When the playoff schedule for Round 2 first came out for the Canucks/Blackhawks series I was pumped.
The home games for Game 1 and Game 2 in Vancouver start at 6pm PT (8PM CST) which is an hour earlier than our usual start time. Some people in Vancouver complained about the earlier start times. Now I see how if you work in the 'burbs (anywhere you have to cross a bridge to get to Vancouver), get off work at 5pm, it may be impossible to get into the city (and find parking) and be at GM Place in time for the anthem.
But at the same time, it could be worse. Some broadcast rights holders wanted the games EARLIER at 4pm for the weekend games and 5pm for the weeknight games. Fans in Vancouver already had that happen when the Leafs came to play back in November. CBC wanted it to be on HNIC and Leaf fans apparently can't stay up for the late game of the double header for their team so the game was at 4pm PT. Vancouver fans and radio personality of the TEAM 1040 were pissed. Changing local start time because of viewers in the east didn't want to stay up to watch their team did not bode well for people in the west. We don't like realizing that the east has more pull than the west with regards to viewership. Whatever, we got over it.
I'm not against the 6pm PT start and I understand why this works.
1. Games that start at 8pm is a great time for Chicago fans, it is only an hour later than a normal home game start
2. On some nights, it is the only late game on TV, 9pm ET not too late of a start time for people in the East watching CBC or Versus. If there is a quadruple over time that means that you only have to stay up till 3:30am as opposed to 4:30am.
Games in Chicago will be 5pm PT. Yes this time sucks, but I'll get over it. Just need to come up some good excuses for why I have to go home early for Tuesday and Thursday. *cough cough...swine flu?*
So I found it peculiar today after I printed off my tickets for game 5 and wondered why the game STARTS at 7:30pm PT. The Caps/Pens game will be at 4pm PT followed by the Canucks/Blackhawks in the double header. The 2nd game of the double header normally starts at 7pm.
WHY does this one start at 7:30pm?
Will people in the East want to stay up, hear the networks fill the extra 30 mins with analysis and still watch the late game? Why do the networks (CBC and Versus) think this will draw viewers in to watch the late game? Or are they betting on the Caps/Pens game to go to overtime?
I suggested to someone that I think that there will be a PR release sometime after this Saturday's 6pm game with a change in start time for next weeks game. Just a move to 7pm, so that CBC and Versus can offer a double header without a huge space to fill between the games. Someone bet me $20 that this won't happen, I wonder if I should take it?