Is No Preseason Television Really That Bad?
Posted by Nathan Wells on Monday, September 23, 2013
The hockey preseason does not exist. Well that's not necessarily true, but if you follow the Minnesota Wild on television or the internet equivalent it might as well be not happening. Besides listening on the radio or spending regular season prices at the Xcel Energy Center, there is no other way to follow along. None of the preseason games get broadcast.
That includes tonight's game against perennial preseason rival Columbus.
Minnesota's lack of preseason television is a fact that bugs me. The Wild normally does a good job coverage-wise for the diehards. The team streams most of its prospect scrimmages, has original content on the Wild.com website and even does original programming like "Becoming Wild" (as much as it could be better).
Yet preseason coverage is backwards. No one would know what is going on if the internet at the Xcel Energy Center went out besides Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid's observations. Where else does the game go untelevised with the postgame press conference getting the Wild.com live-stream treatment?
A solid portion of NHL teams broadcast preseason games; especially in the "traditional" markets that the "State of Hockey" likes to position itself as one. At worst, the in-arena jumbotron view gets shown. Even locally the Timberwolves get a preseason game or two while the Wild see FSN+ used to show whatever Fox Sports programming is going on at that moment.
There are plenty of reasons why preseason hockey should be televised in one form or another (storylines, the TV guys can always use practice much like the players, discussions, fans getting a fix), but is not showing this a bad thing? Do other people really want to see preseason hockey? Are the diehards better off not watching exhibition games that don't count? Are there enough of us diehards?
That last one is a big question. I'd like to think there are enough Wild diehards to want to watch a televised preseason game. Honestly, I don't know if there are. Maybe it's just me complaining.
Instead, tonight's preseason game doesn't matter and the thing which could happen during a televised game - Fox Sports North doing a preseason special - happens after whenever the Twins depressingly lose to Justin Verlander.
It's disappointing that Minnesota continues to not televise any preseason games live while marketing itself as a team that retired #1 for the fans. There are always reason to want to be better than other NHL clubs. Comparing the Wild to the other 29 teams comes naturally. At the end of the day, it would be great if Fox Sports North or the Wild themselves broadcast a preseason game or two. Even if I'm alone, it would be great.
And I don't know if passing on televised exhibitions is a bad thing.
Follow First Round Bust on Twitter @FRBHockey. You can also follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate for Minnesota hockey updates and other musings.