NBC is trying to make a name for itself as a sports entity, and it’s going to make waves in the vastly loyal hockey community when it airs coverage of opening night next Saturday. Never in the 50 year broadcasting history of the NHL have two games been shown on the same major network on consecutive days.
The NHL will be airing two games simultaneously on the NBC Sports Network at 3pm ET, when the puck officially drops on the season next Saturday. It was long rumored that NBC would kick off their NHL season coverage with the Penguins-Flyers matchup, but after shifting around some scheduling, the NHL will rule the peacock’s sports network.
Both the Penguins-Flyers and Blackhawks-Kings game will air at the same time with logic suggesting that NBC will split the country into east-west viewing areas. NBC could even entertain the idea of adding a third game, the New York Rangers game, to fully satisfy each major viewing section of the country (Los Angeles, New York and Chicago).
That following day, on Sunday, the Flyers will take on the Buffalo Sabers in a game that is likely going to be nationally televised. Both Philadelphia and Buffalo make up major markets for NHL television revenue.
The 20th also marks the first official day that NBC Sports Network will be rolling out complete and total coverage of the NHL.
Fans have had to endure a rough lockout that has cheated their season down to just 42 games, but with the NBC Sports Network actually holding it’s own (and the rights to the NHL), hockey fans will be getting more coverage than ever before on a major network. The hard times are behind us and hockey is finally coming back, hopefully better than ever.