So here we are again ... one year after Pittsburgh lost a tough Game 6 clincher at home to Detroit, we're right back where we started. Only you have to watch tonight's version on your home TV, you ingrates.
The NHL will not allow the Red Wings to broadcast tonight's road match on the video screens at Joe Louis Arena as they have done in past years, nor will they allow Penguins fans to watch on the jumbo screens outside Mellon Arena, as they have been doing for most of the sold-out home games. All fans must watch hockey programing from inside their house, sitting in front of a pre-approved television screen on standard, store-bought furniture. Also, beer consumption will be cut off after the first six-pack and you are limited to one bag of Cool Ranch Doritos per period. That is final.
Of all the dumb ideas the NHL has shot itself in the foot with, this one is pretty high on the list. (Right below the glow puck, but above Eric Lindros.) Yes, the 19,000 people that could potentially fill Joe Louis Arena equal one entire rating point in the Detroit market, but how many of them do you think will actually be from Nielsen households? (Newsflash: TV ratings are a statistical joke that have no bearing on reality.) Anyone watching at an arena or a bar will still get to see your ridiculous beer and truck ads ... and most importantly they will still be watching. Wouldn't it mean more to your sport to show a sold out arena of fans watching a game that isn't even taking place in their city then whatever sort of brownie points you earn with the networks and their advertisers? Dumb.
Oh, and I guess there's a hockey game tonight too. The home team has won the first five, so despite the 5-0 trouncing of the Penguins last weekend, it should be a good one.
NBC and NHL: Partners in idiocy [Pittsburgh Post Gazette]
No deal: Wings can't get TV rights for Joe Vision tonight [Detroit Free Press]