I haven't used this blog to pontificate about how the DirecTV-Versus stalemate has led to my not being able to watch the titular "Game of the Week" in HD but instead on my computer screen from some internet feed from Australia. The issue is bigger than me, bigger than the Blue Jackets. That, and the Blue Jackets are only on Versus a couple of times this season (thankfully, seeing how lousy we've been playing).
But what they're doing to the Blue Jackets - and hockey fans - on Tuesday night is inexcusable.
The Jackets will be in Minnesota on Tuesday night to take on the slowly improving Wild. To the best of my understanding, there is no television coverage of the game. Not Fox Sports Ohio. Not whatever the broadcast outlet in Minnesota might be (in theory, that would be available through Center Ice). Nope, no coverage beyond the Minnesota arena's security cameras.
Why is this the case? Apparently, Versus put our game on ice.
According to Twitterer bzarcher:
@DarkBlueJacket @leeauer - Its because of the tv contract - Versus has exclusive tv rights for tuesday night games, even if they don't choose to air them.If this is true, and the fact that there's a total blackout on the game leads me to think that it is, how dare Versus do this to NHL fans? What gives them the right to think that the world wants to watch the Pens-Flyers game (sorry, Friendly Pens Fan) instead of, say, CBJ-Wild? OK, the contract that they have with the NHL apparently gives them the right...but my point is that their archaic approach to their broadcast rights is making it that much harder to be an NHL fan. Stupid doesn't begin to describe this behavior.
While I'm at it, why is the NHL permitting Versus to pull this crap? Do they have that little respect for their own entertainment product that they are willing to give nationwide blackout rights to Versus? If they feel compelled to give exclusive date/time rights to Versus, why do they allow any game other than their Game of the Week to be played at the same time? Don't they care about the fans who are hurt by this?
Regardless of whether the NHL continues with Versus in the years ahead or whether they go to another broadcast outlet, they need to correct this. It is so counterproductive for the growth of the league and its fan base...just incredible.
Now, if I'm wrong - Please correct me, and I'll offer a full retraction. I'd enjoy the opportunity...but the game still isn't on TV on Tuesday, and I'll be listening to George and Bob on CD101.