Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This Just In! Buffalo Ousted In Overtime! NBC Shares Your Pain...On Its Cable Channel

In a move that could go down in the annals of broadcast history as one of the most compassionate gestures ever offered by a heartless multinational media conglomerate, the good folks at NBC decided to spare Buffaslug fans across the United States the final, gruesome death throes of their favourite team. They cut away from the Sens-Sabres overtime in order to go to their Preakness pre-race coverage, which consisted, for the most part of various representatives of the Horsey Set waxing poetic about their dead hero (um…come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t want to anger those folks either).

Unfortunately not all Sabre fans were so spared, as the NBC feed in the Greater Buffalo Area (if there is such a thing) was maintained. We are told that the seven people in the rest of the country who saw the end of the game when it was switched to Versus also feel very badly for the Slugs and their fans. So that’s something.

For you gentle readers who may think that all of those big, bad critics are being too hard on poor little NBC, SI’s Alan Muir leaps to their defence thusly:

“Just don't make out NBC as the villain here. While they could have held out for the extra 20 minutes, their position is defensible. After all, the Peacock Network pays a hefty sum for the rights to the highly rated Preakness. They simply share ad revenue for the rights to NHL games, and since there are no TV timeouts in OT, that's not a tough decision to make.

No, this one falls squarely on the sagging shoulders of the NHL. Instead of saving Saturday nights for Hockey Night In Canada, they've bent over backwards to provide NBC with the games it wants at the times it wants. And in giving NBC this game at this time with the hard deadline of the Preakness staring them in the face, they made the wrong decision.”

Other than the obvious question of why a two minute horse race needs a ninety minute lead-up, this raises some interesting points worth consideration. Namely:

1) Enraging loyal viewers is okay, because those loyal viewers aren’t buying enough toothpaste and dog food to make it worth NBC’s trouble to actually televise, you know, an entire sporting event, even when the League changed the timing of that event to suit NBC’s preference.

2) “Hard deadline”…for the pre-race?? Apparently, the good folks who control horse racing are quite insistent dat da coverage will commence at da time dey says so. Capice? Udderwise, somebody could get hoit.

3) We were completely unaware of the CBC’s covert plan to take over American airwaves and offer HNIC to our neighbours to the South. You GO Peter Mansbridge!

4) All of this is the Maple Leafs fault, naturally.

Pulling pucks for ponies. [SI.com]
ESPN Trots Out The Barbaro Crazies Again [Deadspin]

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