We discussed the issue of NBA TV using local broadcasts of playoff games last season. Buried in this USA Today piece, we've learned that this year, NBA TV is going to use its own national crew for the games.
When you have oodles of playoff games in the first round like both the NBA and NHL do, there's bound to be some outsourcing. The NHL Network has done that this year by airing the local Blackhawks feed of their series against the Coyotes in several games so far. The same has been true for the Devils-Panthers series. It doesn't seem to be as highly discussed as the NBA's decision last year, mainly due to the presence of multiple viable NBA announce teams and the homerific calls that featured in last year's playoffs. For fans of those markets, the calls were fine, but for national audiences, they were just plain out of touch. Remember the silence that met this Gary Neal buzzer beater last year? Turner Sports owns NBA TV, and that makes it hard to believe they couldn't scrape together even a D-level announce team for some series that are airing on the network.
I can understand why networks would do this, but at the same time it cheapens the product for fans of teams who don't have their broadcast simulcasted. If I'm a Devils fan, and I'm sitting here listening to the Panthers announcers during the playoffs (and not by choice)... how in the hell do you think I'm going to feel? It's good to see that NBA TV rectified an issue that bothered a lot of people last season, but it would be nice to see the NHL Network follow suit soon.
[H/T: USA Today]