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Same teams always on national TV?


Bob5151

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I am admittedly a casual sports fan and not nearly as knowledgeable as you guys, and I'm curious to hear what you guys think.

 

I follow all the Philadelphia sports teams, and I see the other teams around the league when they are on national TV (NBC Wednesday nights for hockey, Sunday/Monday Night Football, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, ect). I don't care enough to pay for the extra sports packages, but this does irritate me a little.

 

It seems like there are always the same handful of teams on tv. 

 

Baseball:

 

Yankees

Red Sox

Cubs

Cardinals

Giants

Dodgers

 

Hockey:

 

Blackhawks

Capitals

Rangers

Penguins

Flyers

Bruins

 

Football:

 

Giants

Eagles

Cowboys

Bears

Packers

 

I don't follow basketball enough to comment.

 

I understand that these teams have the largest national following and are generally competitive, and TV networks are going to show the most popular teams, but does anyone else get tired of watching a different combination of the same teams over and over?

 

I used to really like ending my weekend with Sunday Night Baseball, until I got tired of seeing the Cubs at the Cardinals yet again. How about Mariners and Angels once in a while? Same with football and hockey. This isn't really a rant or complaint; I know I can order the league tv packages in 30 seconds if I really cared enough, but I was just wondering if I was alone in feeling like this.

 

 

 

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Either be a team that has a storied history, or be a good team for a relatively long time, those are the ways to get on national T.V.

 

The Bucs finally got to be on Sunday Night Football after an 8 year absence, they had to earn it (granted, it also helped that they played the Cowboys, which we all now how much NBC loves the 'boys and the whole NFC East).

 

Some teams will almost always get a primetime game, even if they're bad (Yankees, Lakers, etc.).

 

Besides, with so many ways to watch games that aren't in primetime or your regional area, I don't really think it matters much.

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9 hours ago, Bob5151 said:

I am admittedly a casual sports fan and not nearly as knowledgeable as you guys, and I'm curious to hear what you guys think.

 

I follow all the Philadelphia sports teams, and I see the other teams around the league when they are on national TV (NBC Wednesday nights for hockey, Sunday/Monday Night Football, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, ect). I don't care enough to pay for the extra sports packages, but this does irritate me a little.

 

It seems like there are always the same handful of teams on tv. 

 

Baseball:

 

Yankees

Red Sox

Cubs

Cardinals

Giants

Dodgers

 

Hockey:

 

Blackhawks

Capitals

Rangers

Penguins

Flyers

Bruins

 

Football:

 

Giants

Eagles

Cowboys

Bears

Packers

 

I don't follow basketball enough to comment.

 

I understand that these teams have the largest national following and are generally competitive, and TV networks are going to show the most popular teams, but does anyone else get tired of watching a different combination of the same teams over and over?

 

I used to really like ending my weekend with Sunday Night Baseball, until I got tired of seeing the Cubs at the Cardinals yet again. How about Mariners and Angels once in a while? Same with football and hockey. This isn't really a rant or complaint; I know I can order the league tv packages in 30 seconds if I really cared enough, but I was just wondering if I was alone in feeling like this.

 

 

 

Basketball:

Lakers

Warriors

Cavaliers

Knicks

Bulls

Thunder

Rockets

Spurs

The NBA is probably the worst league out of all of them. The last time the Magic were on national TV... was 2013 vs the Thunder. 2013!! And before that, 2011 playoffs vs the Hawks.

 

MLS:

Orlando City (although I still watch the local coverage)

NYCFC

LA Galaxy

Sporting KC

FC Dallas

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I disagree that the NBA is the worst when it comes to national TV schedules. Just last night, the Wizards and Timberwolves were on TNT. The Bucks have been on TNT and ESPN. So have the Jazz and the Kings. Even the Sixers have had multiple national games. The networks do have a love affair with the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls no matter how badly they suck, but they're good about giving as many teams their time in the spotlight as possible.

 

The MLB is easily the worst. I feel like ESPN only ever shows games that feature at least one of the Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals and/or Cubs.

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16 minutes ago, Lights Out said:

I disagree that the NBA is the worst when it comes to national TV schedules. Just last night, the Wizards and Timberwolves were on TNT. The Bucks have been on TNT and ESPN. So have the Jazz and the Kings. Even the Sixers have had multiple national games. The networks do have a love affair with the Knicks, Lakers and Bulls no matter how badly they suck, but they're good about giving as many teams their time in the spotlight as possible.

 

The MLB is easily the worst. I feel like ESPN only ever shows games that feature at least one of the Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals and/or Cubs.

Clippers, who should have had Paul and Griffin (star power).

 

I tend to agree that MLB is worse than the NBA or NFL.  NHL isn't great either.  

I hate to say it but it almost makes sense for MLB.  Regular-season MLB games are a tough sell to neutral fans.  So Pirates/Reds or Twins/Rangers is going to appeal only to the most hard-core (or bored) of neutral fans.  I know a lot of us around the country don't care about Yankees/Sox (I am really sick of it) but they pull in haters as well as their national following.

 

NFL is the best because FOOTBALL!  It's got a pretty distinct advantage in that it's the league for which so many fans will just watch it when it's on.  I know that's being tested, as evidenced by the Thursday mess and reduced ratings, but I still think it holds true more than in the other sports, anyway.  Also, while we love top-flight QBs, it's the least star-dependant...we view these padded/helmeted warriors almost as robots.

 

NBA may not be the NBA of 15 years ago (all the calls going to stars, all the focus on stars and big markets) but there certainly is a bent toward highlighting stars. However, putting teams like the Bucks on TV could be an indication of trying to expand the base of who is a star...it's not just Steph and LeBron...(long Greek name) is up-and-coming and it's nice to see him getting noticed.

 

A lot of you watch so much hockey that I am sure someone will correct me...I pretty much just catch some Wild games.  But I feel like, in the US, national NHL coverage kinda needs Ovechkin, Crosby, the Rangers or the Blackhawks.  Then some later-night west coast stuff involving the Sharks and/or Kings.  

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4 minutes ago, Lights Out said:

The Wizards were playing in the early game against the Knicks.

gotcha...I was thinking you meant "Wizards vs. Wolves."

 

I was also thinking "wait he's a Clipper fan, how'd he miss that?"  I should have thought that through. :)

 

Of course, the Wizards and Timberwolves played teams from the two largest markets...but even I understand that you can't show Wolves/Wizards on national TV.

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Personally, I feel like hockey and football are at the very least on par with baseball, if not worse, when it comes to primetime games.  I swear it feels like there's an NFC East team on primetime every other week.  And with hockey, it seems like the Hawks, Rangers, and Penguins are always on NBCSN

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12 hours ago, Bob5151 said:

 

Bears

 

 

 

The Bears, despite going 22-42 since 2013, are always getting booked in primetime games based on their market alone, really.  Strangely enough the Bears are 9-7 in primetime games since Lovie Smith was fired.

 

Since 2013 the Bears have won some tight games (average margin of victory ~8.9 points), whereas when they lose?  They get their asses kicked (average margin of defeat of ~22.3 points).

 

 

Some may recall fondly the 2013 Eagles 54-11 blowout where LeSean McCoy pantsed the Bears with aplomb.  Others may vividly remember the "Trestman Lost His Job" game the following season where the Packers were up 42-0 at halftime.

 

After two close primetime wins in year 1 of the John Fox era, the Bears settled down in 2016 after getting irrationally scheduled for 5 primetime games, losing 4 of them - all of them by at least two touchdowns.

 

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Remember that sports are still a business, and putting sports on TV is still a business. TV networks want the most eyeballs possible tuning in so they can justify the prices they charge for ads. Therefore, they want to show games featuring teams that are either good or popular enough that it doesn't matter if they are good -- irritating as that may be when those wind up being the same teams over and over again.

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it's a catch-22.  NHL ratings are comparatively low, even the major teams.  If you want to see the NHL on a major network, they have to try and get every last ratings point out of it for it to make any sense.  So it's either NY, PHI, PIT, CHI, DET, and a few others, or nothing.  For the NHL, which needs all the exposure it can get, anything is better than nothing.

 

What they should do is broker some deals to move superstar players to the major market teams, like they did with Gretzky back in the day.  I'm certainly NOT advocating for that from a fan's perspective, but if I was Gary Bettman, I might start meddling just to try and get some more exposure.

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4 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

it's a catch-22.  NHL ratings are comparatively low, even the major teams.  If you want to see the NHL on a major network, they have to try and get every last ratings point out of it for it to make any sense.  So it's either NY, PHI, PIT, CHI, DET, and a few others, or nothing.  For the NHL, which needs all the exposure it can get, anything is better than nothing.

The NHL's on NBC. That's a major network.

 

Quote

What they should do is broker some deals to move superstar players to the major market teams, like they did with Gretzky back in the day.  

Look at the teams you mentioned. New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Detroit. Regular playoff teams. There's marketable talent on the "major market teams." The problem is that the NHL is notoriously bad at marketing their stars. 

The two biggest stars in the last generation played in Pittsburgh and Washington. Two big-market teams. The league did next to nothing with that compared to what the NBA did with LeBron James in both Cleveland and Miami. 

 

Quote

I'm certainly NOT advocating for that from a fan's perspective, but if I was Gary Bettman, I might start meddling just to try and get some more exposure.

Well I'm sure you're advocating it from the perspective of a fan of a team in a major media market ;)

 

The NHL's own inept branding aside (seriously, the league would find a way to squander McDavid in New York)...that's how you kill legitimacy of your league. By actively working to stack certain teams.

 

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The NHL really likes to market its "premier" teams: Chicago, Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, and Washington. Occasionally you'll see the Kings or Ducks, but only if they're playing a team on the East Coast. Those teams are most likely to be seen on weekend national broadcasts, or during the Winter Classic games. How many times have Pittsburgh and Chicago played in those?

 

The NBA has at least three or four national broadcasts a week, plus double and triple headers, so there's a bit more diversity with the chosen teams.

 

Every NFL game is on a national network. But whenever I see a Sunday Night Game, it's more often than not a Giants, Cowboys or Seahawks game. The Patriots have played 2 Sunday night games, I think one was against Arizona, the other Cincinnati. Not even a division game.

 

MLB definitely needs more diversity for Sunday Night Baseball. There are at least 3 Red Sox-Yankees SNB games every year. And with those games always going 4+ hours, it makes for a very long night. They should push them back to at least 7:00. But yeah, it's almost always a Cubs, Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, Giants or Dodgers game.

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I made this breakdown of the NHL on NBC/NBCSN coverage when their schedule was released in July:

 

On 7/21/2016 at 4:18 PM, Still MIGHTY said:

So NBC released it's NHL schedule, and while we didn't learn anything new, there was one fact that stood out to me as an annoyance. They proudly announced that 54 of their 106 NBC/NBCSN broadcasts will feature at least one Western Conference team. Exposure! Yay! While it's no secret about the NBC Seven and that playing in the Eastern time zone is just better for the broadcast time slots, the caveat of "at least one Western Conference team" seemed funny to me. Like they were patting themselves on the back for acknowledging some of the Western Conference exists. So I went for a breakdown of the schedule:

  • 106 Games - Total for the NBC/NBCSN schedule
  • 54 Games - at least one Western Conference team
  • 26 Games - two Western Conference teams
  • 13 Games - two non-Chicago Western Conference teams (Blackhawks are featured 21 times in total, the most again.)
  • 6 Games - two non-Chicago or San Jose Western Conference teams. (a.k.a. The games where they can't just steal the Comcast regional feed)

Also, the first game between two non-Chicago or San Jose Western teams isn't until January 8, when Bruce Boudreau makes his return to Anaheim with the Wild.

 

Again, nothing new, but yes, congrats NBC on featuring at least one Western Conference team in 54 out of 106 games, and at least one Eastern Conference team in 80 of 106.

 

In the spoilers is the full breakdown of appearances:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 


Numbers from Puck Daddy's breakdown. The number in parentheses is last season’s total.

 

PACIFIC DIVISION

Anaheim Ducks: 2 (4)

Arizona Coyotes: 1 (1)

Calgary Flames: 0 (0)

Edmonton Oilers: 0 (1)

Los Angeles Kings: 8 (10)

San Jose Sharks: 11 (11)

Vancouver Canucks: (0) 0

 

CENTRAL DIVISION

Chicago Blackhawks: 21 (21)

Colorado Avalanche: 9 (12)

Dallas Stars: 4 (4)

Minnesota Wild: 12 (12)

Nashville Predators: 2 (4)

St. Louis Blues: 12 (11)

Winnipeg Jets: 0 (0)

 

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Boston Bruins: 17 (12)

Buffalo Sabres: 8 (5)

Detroit Red Wings: 13 (16)

Florida Panthers: 1 (1)

Montreal Canadiens: 4 (6)

Ottawa Senators: 0 (0)

Tampa Bay Lightning: 7 (8)

Toronto Maple Leafs: 1 (1)

 

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Carolina Hurricanes: 1 (1)

Columbus Blue Jackets: 1 (1)

New Jersey Devils: 1 (1)

New York Islanders: 6 (5)

New York Rangers: 15 (13)

Philadelphia Flyers: 20 (18)

Pittsburgh Penguins: 15 (18)

Washington Capitals: 14 (11)
 

 

 

 

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Pretty shocking that they couldn't even get the Oilers on American TV against somebody like the Blackhawks. I think even relatively casual fans know about Connor McDavid, and I don't think it's a hard sell for NBCSN to throw up one "NBC7 vs. Connor McJesus" night. That and the extra helping of Bruins games that they took this year are the big head-scratchers for me. Bruins went from 12 to 17; only the Blackhawks and Flyers have more national games.

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11 minutes ago, Cosmic said:

Pretty shocking that they couldn't even get the Oilers on American TV against somebody like the Blackhawks. I think even relatively casual fans know about Connor McDavid, and I don't think it's a hard sell for NBCSN to throw up one "NBC7 vs. Connor McJesus" night. That and the extra helping of Bruins games that they took this year are the big head-scratchers for me. Bruins went from 12 to 17; only the Blackhawks and Flyers have more national games.

If McDavid's Oilers can reach a few semi-finals/finals, I think they've got a good shot at more exposure.  I'm fairly certain that NBC would be okay promoting the 1 or 1A best player in the world for prime time finals games, no matter where they play.

Apples & bananas, yet I wasn't sure how the Jays' recent playoff appearances would translate for American viewership.  I haven't looked at ratings much but even their one gamer with the O's seemed to get a lot of US eyeballs yes?  That surprised me.

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