Nashville gets the shaft once again; only 1 national broadcast…

Well, at least it’s at home.

That’s pretty much the only silver lining for the Nashville Predators and their fans as the NHL announced it’s 2010-11 national TV broadcast schedule this afternoon. Per usual, the Preds get the sleight of hand as they get a mere one game on the national stage.

And that one game? Nope, not against the long-time rival, big market, Detroit Red Wings. Nope, not against the high-powered, big market, San Jose Sharks. Nope, not even against the everyone-in-Minnesota-will-drop-what-they’re-doing-and-watch Minnesota Wild. No way. The game we get? Against the lack-luster St. Louis Blues.

Because that’ll draw huge ratings.

See, not only do the Preds want the entire hockey world watching, but we here in Cell Block 303 would like to show off our volume and chants to a nationwide audience. That’s hard to do when the Versus network finds it’s in their best interest to “promote” our team to a nationwide audience on a Wednesday night against a middle-market club that’s one of the worst in the Western Conference. Why not the game against the Red Wings on February 9? Why not the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 21? Why not the game against the Sharks on December 15?

By contrast, the Penguins have 10 games on Versus this year, including two instances where they’ll be on on back-to-back nights! Hell, the Columbus Blue Jackets — yes, the we’ve-never-won-a-playoff-game-in-our-nine-year-history, Columbus Blue Jackets — have two games on Versus. (Three if you count their season opener over in Stockholm, Sweden.)

But that consistent playoff team that plays in Middle Tennessee? Nah, there’s no reason to give them the lime light.

There’s just no excuse. Yes, Nashville is the smallest market of any NHL franchise. Yes, there are no superstars here. But we have the loudest building in the sport, especially against teams like Detroit and San Jose. And, if they’re worried about ratings, Detroit, Pittsburgh and San Jose are massive markets where the viewership would balance out.

The lack of respect for our team is unacceptable. How do they expect to grow the game if they can’t throw a small-market franchise a bone every once in a while?

So thank you, Versus, for giving us a home game. But no thank you, Versus, for giving us the shaft once again.

4 Comments

  1. R.J.

    August 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    It is a bit sad that we’re only getting one game on Versus. But if ESPN came back to do hockey games, would it be any better?

    I’ll be subject to a local blackout anyway, so I’ll be watching the game on FS South. In my opinion, Pete & Terry are better than anyone Versus has to call games…

  2. Predsgirl5

    August 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I disagree with the lack of a superstar – after the Olympics, I’d venture to say that Weber may be considered in that category.

    It does stink that our game is against the stinkin’ Booooooos though …

  3. Patten Fuqua

    August 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    We’re actually the second smallest market. Sorry, Buffalo.

  4. Dave Gutzman

    August 26, 2010 at 5:42 am

    The NHL needs to set up a deal where the first half of the season is set in stone at the beginning of the year. However after the 1/2 way point, the schedule is set on a 1 month ahead basis. This would allow the network to focus in on teams that are in the playoffs hunt. And then when you get to the 3/4 of the season mark, you start scheduling things 2 weeks ahead of time.

    With the technology that is in hand, there is no reason Versus can’t alter their broadcast plans and quickly adjust their broadcast crews from point A to point B in a two week period.