For some bizarre reason, and in spite of some confusion, games three and four of the Stanley Cup Final aired on NBC Sports Network. The first two games had been on NBC. Lord only knows where game five will be. They like to keep their fans guessing.
I swear, pro hockey has some of the worst marketing… It’s one thing to air your championship on non-free TV. That’s a mistake, in my opinion, but it can be lucrative, so I get it. But at least be consistent! They can’t even manage that. Why would you put part of the series on one channel and the rest on another? It’s like they are actively trying to make the sport difficult to follow.
Hockey is a great sport, but the way it’s managed is highly questionable. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If I were in charge, I’d have a 20-game regular season, followed by a single-elimination tournament, televised either on one of the major over-the-air networks or ESPN. The tournament would begin the week after football season ends and be over by mid-March.
It will never happen, though, for obvious financial reasons. But I bet it would increase the popularity of the sport–and hence, the profitability–over the long-run.