April 29, 2009
Please recall May 2007 when hockey fans around the U.S. realized their sport's place in the grand scheme after broadcasting partner NBC abruptly left Game 5 of the Ottawa Senators/Buffalo Sabres Eastern Conference final for pre-race coverage of the Preakness Stakes.
Perhaps, then, it's an indication that the NHL has gained some momentum -- or at least a tribute to the power of Alexander Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby -- that NBC has committed to hockey for at least four periods. From Neil Best of Newsday:
What if Saturday's Penguins-Capitals game on NBC runs late, what with the Kentucky Derby scheduled for early evening on the network?
If the game goes to one overtime, it will remain on NBC.
If it goes beyond one OT, it will switch to Versus, except in Pittsburgh and Washington.
Again, not exactly an ideal scenario for hockey -- would the NBA or MLB ever get kicked to a cable network if their games ran too long on broadcast television? -- but it's good to see the Peacock spelling out these terms well before Game 1 between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. We raise a mint julep and wear an awful hat in NBC's honor, pouring a little out for Barbaro (too soon?).
Wonder if the Pittsburgh Penguins fans would have preferred a switch to Versus on Saturday, so that the big screen outside of Mellon could show the second overtime and beyond ...