NBC Shakes Up NHL Television Schedule
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Opposing TrendsOn the other hand, the Stanley Cup Playoffs saw somewhat of an opposite trend. The Washington Capitals managed an incredible win over the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final, which was an edge of your seat bit of action. This event managed to achieve an astonishing 6.7 million viewers for the NBC, which is the most any playoff game has seen in 16 years. Proof enough that hockey is still a major draw card for television viewership, and that Canadians are as interested in the game as they ever were. Still, the numbers for the regular season speak for themselves, and NBC has gone ahead with its changes, in hopes of drawing back wandering sets of eyes.
Goodbye Wednesday Night RivalryWednesday nights on NBC have been the home of the Wednesday Night Rivalry concept, since it was introduced back in 2012 – 2013. Alex Ovechkin’s head to head showdowns against Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins were the core element of these time slots, but they are being set aside. Instead, Wednesday Night Hockey is taking it’s place. If the move does or doesn’t draw back viewers remains to be seen, but needless to say it is a change that going to shake up NHL broadcasting in a big way. President of production for NBC Sports, Sam Flood, stated simply that the Wednesday Night Rivalry insert does not have the juice that it once did. In terms of other changes being made to normal broadcasting, three major areas were identified. This includes more Western Conference games, more games that specifically feature Canadian teams, and more focus on popular players that have a bright future.
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