Sunday, June 22, 2014

What The H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, NHL?

The National Hockey League releases the 2014-2015 schedule on Sunday afternoon. This is a significant event for hockey fans, particularly those that plan their (nearly) annual hockey road trip. However, I am puzzled by the timing of the NHL's announcement. The NHL should release the schedule at a time when they would get the maximum amount of coverage in the sports world. A summer Sunday afternoon is not that time. Here is what is happening today:

The World Cup. Perhaps you have heard of the planet's biggest sporting event. I guess I should give Commissioner Gary Bettman credit for making the announcement during the Algeria-South Korea game rather than in the middle of the US-Portugal match. Of course, on Sunday evening and Monday, I'm sure that everyone will be discussing the hockey schedule and not America's performance, right?

The NASCAR Toyota-Save Mart 350 race. Actually, nevermind. I don't think there is a lot of overlap between Jimmie Johnson and Jack Johnson fans.

Baseball. Sure, there would be baseball games opposite the NHL's release anytime during the summer, but scheduling the release on Sunday at 4:00 PM Eastern ensures that nearly every baseball team in all time zones will be playing at this time.

Golf. Yes, I looked up the name of the NASCAR race, but I'm too lazy to look up the name of the golf tournament occurring this weekend. The NHL wouldn't have to worry about people watching a golf tournament instead of seeing the schedule if the schedule was announced on a Monday-Wednesday.

It's the first Sunday of the summer! People go outside. There are BBQs and festivals and trips to the playground and simply people being out of their homes and away from the TV. Have the announcement on a weekday night at 8:00 when these things aren't happening (and when the World Cup games are done for the day).

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