On Sunday morning, the National Hockey League announced that after 113 days, the lockout is no more.
Which should be good news for NBC Sports Network, which is heavily invested in NHL coverage, as a means to draw viewership to the channel formerly known as Versus.
And of course, the network owned by the league itself, NHL Network.
Outside of an item on the ticker on the bottom of the screen of both networks, there was no live news coverage at all.
You would think the league-run NHL Network would be taking to the airwaves with bated breath to inform their viewers that hockey is back. Instead, they stuck with rebroadcasts of “every game in Team USA’s path to the gold.” Not an Olympic Gold medal, mind you, but the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. In fact, that NHLN tweet included an unfortunate typo: “Rise & shing,” it started, as opposed to “rise & shine.” Clearly, the NHLN audience did not take a shine to being treated like morons on Sunday morning.
In addition to those replies to NHLN’s tweet, here are others on Twitter complaining about NHLN’s lack of coverage of the end of the lockout:
And being a main cog in NHL’s broadcasting rights, NBCSN is no angel in this, either. Rather than attempt to do a live update, they stuck with their usual staple of Sunday morning hunting shows.
As many have noted, TSN in Canada is airing wall-to-wall coverage of the end of the lockout. As is expected, since the NHL has a huge following up in Canada. The U.S., not so much. But that’s no excuse for leaving your American audiences in the dark – especially if you’re a broadcasting partner of the league.