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Old 01-25-2021, 09:21 AM   #8
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia

Originally Posted by dobbles View Post
I'm mixed on this. You guys are right that USA is in more homes. And there is some precedent for sports on USA as they do overflow Olympics and playoffs coverage there. The downside to me though would be losing a channel that is dedicated to sports programming.

I'm not sure they had built much of a dedicated audience though. The win ESPN had 30 years ago was convincing people to just leave ESPN on all day long. To rewatch the same sportcenter 8 times in the background. I know for me, NBCSN was just watched during games and maybe a little bit of postgame. It was not a channel I regularly watched. Even among my hockey fan friends I don't know anyone that really casually watched it. So in a way that minimizes the loss of the dedicated channel and I guess gives them a chance at rebirth and growing the audience.
I doubt there is ever going to be a big following for American nationally televised regular season NHL games. I think they average a few hundred thousand viewers, and that really isn't worth a whole lot of money. I can see USA/NBC paying for one game of the week combined with a portion of the playoffs, and ESPN maybe doing something similar. That combined may lead to a bump in what they are getting now, but more like a 50%-75% bump.

Most American NHL fans just watch their local team. If Peacock or ESPN could somehow get into in-market local streaming, then that's probably where some decent money is. The trick is doing that without cannibalizing or breaching the lucrative RSN deals. It may all fall into place if the majority of American's RSNs go bankrupt this year though.
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