Golf Channel drops the puck

Tonight on Golf Channel, it’s the National Hockey League Stanley Cup playoffs as the New Jersey Red Devils face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning followed by the Anaheim Ducks at the San Jose Sharks!

What in the name of Arnold Palmer is going on?

NBC, which owns an assortment of cable channels including Golf Channel, apparently ran out of cable channels willing to carry its full ledger of NHL playoff games.  So, it’s Golf Channel to the rescue???

I’m not knocking the NHL or the quest for the Stanley Cup, but, seriously, let’s review the number of NBC-owned channels which decided NOT to carry an NHL playoff game tonight:

  1. NBC –  Carrying a drama called “Chicago P.D.” (whatever that is)
  2. USA Network – elected to carry the series “Suits” (whatever that is)
  3. CNBC – opted to carry another episode of “Shark Tank” (an interesting show, but it is seen all the time)

That left NBCSN (the network which carried my favorite Winter Olympic sport, curling) and Golf Channel to handle tonight’s hockey playoff games.

I will be the first to say that Golf Channel’s Wednesday night pre-tournament golf coverage of the Valero Texas Open from San Antonio would not draw large numbers of golf fans.

On the other hand, it’s sad that playoff hockey was booted down the dial to make way for other mediocre television shows.  If hockey’s television viewership was more robust nationwide, the games surely would have aired on one or more of the most popular NBC channels noted above.

NHL playoff hockey can be exciting to watch, but the game must attract more viewers (and advertisers) in order to take the next step up NBC’s pecking order.

Stay tuned.  Maybe next week Golf Channel will give us the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets against Happy Gilmore, Patrick Reed and the Augusta Green Jackets!