Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thank, Morneau, There's Still Radio!

If any of you are baseball fans you'll know exactly what I'm talking about from the headline above. Yesterday was probably one of the most thrilling MLB one-game playoff games ever but here in B.C. did we get to see it?

Well, it was not on Sportnet Pacific but it was on Sportsnet West...well, at least until 6 p.m. Then the screen went blank. That's because from 6 p.m. Sportsnet West switched to its scheduled broadcast of the Habnots-Lames game. Not that it mattered either way here because, as you know, all NHL hockey games broadcast on Sportsnet channels other than Pacific are blacked out.

Now you'd think since we were in extra innings of a winner-gets-in-the playoffs, loser-goes-home scenario that the game would flip to either Sportsnet Pacific or Ontario (Shaw in their infinite wisdom has axed Sportsnet East off its broadcast band so that was not an option) but nooooooooo!

On Pacific we got McCown's show (something anyone could download later and listen to as a podcast as do we really need to watch radio on TV while the possible last game in the Metrodump was going on?) or on Ontario we got that non-sport called poker or was it ultimate fighting...probably ultimate poker fighting.

My question is: How difficult is it to run a 24-hour sports channel?

Here's what you do: You show sports 24 hours a day. Not highlight shows. Not radio on TV. Not poker. Not MMA. Games. Actual games. This means games until their conclusion (unless you live/lived in Japan meaning until 8:54 pm). And, if a baseball playoff game (it was actually Game 163 of the regular season for each team but let's not get too technical) they cut into some meaningless (sorry, the truth hurts when you have 16 teams in the playoffs out of 30) regular season hockey game, so be it. At the very least replay the game through the graveyard hours so those of us who'd even like to tape it and watch after the fact.

Speaking of which, Sportsnet, how about from the hours of midnight to maybe 6 or 7 a.m. instead of looping Sportsnet Connected endlessly, why not replay the games you showed that day...or even better yet replay the best games of the night before so insomniacs (and taping fiends) could watch something at least somewhat less talking heads. Even as a hockey fan who thinks the regular season is really only there for hockey pools, I'd love to have seen a replay of the Flyers 6-5 OT win over the Caps from last night. Snag the replay rights off TSN or Versus and make us actual sports fans happy for once.

Anyway, thank, Harmon Killebrew, the TEAM was broadcasting the game on the radio, and anyone out here on the Left Coast could listen to the conclusion of one wild game as the Twinkies came out on top of this battle royale with the Tigers.
Your Twins Are Still Alive, Harmon!

Oh, and by the way, given Shaw is broadcasting NHL Centre Ice free through Oct. 24, the Habs-Lames game was on anyway so what good did blacking the screen out do here in B.C?
So thank you, Sportsnet, for the non-coverage of the end of, what may go down as, maybe the greatest one-game "playoff" in MLB history.

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