Saturday, November 1, 2008

What happens when they play a game...and no one sees it?

That's what will happen tonight in Glendale, Ariz., as the Minnesota Wild face-off against the Phoenix Coyotes, in the only game Wild fans with NHL Center Ice (or the new GameCenter Live) will not see this season.

Neither the Wild (whose broadcast outlets are jammed with WCHA college hockey and the NBA's trembling Timber-chihuahuas), nor the Coyotes (whose outlets are full of Suns basketball and college football) are televising this game. The only game on the Wild's 2008-09 schedule not to be televised. No webcast. No 'Dumb and Dumber' (that just may be a break in and of itself), no Strader and Pang (days after another blog refers to a rather scathing blog about how Strader's predecessor, who now sells real estate in Winnipeg -- now THERE's a tough job! -- was let go by the 'Yotes two years ago). Just radio, like in the good 'ol days. (Of course, there's XM satellite radio which will carry the Phoenix XTRA 910 radio feed; XM Channel 204).

You can listen via the web to either broadcast, via either team's websites. But think of this:

There are 1,230 NHL games each regular season. Of those, at least half of the league's 30 teams will televise every single game this season (the latest of which is Chicago, as this is a cornerstone of 'Rocky' Wirtz's new strategy for reviving the until-recently moribund Blackhawks franchise.)

Minnesota thinks of itself as the 'State of Hockey' (as its' long-standing marketing theme says) and St. Paul was dubbed the 'new Hockeytown' last season after the declining fortunes of Detroit's 'Big 3' automakers forced a downturn in regular-season Red Wings attendance at Joe Lewis Arena. If all this is true, you mean to tell me that someone wouldn't be interested in televising one Wild game?

One would think so...

The fun starts tonight, 9 PM Central Time...'see you...on the radio'...

7 comments:

PB said...

Hi WRT -

Is this the link you wrote about?

When it happened, I was critical of the firing two years ago too, and there wasn't rhyme or reason for it from my perspective, but again, it was two years ago.

The television schedule was planned out before the season began so the only coincidence is Onrait's timing, not the Coyotes.

However, I don't like not having this game on Center Ice. I'm more surprised that the Minnesota television market didn't pick this game up.

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

Yeah, it probably is. I stand corrected. Thanks!

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

It's now correct, or at least I hope so.

Jon Marthaler said...

Hard to slap the "State of Hockey" when there's college hockey on TV tonight *instead* of NHL hockey.

Nick in New York said...

Good read, WRT. This has to be a particularly bitter pill to swallow for non-Gopher peeps.

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

Don't get me wrong, Gopher hockey does well, ratings-wise. and, I understand that this is indeed a special situation (all four Minnesota-based schools in the same arena, same day), but for the rest if us who DON'T bleed the school coros of these teams, we want our Wild. Just sayin'...

kgopher said...

If we are on a rant about broadcasts in the State of Hockey (or lack there of), can we rant about the crappy quality of the 45 feeds, and the completely annoying ones from FSN? Our broadcasts do not do the State of Hockey justice. Poor announcers, poor quality (although FSN's non-HD quality has gotten better), and lack of more then a handful of HD games. Won't complain too much since most of the time I can at least watch the game, but these issues should be addressed as well.