NHL's US broadcast schedule boasts the haves, and not the have-nots

As has become typical in recent years, the schedule for the NHL's national broadcast partners (NBC, Versus/NBC Sports, and NHL Network) features a familiar lineup, consisting of a few teams in major markets getting the bulk of the exposure, while teams in smaller, mostly non-traditional markets remain an afterthought.

The Nashville Predators, for example, will show up just twice on Versus, and once on the NHL Network, while teams like the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins will each receive 10 times that level of national coverage.

So follow after the jump for a graphical view of just how dominant the chosen few really are...

This graph was built off the press release information found at Puck The Media, showing the number of times each US team will be featured on each of the three national US broadcast outlets:

What we see here is that 8 teams get at least 19 broadcasts (the Rangers, Bruins, Penguins, Capitals, Flyers, Red Wings, Lightning and Blackhawks), with most of the rest ranging between 8 and 13. Way over on the right of this chart you can see the neglected teams, with the Coyotes, Predators, Islanders, Blue Jackets and Panthers combining for fewer games (12) than the Buffalo Sabres (13).

I understand why you want big-market teams like the Rangers and Flyers showing up often, and big stars like Crosby, Ovechkin and Stamkos leading their teams to prominent spots as well. It would seem that the opposite end of those matchups could feature some of the lesser-known teams a little more often, however.

I've published a Google Spreadsheet with the detailed listing, in case you're curious. I didn't include the 7 Canadian teams because the detailed listing in the press release didn't reflect their presence on the US broadcasts.

So what do you think? Are you frustrated by the lack of coverage for your favorite team, or is this much ado about nothing?

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