Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh Big Ten Network - Where Art Thou?

The links have been updated on the left to include the official MSU hockey website, as well as a link to the Spartan Sports Radio Network. If a game isn't on TV, you can go to that link and listen to the radio broadcast with play by play man Scott Moore and color commentary from Rob Woodward.

All TV games are noted on the schedule on the right hand side. Which brings me to a point, the BTN needs to do a much better job covering college hockey. It's a major sport in the Northern U.S. and certainly in the Midwest. No better indication of this is the future Big 10 conference in 2013. So, why isn't the BTN doing more to cover college hockey?

Currently, there are five Big 10 programs (men's). Those five teams played a total of 18 games against each other:

Michigan State - 10 games (4 vs. UM, 4 vs. OSU, 2 vs. Minnesota)
Michigan - 8 games (4 vs. MSU, 4 vs. OSU)
Ohio State - 8 gamess (4 vs. UM, 4 vs. MSU)
Minnesota - 6 games (4 vs. Wisconsin, 2 vs. MSU)
Wisconsin - 4 games (4 vs. Minnesota)

Of those 18 games only 4 ended up on the BTN. In fact, the total number of games each team played on the BTN isn't really that many:

Minnesota - 4 (vs. Notre Dame, St. Cloud State, Wisconsin, and North Dakota)
Wisconsin - 4 (vs. Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State, and RIT)
Ohio State - 1 (vs. Michigan)
Michigan State - 2 (Both vs. Michigan)
Michigan - 3  (vs. OSU, twice vs. MSU)

So, I suppose the point is why aren't they showing more games between Big 10 teams? Is it simply the Fox Sports Network (FS North & FS Detroit)? It seems like the company should be able to negotiate with itself for those games.

Will the Big 10 consider altering the way the teams play games? Could we see more Sunday afternoon games to get it off of Saturday for potentially more TV coverage on the network? Could there be more weeknight games? Or will they stick to the Friday-Saturday that everyone knows?

I also wonder if they are going to ask teams to play non-conference games early on in the year, then back end the schedule with nothing but conference games to help get it away from football. Right now there are too many meaningful games played in October and early November. It'll be interesting to see.

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