Thursday, August 16, 2007

What Balanced Schedule?

With all four major networks releasing their broadcast schedules yesterday, I thought it would be fun to look at how each team is represented from coast to coast...fun being a relative term as I've basically just run out of things to talk about.

It is, overall, a slightly more balanced schedule than last season, but again that's a relative term.

I was all set to complain about how underrepresented the Caps (with a maximum of 14 games airing nationally in the US or Canada) are this year until I realized it could be much, much worse. Look at the Islanders, with 9. How about Florida, with only 6? Poor little Columbus, Nashville and St. Louis with 4, 3 and 4 respectively.

A few things jump out at me right away - first of all, obviously, is the prevalence of Penguins games. I get that Sidney Crosby is the anointed one, the holy spirit, the second coming, whatever you want to call it. But this is also a team whose greatest achievement in the last five or six years is not getting swept in the first round of last year's playoffs. Do we really have to see them 35 times? That's behind only Toronto and Montreal, whose numbers are artificially inflated because they obviously dominate CBC broadcasts.

Think of this fact: the Penguins appear on CBC 7 times (same with the Rangers); that's more than Boston, Buffalo, Colorado and Minnesota, each of whom is actually in a division with three other Canadian teams. They appear on TSN 13 times; that's more than Ottawa and Toronto combined.

Does anyone else find that strange?

Okay, so my second issue - Detroit. They are, for whatever reason, the Pittsburgh of the Western Conference. They're not young or exciting, but they apparently have a lot of fans. And it is because of them that some teams even get on TV. Just go back to Nashville, whose 3 games are the fewest in the league - 2 of those games are against the Wings. Columbus and St. Louis each have 4 games, tied for second fewest, and they also have 2 apiece versus Detroit.

I understand the limitations of marketing in these so-called "non-hockey towns". I get that your ratings are theoretically higher when, say, the Rangers, Penguins or Red Wings are playing versus when Tampa Bay or Phoenix is playing. But that still doesn't completely excuse the totally unbalanced menu we're being given this year. If that's the case, explain the 11 games going to New Jersey (3 against the Pens, by the way); give me a reason for 9 games for the Islanders. Detroit may call itself "HockeyTown" but Minnesota is and always will be the State of Hockey...and the Wild has only 7.

Buffalo, a team that has reached the Eastern Conference finals 2 years in a row, has 19 - that's the fewest in a division whose other teams haven't made a playoff splash in years. Carolina and Tampa? 7 games, and those are two of your last three Stanley Cup Champs. Ottawa was a Finalist this year and yet they have only 1 game in the States.

Oh, yeah, and that reminds me, what about those 2007 Cup Champs? 10 games. 10.

Way to go, NHL.

If you're a numbers geek like me, enjoy:
Atlantic Division - 103

NJD
VS 3; NBC 1; CBC 3; TSN 4 = 11 (3 vs Pit)
NYI VS 5; NBC 0; CBC 1; TSN 3 = 9 (2 vs Pit)
NYR VS 8; NBC 8; CBC 7; TSN 5 = 28 (7 vs Pit)
PHI VS 8; NBC 4; CBC 3; TSN 5 = 20 (6 vs Pit)
PIT VS 8; NBC 7; CBC 7; TSN 13 = 35

Central Division - 42
CHI VS 2 ; NBC 2; CBC 3; TSN 2 = 9 (1 vs Det)
CBJ VS 1; NBC 1; CBC 1; TSN 1 = 4 (2 vs Det)
DET VS 8; NBC 7; CBC 3; TSN 4 = 22
NSH VS 1; NBC 2; CBC 0; TSN 0 = 3 (2 vs Det)
STL VS 3; NBC 0; CBC 1; TSN 0 = 4 (2 vs Det)

Northeast Division - 144
BOS VS 6; NBC 4; CBC 5; TSN 9 = 24 (1 vs Pit)
BUF VS 7; NBC 3; CBC 2; TSN 7 = 19 (1 vs Pit)
MON VS 5; NBC 1; CBC 17; TSN 13 = 36 (2 vs Pit)
OTT VS 1; NBC 0; CBC 20; TSN 6 = 27 (2 vs Pit)
TOR VS 3; NBC 0; CBC 28; TSN 7 = 38 (2 vs Pit)

Northwest Division - 88
CGY VS 1; NBC 0; CBC 14; TSN 6 = 21 (1 vs Det)
COL VS 8; NBC 1; CBC 3; TSN 8 = 20 (2 vs Det)
EDM VS 1; NBC 0; CBC 13; TSN 5 = 19 (1 vs Pit)
MIN VS 3; NBC 0; CBC 1; TSN 3 = 7 (1 vs Pit)
VAN VS 2; NBC 0; CBC 14; TSN 5 = 21 (1 vs Pit, 2 vs Det)

Southeast Division - 44
ATL VS 4; NBC 1; CBC 2; TSN 3 = 10 (2 vs Pit)
CAR VS 5; NBC 0; CBC 1; TSN 1 = 7
FLA VS 1; NBC 0; CBC 2; TSN 3 = 6
TB VS 2; NBC 0; CBC 2; TSN 3 = 7
WSH VS 4; NBC 3; CBC 2; TSN 5 = 14 (2 vs Pit)

Pacific Division - 38
ANA VS 4; NBC 2; CBC 2; TSN 2 = 10 (1 vs Det)
DAL VS 4; NBC 2; CBC 2; TSN 2 = 10 (1 vs Det)
LA VS 1; NBC 0; CBC 3; TSN 2 = 6 (1 vs Det)
PHO VS 1; NBC 0; CBC 5; TSN 0 = 6
SJ VS 2; NBC 1; CBC 1; TSN 2 = 6 (1 vs Pit)

3 comments:

Jimmy Jazz said...

Well you were certainly more diplomatic than I was in my blog. It's really frustrating.

Shelby said...

General boo to all of them. That's all I can say about that without getting pissed.

Are you or is anyone else going to try to make it to the rookie and/or training camp? It should be a good time. I'm still waiting on the schedule though.

P.S. Love the new banner! =]

CapsChick said...

JJ: It really is frustrating...and yes, I was more diplomatic ;)

Shelby: I will hopefully make it out to at least some of training camp - I don't know if rookie camp is in the cards but if I can swing itI'll be there. And yes, I need them to release the schedule ASAP.

Glad you like the new look! I may tweak it a little more (I'm such a perfectionist...)