Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Red Wings, Pistons go head to head

What is the NHL thinking? ... the first three games of the Stanley Cup finals will be played at the same time as Games 3, 4 and 5 of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals.

Who cares, you say? Well, just about everyone in Detroit, to start with, as fans here will now have to choose whether to watch the Red Wings or the Pistons.
Bizarre indeed.

The craziest part just might be that two of those games are being played in the same metro area, with the two Detroit teams playing in different buildings, about 30 miles apart.

With the Red Wings having difficulty filling the Joe this season, Games 1 and 2 of the finals go head-to-head with Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference final between Detroit and Boston. There will be half an hour separating the games.

And it's worth noting the NBA schedule was already set when the NHL planned its own Monday night.

I don't have a handle on how much overlap there is between ticket holders for the two teams (probably not a ton), but there's no question this affects the television draw in the Michigan area. (And forget about sports fans in Massachusetts, who are on the reborn Celtics' bandwagon whole hog).

Only via the magic of a shiny new PVR have I managed to watch two games at once.

The Saturday night time slot, sure, maybe that's unavoidable, but how can you explain overlapping games on almost the exact date and time on Monday and Wednesday?

As I said, bizarre. And I'm not even a hoops fan.
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11 Comments:

At 11:57 PM, May 20, 2008, Blogger Jawsh said...

Maybe its the NHL stubornly believing that the Stanley Cup Finals will outdraw an eastern conference final. Unfortunately, I don't think that they will.

 
At 12:12 AM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basketball? What dat?

 
At 12:34 AM, May 21, 2008, Blogger jamestobrien said...

Leave it to the NHL to drop the ball on the SCF series with the best ratings potential in the last decade.

Indefensibly stupid.

 
At 12:43 AM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

Don't worry about it too much. The first two games are only on Versus and not FSN, so I'm sure a lot of marginal hockey fans in Michigan won't have to choose.

 
At 6:37 AM, May 21, 2008, Blogger itchit said...

So last year's Stanley Cup finals taught Bettman nothing? I recall the tv ratings for game 2 in Anaheim were lower than a 2006 WNBA all-star game and game 3 in Ottawa tied a rerun of The West Wing. A rerun! The media is already busy telling us how Detroit is no longer "hockeytown" because of dwindling support for the Wings. Bettman redefines the term "inept".

 
At 7:49 AM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous Justin said...

Well at least this will prevent the Wings bandwagoners from showing up at the Joe. Only the real fans will go.

 
At 8:29 AM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous mc keeper said...

Ryan, remember Detroit gets the CBC so we are not stuck with only Versus/NBC

 
At 9:27 AM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the official/unofficial reasons I have gathered:
a) by starting on Saturday night the nhl caters to Hockey Night in Canada
b) the first 2 games are on Versus not NBC
c)If the series goes 7 the NHL gets three Saturday night games
d)Its the Stanley Cup final and basketball is only in the conference final, why should the NHL adjust?

I don't think this is a smart move (obviously) and it also hurts a potential deal with ESPN in the future as they are covering the NBA playoffs. This could've been avoided and better planned.

 
At 12:53 PM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous vadim sharifijanov said...

it almost seems intentional, the nhl postponing the finals for almost a week just so they can overlap with nba playoff games. bravo, bettman.

 
At 5:45 PM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous Chuck Oliver said...

Anon, it's understandable they wanted to open up on Saturday night, but what would have been so difficult about having the next two games on Tuesday & Thursday?

 
At 9:26 PM, May 21, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Move the team to Hamilton if they can't support it.
The Wings are fourth in the market, fifth if you count U of M football.

 

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