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Sunday, September 30, 2007

The HD Corner - Season Opener in London

Thoughts from the O2 Arena in London (aka my TV in my living room)...

The 07-08 hockey seaon is now officially upon us. Although it was a bit of an early wake up Saturday morning (11am central) to catch the first game from London, it was still thoroughly enjoyable. As usual, CBC's coverage was second to none with its crisp HD feed, along with the always solid Jim Hughson manning the mike. Although he looooooves the Canucks, which is always quite evident on his Sporstnet Pacific broadcasts, Hughson always brings his best effort to the table (I think it has something to with a comfort level from all the years being the play-by-play on EA Sport's NHL series). Greg Millen is OK too, just sometimes really annoying as I've eluded to in previous posts. After a half hour delay due to poor lighting at the O2 Arena, and Ron MacLean, Craig Simpson, and Cassy Campbell painfully killing time, the game finally got underway without a hitch.

After searching around for Sunday's game, and nearly having a conniption that it possibly wasn't being shown, I finally discovered it being broadcast on the NHL Network. Although the sound was brutal and the standard-def picture looked so bad that I thought my contacts were in backwards, strategically, it was a good idea to air the second game on the NHL Network. There is a free preview of the NHL Network until November for digital subscribers, and it's a great way to create some hype and viewership. The only drawback is that it obviously doesn't have the same reach as CBC, but it still seems like a great plan to create urgency for viewers to order the channel for the season if people like what they see. And how could they not - the icing on the cake is that Paul Rominuk and Gary Green were at the helm for the game! Yes! The hockey Gods have spoken.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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