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Sean Leahy

The fine print in the NHL's pay-per-view TV blackouts

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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A week after having an entire slate of games played in one night, there will be twelve games tonight. But if you happen to be a fan of Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Florida, Nashville, Minnesota or Phoenix, you're SOL as far as watching the game tonight; even though, as you see below, Direct TV's Center Ice says you can get the entire '08-09 season for $169.

If you check the NHL GameCenter site, they are clever in their wording when trying to sell you the service.

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"All live game broadcasts." Clever indeed.

So yes, that's right: In this age of NHL Center Ice, NHL Game Center and the NHL being the most "technologically savvy" sports of them all, six fan bases will be in the dark on a busy NHL Saturday night. Instead of watching their local hockey team, fans will have their choice of the following.

Ottawa

CBC: Championship figure skating along with the Rangers-Maple Leafs

Rogers Sportsnet: (EPL) Manchester United v. Hull / World Premier League Darts

Tampa Bay

Sun Sports: (NBA) Sacramento at Orlando

Florida

FSN Florida: (College Football) Washington at USC

Nashville

FSN South: (College Football) Washington at USC

Minnesota

FSN North: (College Hockey) Minnesota at Minnesota State

Phoenix

FSN Arizona: (College Football) Washington at USC

Anyone can figure out that a college football game involving a big time school as USC will garner larger ratings than a Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators or Phoenix Coyotes game, but it's just another strike against hockey fans.

If you're one of the ones who shelled out $169 for Center Ice or $20.99/month for NHL GameCenter, I bet you're wondering what you paid all that money for.

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