No, we're not talking about Hannah Storm. We're talking about tomorrow's Washington-Pittsburgh game on NBC.
The game starts at 1 p.m., which is all fine and good except for one potentially big problem: NBC has the Kentucky Derby starting at 4. According to NBC, should the hockey game go into overtime or simply run past 4 p.m., it will advise American viewers to go to Versus, though NBC affiliates in Washington and Pittsburgh will continue to show hockey until its conclusion. The rest of the NBC stations will start the 90-minute build-up to the Derby.
Odds are it won't happen, but there's no guarantee the NHL won't be given another slap in the face. It happened two years ago when NBC ditched overtime in an Ottawa-Buffalo playoff game for, of all things, the pre-race show for the Preakness. That meant millions -- okay, tens of thousands -- of NHL fans were left out because they didn't have Versus.
The cable channel has grown since then and odds more most die-hard NHL fans in the U.S. have it. But a lot of those who might be curious about this Crosby and Ovechkin thing probably don't.
So what they'll get is: Step right up and see the two most exciting players in the game at least until the horses start sweating.
The NHL should do a better deal than this one. Oh yeah, we forgot. It didn't have any choice if it wanted a big network to carry hockey in the U.S.