NBC Not Televising NHL During '18 Games In Apparent Response To Olympic Decision
The NHL will "go dark across all NBC platforms" during the '18 PyeongChang Games from Feb. 7-26, according to Larry Brooks of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that the decision should be interpreted as nothing less than NBC "giving a symbolic middle finger" to the NHL for "withholding its players from one of NBC's most important properties." Brooks noted the gap in the schedule "did exist" when NBC Sports released its NHL slate in July, but it had been "assumed the network would announce added games at a later date." That is "certainly the premise under which the NHL was operating." A meeting was "held within the past two weeks in which the network's hockey-dedicated personnel were told NBC would not be televising NHL games during the Olympics." It is unclear when the net informed the NHL of its decision, but the league was "not aware the original schedule had been cast in stone." NBC and NBCSN last season "combined to telecast 20 NHL games over the comparable period" (N.Y. POST, 9/24). NBC Sports in a statement said of possibly scheduling games during the Feb. 7-26 period, "Our agreement with the NHL provides the flexibility to add games to our regular-season schedule for a variety of reasons. However, as of now, there are no changes to the regular-season schedule we announced in July" (THE DAILY).