Friday, February 19, 2010

A Simple Solution to the NBC Crisis

Let's assume for a moment that the National Hockey League and the National Broadcasting Corporation are actually partners in televising the NHL's product.

Now, luckily for us hockey fans, the Nothing But Curling television stations have exclusive rights to broadcast all International Olympic Committee events at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Now let's note that the National Hockey League is providing well over $2 billion worth of their product for these Olympic games, shutting down the League for weeks at a time, eschewing an "all-star" game for the sake of patriotism, and risking millions in injury. K?

Now let's assume NBC is treating this opportune time to promote it's broadcasting partner as second, third, and fourth rate to the likes of a Women's Curling match between Denmark and Japan, Men's Figure Skating, and John effing Shushter, relegating these prime matchups to "sister" stations MSNBC, CNBC, and USA network, many times without HD capabilities.

Now, stick with me here, let's say that Team USA has been playing at 3 PM (EST) for both its games this round, when most (take that 10% of Americans!) are at work, not sitting in front of a television at Applebees.

Now let's assume for one moment that the National Hockey League is at the forefront of all the major sports leagues in providing their product via virtual means to their consumers with GameCenter Live.

Now many of these games have been offered via streaming at, but for many, they can't use that service, since you must have a unique username and password for your service provider in order to access the stream.

If you've not used GameCenter yet, why yes, it is at it's lowest price of the season /plug, but it really is the best way to view online. Now, it only seems logical to me, but maybe that's why it's never been discussed.

The benefits of using GameCenter over the NBC offering, or even in conjunction with, um yeah, plenty.

First off, you'd have to charge, what, a $10 pass to access the Olympic games, then why not subtract that $10 from the full season GameCenter, offering a special deal? Extra money for the NHL? Check. Extra exposure for your league? Check.

NBC's issues? Ads? Just throw them onto GameCenter, you take a smaller cut of the $10 fee, assume the ad revenue, since they're yours anyway. Problem solved.

Then the IOC, you know they, and by extension, the IIHF, want, hell they need the NHL to participate in these games in 2014, and beyond, as it's one of the biggest, if not the, of the entire games.

This "partnership" between these three entities will obviously need to compromise to ever make something so obvious/simple happen. Obviously there's more pros/cons than what is listed here, this is just riffing off the top of my head, but what do you guys think?

Would you prefer a GameCenter offering than putting up with NBC/CNBC/MSNBC? Would you be willing to pay $10 to watch all the games, without missing a faceoff? Would you then turn around and buy GameCenter based on the discount for getting the Olympic games?
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.