Oiler TV Schedule Favors Eastern/Central Viewers
August 31, 2017, 2:09 PM ET [29 Comments]
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Yesterday the Oilers and Sportsnet released their Broadcast schedule for the year. It was also Guns n Roses day, so I was unable to take the time to properly look over the schedule. Having now spent at least 15 minutes looking at it, I have some thoughts.
Comparing the broadcast schedule to last year, the Oilers did not get any change to the number of National/Regional/Hockey Night in Canada games. The 2017-2018 schedule is exactly the same as 2016-2017 with 37 Nationally Broadcast games/45 Regionally Broadcast games/15 Hockey Night in Canada games (counting Hockey Day in Canada).
There are 11 games starting before 4PM Mountain time this season whereas last year there were only 5, and one of those was the Heritage Classic game. So everyone’s most hated game time has doubled for the Oilers. As you can guess, the games played early in the day benefit the Eastern or Central audiences. I think it’s safe to say that the “McDavid Factor” is playing out in such a way that television viewership of the NHL’s most prized asset is being maxed.
They don’t want the most dynamic player in the NHL getting missed because the game doesn’t start until 10PM Eastern time. McDavid is the future. He is must-watch television for hockey fans. They are going to pump him into US TVs as much as possible.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a better trade-off for the Oilers than fixing the McDavid lottery so Buffalo got him. Ultimately, you just have to take it.