Word today that Hockey Night In Canada’s coverage of Edmonton Oiler games will be lower this season is causing some heartache. One question: Why?
The article I linked to is an interesting item. Yasmin Jaswal writes "the broadcast company will only show 13 of the Edmonton Oilers’ 82 games, the second-lowest number of games of any Canadian team." I’m not certain it’s a bad thing. In the last several years, HNIC’s quality of coverage has flagged at the same time coverage by Rogers and tsn has improved. The local Sportsnet broadcast is (in my opinion) much improved in the last year or so, and tsn is at this point the industry standard.
CBC’s top play by play broadcasters do the eastern games or the Vancouver games; the HNIC broadcasts are focused on the Leafs early game to the point where time overruns impact the western game (Jari Kurri’s retirement ceremony didn’t hit the airwaves because of the Toronto wrap up a few years ago); the quality of between-period content is lukewarm at best and the CBC is apparently more interested in loud and proud as opposed to informative and entertaining.
I’ve been watching HNIC games since the late 1960’s, and it’s with more than a little sadness that I suggest Oiler fans should be pleased that Rogers and tsn have more games.