Both Pittsburgh and Detroit had been holding viewing parties inside and outside of their arenas for away games, but those fun times have come to an end. Last week you may have noticed a giant jumbotron screen missing from Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, and today comes word that the NHL told the team to remove it. Via Detroit News....
There will be no "Joe Vision" broadcast of Tuesday night's Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals because NBC would not rescind its exclusive rights to the telecast.Really? Really NBC? You're trying to make the argument that a thousand or so people not watching the game at home would cause a dip in the ratings? Really?!?! That's just idiotic. Ratings in those two cities will still be through the roof because it's a Game Six, and to deny Red Wings fans a chance to witness their team win the Cup in their own arena, is just plain wrong. Hopefully wiser heads prevail, but with the game starting at 8pm tonight, there's not much time to change the decision.
The game will not be shown at Pittsburgh's outdoor plaza either.
At issue is television ratings, and a large crowd at Joe Louis Arena could be hundreds -- if not thousands -- of television sets not tuned in to NBC.
"It is certainly something we wanted to show but were unable to secure the rights," said Steve Violetta, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for the Wings.
NBC representative Brian Walker did not immediately return a phone message for comment, but NHL media relations vice president Frank Brown confirmed the situation while expressing sympathy to Red Wings fans.
"We are very much in tune and very sensitive to the great experience that fans have by coming to a great venue and watching a great hockey game," Brown said. "That said we need to be sensitive to the business end of things and that business is ratings driven."
NBC blocks Joe Vision broadcast of Red Wings-Penguins (Detroit News)