If you were hoping to view the marquee Men's Hockey matchup between Canada and the USA on Sunday night, February 21st, better look elsewhere.
Remember how NBC and other American outlets complain about overseas Olympics not being conducive to prime time viewing for American audiences?
Well, even with their wishes granted in Vancouver in 2010, NBC will once again fail to deliver a gold medal performance. Despite favourable television schedules for events across the board, NBC is choosing to continue to air taped performances from earlier in the day. The NBC is squandering an opportunity to watch some of the most amazing hockey of our generation.
Sunday, February 21st, Team Canada plays Team USA in Men's Hockey. Surely to be one of the biggest events of the entire Olympic games. You might expect with football season over to see this game on NBC as part of their Olympic coverage? Think again.
As the Globe and Mail points out, NBC Exec Dick Ebersol is opting to show Ice Dance instead. According to Ebersol, more women watch the Olympics than men.
While the game will be shown on their cable affiliate MSNBC, even the Americans themselves are expressing their disdain for NBC's coverage. Sports Columnist John Conzano chimes in suggesting NBC should either cover the Olympics properly or not at all.
PuckWatch cannot help but wonder how Gary Bettman and the NHL brass feel about interrupting their season only to see NBC squander a golden opportunity to celebrate the game of hockey, and expose the NHL's star athletes to a new market with one of the best rivalries in hockey.
NBC has not had the best reviews of late, with their late night debacle between Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno - and this will not help the peacock's reputation. However, perhaps NBC is not eager to dedicate prime time television time to the Canada USA game because they feel there is a strong likelihood they will lose. The USA has long been criticized for Olympic coverage. While CBC has traditionally showcased the world's best athletes while highlighting Canadian performances, the US certainly focuses on its own athletes, and anything else pretty much never happened.
It's a shame. The US has an exciting and young men's hockey team with Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Ryan Kesler, Bobby Ryan, Zach Parise, Ryan Miller, and Erik Johnson to name a few. They could surprise, and NBC should wake up and broadcast the Olympics marquee sport.