre), and how many times have you heard ESPN anchors literally burst into laughter while covering NHL highlights as if to say: "I can't believe we're even wasting our time covering this stupid-ass game". Hockey is a punchline to them and they stereotype the NHL as a league full of Bertuzzi's, Prongers, and Simons. It's flat-out unprofessional, regardless of how little or how much time they spend covering the game.

And the NHL is not in danger of collapsing - it has always been a gate-driven sport and will never capture the US audience the way football (not baseball) has, unless it finds a US-born Gretzky or someone who can legitimately challenge his records and create buzz/drama - as good as Crosby is, I don't think he's 200-pt-season good, which is a problem in having someone who was so far better that the rest, statistically speaking; you're essentially fighting for second place the entire time.

I think most of the troubles the NHL faces in the US are caused by a) a bad economy that prohibits fans the luxury of paying $110 per ticket and b) horrible owners that resort to quick-profit-fixes like raising ticket prices without taking the time to establish (or in most cases, re-establish) a strong, diverse fan base. Think of Jacobs what he's done to the Bruins, raising ticket prices, not investing in his team, and wondering why his profit margins continually shrink despite the quick-fix approach, which is inherently causing this profit margins to shrink.

I think Bettman pushed expansion too quickly and was too worried about consolidating the league's power with respect to the PA, including netting the huge expansion fees the league charges to new franchise owners to create a war chest* rather than strengthening (not necessarily expanding) the league's influence in the states. I think the league in general is impatient and very prone to overreaction or underthinking.

*I'm someone who believes that Bettman intended to take the CBA to a lock-out and force the dismissal of Goodenow.

Edited by Collin Lane

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ESPN has changed dramatically since the days of Keith Oberman and Dan Patrick. If you noticed both of those guys went on to do Cable Network news shows. They were true Journalists. Now the network hires people who are a lot like Chris Berman, nicknames, funny tag lines, loud, and obnoxious characters.

Before it was all about the news side of sports.

However ESPN is not responsible for this change, the average American citizen is. ESPN is only catering to what the public wants. The average American needs the tv to entertain them, to do the thinking and the joking for them.

Perfect example, when ESPN ran the reality shows of who the next anchor will be. I don't give a s***, hire them and be done with it, however I am not your typical average American sports fan. I am a fanatic, I want to see highlights of my teams and the teams that impact the outcome of my team's standings.

That is why I Do not watch ESPN, ESPNews yes, but not the flagship station or ESPN2.

Here is an analogy for you to think of when you think ESPN, anybody here remember when MTV used to show nothing but music videos?????

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I don't know how many of you care, but Bill Simmons recently wrote an article about the debacle that the NBA is in.

This is the same Bill Simmons who goes out of his way to insult the NHL.

In this article, he still shows hope for the league and keeps the vigil that it will make it through. I think we all know how this piece would have went if this were the NHL that was in the same bind.

If you want to let Simmons know that he's a hypocritical ******, send him your comments here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story...dback/sportsguy

Afterall, the NBA is not exactly flourishing. It's ratings are pathetic and across North America, HNIC gains more viewers than the NBA's top night on Thursday nights on TNT.

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I hate ESPN with a passion but I can agree that the NHL would be better off back on the network. It is hurting the sport simply by swaying public opinon through bad sport. What's his name Chip... something? called it a sport for idiots or something. I was just shocked and appalled. I just wanted jump through the screen and strangle him. To this day, I will not watch a show on ESPN if I see his ugly face on the screen.

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Has any one ever heard Bettman's reason for turning down ESPN and instead going with VS? They give it better attention he says. hahaha It sounds just like some sob story from a woman who never felt fully appreciated. Yeah ESPN is the ladies man and cheater who can get any woman he wants and therefore treats all his women like s*** and taking them for granted. Then you have VS who never had much luck attracting women so he is basically willing to say or do what ever it takes to keep her happy and feeling wanted and needed. He gives her the special attention that ESPN never did. It is better coverage but it is a channel that many either do not get or are too lazy to find or do not want to. When it is out of sight it is out of mind unless you are hard core like us.

Sounds like he came up with this reasoning while viewing a movie on the Lifetime network. :lol:

Now there's an idea. They can sign on with Lifetime and market themselves as the league that has never felt fully appreciated or wanted. Then while watching viewers can sob after having found out that this great sport (arguably the best ever) is seeing its championship series being outdrawn by yet another hot eating contest or pissing into the wind contest who knows? :P

The NHL needs to be back on ESPN. plain and simple.

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Has any one ever heard Bettman's reason for turning down ESPN and instead going with VS?

Because ESPN wouldn't accept any deal that had them paying a rights fee. They wanted a deal like NBC ended up with later on and Bettman was vilified for. Imagine if he had signed that deal with ESPN instead of signing a deal with OLN?

I believe Versus is part of NBC

Versus is owned by Comcast. It has nothing to do with NBC, except that both show hockey.

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Because ESPN wouldn't accept any deal that had them paying a rights fee. They wanted a deal like NBC ended up with later on and Bettman was vilified for. Imagine if he had signed that deal with ESPN instead of signing a deal with OLN?

Versus is owned by Comcast. It has nothing to do with NBC, except that both show hockey.

...and Comcast owns the Flyers.

While I'm no fan of Bettman; ESPN offered no $$$ & wouldn't specify the # of games they would air on ESPN/ESPN 2, & if there was another program that would garner a larger viewing audience - ESPN could change their broadcasting schedule (more or less canceling their original line-up that may involve an NHL game).

Versus/NBC was the best option available for Bettman @ the time.

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I hate ESPN. I like ESPN2 X-Games, but thats it. I dislike ESPN because they talk football, and Basketball non-stop!!! Even in their off-seasons!!! That drives me nuts!!! NBC wasn't much better cutting off after regulation leaving us to the NHL for OT results!!! Verses did a great job, but I wish they had Gary thorne!!! He made MSUs Championship win that much better!!!

Edited by WINGS TILL DEATH

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