ESPN: The World Wide Leader In Everything That’s Not Hockey

Blanket coverage of Major League Baseball, with multiple games per week, divisional series playoff games, and a featured Sunday night game.
Blanket coverage of the National Football League, including Monday Night Football.
Blanket coverage of the National Basketball Association, with multiple games per week, half of the first three rounds of the playoffs (split with TNT), and the finals on ABC.
Major League Soccer, including a match of the week on ESPN, and the MLS Cup on ABC.
Coming next season, NASCAR, including all ten "Chase For The Championship" races.
Coming next season, the Indy Racing League.
Coming next season, The Champ Car World Series.

And, of course, such "athletic" endeavors as Texas Hold'em, darts, Scrabble, hot dog gorging contests, and Stump The Schwab.

Today, ESPN announced a rights deal and minority ownership stake in the Arena Football League, with:

  • The season opener on ABC (2 regional games)
  • A Monday night game of the week on ESPN2
  • Three of the four wild-card playoff games, with an option for the fourth, on ESPN and ESPN2
  • Three of the four divisional round playoff games, with an option for the fourth, on ESPN and ESPN2
  • Both conference finals, on ESPN and ESPN2
  • The Arena Bowl on ABC

Meanwhile, during the USC-Notre Dame game on ABC a few weeks ago, they didn't put any NHL scores on the ticker! Instead, we got promos for a lame William Shatner-hosted game show that was canceled after two weeks.

The NHL's rights agreements with Versus and NBC are up at the end of the 07-08 season. I hope ESPN's top brass are ready to have hockey fans up their butts until then. We've been slighted by the World (Excluding Canada) Wide Leader too often before. We shouldn't have to scream bloody murder just to maintain a minimal level of respect.

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