Here is the (literal) 2 billion dollar question, will the new NHL television deal help boost their viability, or will sports trivia writers have to revise their questions with, “Of the 3 Major Sports Leagues in North America, plus hockey…”?
The two most frequently asked questions are: (1) What the heck is a ‘Versus‘ network; and (2) what channel is that? I call bullshit on both. Why is the ‘CW‘ called the ‘CW when they play no country & western? Does the “M” in ‘MTV‘ still stand for music? (Really? Really?! You sure?!? Oh, come ON!!!) My point is that you shouldn’t care that it was once called the Outdoor Life Network (OLN). Just be grateful that it is easy to remember, and it’s a name that isn’t easily confused with the rest of the alphabet soup of digital cable networks. In regards to finding the channel number: I know so many people who can’t find first tier networks on their satellite provider, regular and in HD. Plus, I highly recommend using the “favorites” option on the remote.
The bottom line is that both NBC and Versus desperately want to establish themselves as sports networks. Since the soon-to-be-locked-out NFL & NBA are already in long-term contracts, and baseball is fading faster from the country’s collective psyche faster than hockey, the NHL will have to do. It is an exciting sport that almost translates well to TV. And I know you all aren’t going to turn to the MLS or WNBA.
UPDATE: Quick scores, broken down by segment, of episode 2 of “Sports Show with Norm MacDonald” : Opening monologue = A+; taped segment of Nephew Kyle = C-; Norm’s reaction to sed bit = A-; tweets = C+; ‘What the H’ = B; Garbage Time = A-. Overall = B+. No sophomore slump here. Still hasn’t hit it stride yet, so I expect it to improve.