The Regional Sports Networks are the life blood of the NHL on television. When you think of watching your team on tv the majority of games are either or your local Fox Sports Net, Comcast Sportsnet, or Root affiliate. The lockout shortened season was the first year that every NHL games was available on TV to every local market as the Coyotes struck a deal to have every game shown. Instead of going through the categories as the last post did this one will be a little more free form. That has to do with the varying degrees of quality between the different networks.
During my time flipping through games on NHL Gamecenter I have come to the conclusion that the Comcast Sportsnet presentations strike me as my favorite. A large part of that is the production quality seems to be higher on those networks as far as the graphics and game presentation goes.
The announcing quality is also quite varied between the networks. Pretty consistently the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks have gotten the highest marks from the hockey community, although that will probably change now the Sharks have fired Drew Remenda.
My only real complaint across all of the RSN’s is how they handle intermissions. It tends to be an over analysis of highlights sprinkled in with short form interviews with team officials. The interviews I have found extremely enjoyable as a fan as there is realtime feedback on how your team’s leadership interprets their performance (with a healthy amount of sugar-coating sometimes). What I would like to see is for these intermission reports to be able to show highlights from other games. I’m sure there is some sort of contractual reason why this isn’t happening, but imagine watching a football game and the entire halftime is highlights from the game you are watching now and nothing from the rest of hte league.
Other than that, fine job RSN’s, if we were fully reliant on national coverage most of us would see our favorite team less then five times this year.