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A Brief Observation about ’10-’11 Coverage October 8, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

I did a quick breakdown of which Capitals games are going to be televised nationally. The raw schedule is on the Caps’ website, but for those who want a bit more of a general look, here goes.

47 of the Caps’ 82 games are going to be on national TV, somewhere. The Caps have 16 games which will be shown nationally in the US only, 14 games which will be shown nationally only in Canada, and another 17 games which will be shown in both countries. So, US audiences will get 33 looks at the Caps, while Canada will get 31. That does not include Center Ice, by the way.

Does that sound like a lot? Well, it is. Carolina will be on national TV, somewhere, a scant 16 times (and won’t be televised AT ALL some nights.) The Blues, 14 “somewhere” games TOTAL. The Sabres, 24. The Bruins, 36. What’s surprising about that, is that Boston is in the Northeast, and so is going to end up drawing a lot of Canadian coverage on its division schedule. And they’re STILL not getting as much national coverage as the Caps. The Rangers, 31. (And why they’re blacking out their game against the Islanders on 12/3 is beyond me.) The Islanders, 15 (and none of it in March.) The Flyers–THE DEFENDING EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS, FOR PITY’S SAKE–are only going to get 35 games on national television, against the Caps’ 47. The Penguins, 43. While I’m at it, the Blackhawks–THE DEFENDING STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS–43. And don’t forget, they’ve got games on WGN which are national, as well. The Red Wings, 32.

Caps fans, you are reading that right: the Capitals are getting more national television coverage this year than the LAST FOUR STANLEY CUP FINALISTS. Hope you’re all ready for your close-ups, because you’re going to get a lot of them this year.

I won’t take this as some hockey media complex vote of confidence for this team. The Caps play an entertaining style of hockey; they’re fun to watch; and so they’re naturally going to draw coverage from media outlets who have airtime to fill and sponsors that want a lot of eyeballs. This level of coverage, to me, is only a reflection of the entertainment value of the team, and nothing more. I’d like to believe that this is merely the media trying to be in on as much of the Caps’ first Stanley Cup championship as it can get, but I’m not that naive, or so I’d like to think. The Caps play entertaining hockey, people like to watch, and that’s that.

That said, if you’re at a Caps game this year, home or away, you’re more likely than not to be within range of a camera on somebody’s national feed. So, those of us at Verizon Center this year have a charge to keep: we need to show the entire hockey world that we’re the best (and loudest!) fans in the NHL.

We’ll get our first chance to do that this Saturday night. It’s time.




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