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Lack of 100% HD feeds an example of 'Mickey Mouse' NHL management


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#1 OFFLINE   Neely8

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:34 AM

Lack of 100% HD feeds an example of 'Mickey Mouse' NHL management

Dear NHL,

It's the 21st Century.

For many years we've been paying for your NHL Center Ice package.

Thanks for the discount this year, but we’ve got to believe that we’re paying you what it’s worth this year.

The three major North American sports all seem to find a way to deliver the paying customer an HD feed for all of their live events.

In fact, you might note that even fourth and fifth-tier NASCAR events are always offered in HD. On DirecTV we even get HD feeds of multiple matches from major tennis tournaments for free in HD. Yet last year we paid close to $200 for NHLCI and couldn’t even get dozens of games within our local team’s own division in HD.

So why on earth would you offer the sport that benefits most from wide-screen, high definition coverage to premium subscribers frequently in standard definition only?

Another way you’ve managed to devalue the NHL Center Ice package is to black out games shown on your NHL Network to loyal NHL Center Ice subscribers.

It’s bad enough that we have to endure the feed of your choice when the network we wanted to see when we paid for our NHLCI subscription is blacked out. But then we’re forced to put up with those third-rate graphics you use to block the ice shot when the local network feed that you’re so unprofessionally using promotes something local.

How many more times will we miss faceoffs because of sub-par production, courtesy of NHL Network?

How many more times will out-of-market Penguins fans be forced to endure “He scores for a case of TastyCakes” when they’ve been paying to hear Steigy and Errey? Or, even worse, that Trip guy whining in North Carolina? (As New Englanders we can only imagine the less-than-pleasant experience of listening to Jack Edwards call your favorite team’s game while your chosen, paid-for feed is blacked out.)

And we haven’t even mentioned the distorted picture forced upon us by NHL Network, or the extremely-annoying scroll that you’ll never see on the more-professional NFL and MLB Network feeds. (We’d bet that the NBA Network even does a far superior job in comparison, but that’s speculation as we’ve never watched it.)

We’re curious as to why you’re not bothered by the fact that you’re spoiling many viewing experiences for your loyal fans, especially those with a DVR.

Please, please, please join the 21st Century, Mr. Bettman et al.

(P.S.: I have sent similar notes through the NHL web site, where I read that all comments are read and most replied to, but I have never received a response from the NHL, or the NHL Network, ever.)

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#2 OFFLINE   Jersey Girl

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:26 AM

Well said. I'd like to add that even 10th-15th tier events like dog shows, X Games, Cheerleading competitions, Cricket (Cricket!), Team Handball, and other sports hoping to grow their audience would not dream of offering their sport in SD.

Not to mention the fact that the SD provided on the Center Ice channels is arguably the ugliest and most unwatchable version of SD you can find anywhere. It's like watching a game through a glass of water.

Also, I can watch a live soccer match every Saturday night at 2AM from Australia in crystal clear HD...but when there is a Flyer game on the NHL Network I get blacked out here on the Jersey Shore area because somehow the NHL Network blackout area is larger than the Center Ice blackout area.

So, for example, if the Flyers are playing the Bruins and it's telecast on NHL Network, that feed is blacked out for me. The game will also be telecast on NESN, but that will be blacked out here as well, as the league wants me to watch the game on NHL Network!

That problem does not exist for games telecast on Center Ice, because they have a different (correct) blackout area that realizes we are in the NY DMA, not Philadelphia. Which means over a number of years NOBODY at the NHL has taken the time to synch the blackout areas and get them right.

And I also agree about the scrolling at the bottom of the NHL Network telecasts...very intrusive.

#3 OFFLINE   prabs24

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:45 AM

[quote name='Jersey Girl']Well said. I'd like to add that even 10th-15th tier events like dog shows, X Games, Cheerleading competitions, Cricket (Cricket!), Team Handball, and other sports hoping to grow their audience would not dream of offering their sport in SD.

Believe it or not, cricket is the second most watched sport in the world (after soccer). This is because of the HUGE populations in Asia that follow cricket. So, calling cricket a 15th tier sport and equating it with cheerleading is pure ignorance and quite frankly reeks of arrogance

And back on topic, Cricket is offered in HD only on Pay per view. The regular cricket channel on Dish are SD only.

#4 OFFLINE   donalddickerson2005

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

[quote name='prabs24'][quote name='Jersey Girl']Well said. I'd like to add that even 10th-15th tier events like dog shows, X Games, Cheerleading competitions, Cricket (Cricket!), Team Handball, and other sports hoping to grow their audience would not dream of offering their sport in SD.

Believe it or not, cricket is the second most watched sport in the world (after soccer). This is because of the HUGE populations in Asia that follow cricket. So, calling cricket a 15th tier sport and equating it with cheerleading is pure ignorance and quite frankly reeks of arrogance

And back on topic, Cricket is offered in HD only on Pay per view. The regular cricket channel on Dish are SD only.[/QUOTE]
If it wasn't for needing a second dish a would have the cricket ticket. Cricket is an awesome game. But then again I like curling during the Olympics.
NHL needs to also get the HD feed for the nhl teams in Canada games.
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#5 OFFLINE   Jersey Girl

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:26 AM

Believe it or not, cricket is the second most watched sport in the world (after soccer). This is because of the HUGE populations in Asia that follow cricket. So, calling cricket a 15th tier sport and equating it with cheerleading is pure ignorance and quite frankly reeks of arrogance

And back on topic, Cricket is offered in HD only on Pay per view. The regular cricket channel on Dish are SD only.


I'm sorry, I did not mean to disparage cricket in any way...I'm sure it's a wonderful sport for those who watch it.

That said, I'm referring to US television, where I would bet cheerleading/X games/dog shows, etc., all get higher ratings than cricket.

So my post was not meant to be a referendum on cricket...it's about hockey, which while perhaps not comparable to cricket (and certainly not soccer) worldwide, is much more popular in North America...and I agree with the OP, all games should be available in HD.

#6 OFFLINE   Neely8

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:20 PM

Not to mention the fact that the SD provided on the Center Ice channels is arguably the ugliest and most unwatchable version of SD you can find anywhere. It's like watching a game through a glass of water.


Agreed. Watching the Ottawa at Montreal game last night was the most disappointing viewing experience I've ever had on a so-called premium service. The NHL sure knows how to make themselves look second-rate.

#7 OFFLINE   steve_launch

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:58 PM

For those that are interested, there's a similar thread going on over in the DirecTV programming forum. The answer is a complicated one involving responsibility both on the NHL and the individual service providers...

#8 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:05 PM

In the OP, I would have also added a sentence suggesting adding a Game Center sub to those who also already sub to NHL CI.
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