There's something oddly validating about being told you're a hockey market after months of ridicule regarding how Atlanta doesn't deserve a team. Heck, according to the NHL, we're in two hockey markets! The Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes are apparently both in our viewing area, despite the fact that Nashville's a four hour drive and Carolina's a seven hour drive or so. As a refresher to the NHL:
So, since we're apparently double the hockey market we were when we had a team here, we get double the blackouts. The Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators games are so far being blacked out in Atlanta due to the fact that some games will be broadcast on FoxSports South. Not all, just a few. Inexplicably, the NHL is blacking out the games broadcast on Center Ice/Gamecenter Live regardless of if they're being aired in the Atlanta area.
So, to recap - fans in a non-hockey market who are paying almost $180 a year to watch a sport that they can no longer watch at the NHL level in their backyard can't watch teams on TV that they have to drive long distances to attend games for. As a paying customer, I'm miffed. As someone who needs to watch the Blues outside of the St. Louis market, this is disappointing.
So, in summary, Market A loses a team, and Markets B and C want to court Market A's fans. This keeps Market A's fan dollars in the NHL to a degree, which the NHL should want. The NHL is hindering Market B and Market C's ability to completely market to Market A, and in the process is upsetting fans in Market A that despite massive mistrust in the league still would like to continue to consume their product.
Memo to the NHL: Atlanta stopped using different money in 1865. Please, take ours.
I appreciate the confidence boost, NHL, in your believing that we're suddenly a hockey market that can sustain fans for two teams. How about you give us a team here and let's see if we can make it three?
EDIT: According to Brian Greer in the comments, the Nashville Predators have lifted the blackout here in Atlanta. I'm pretty sure that the Hurricanes are aware of the situation, and I wouldn't be shocked to see it resolved soon.
I've been told by the Predators that their portion of this blackout problem has been resolved. Games being televised in Atlanta will be blacked out on Center Ice/GamecenterLive, but all others should be available. Now that we know they are aware of the problem, and do care about it, then we should be able to get help resolving this if any problems continue.
They gave me the same hustle when I won that free version of GameCenter Live online, remember? Then had the nerve to put it in writing that I was getting it for free and should just basically shut-up and be grateful.
How about this, NHL: you're selling a product. Products sell at first based on interest and pizzazz, then on customer satisfaction. You couldn't even woo me on a free-trial version to buy your product, because if I had been paying to not be able to watch the Thrashers (despite not having cable/satellite and therefore outside the so-called "tv market" regardless of location)- I'd be pissed as hell. I prefer to take my money to the local sports bar, thank you very much.
Now that you stripped my team from me, you dare to say that teams that aren't even in Georgia are somehow in-market - I thought we <b>weren't considered a market for hockey</b>?! Are the people running the NHL broadcasts the same people that are running Netflix (which just bailed on Qwikster because everyone complained how stupid it was) ??? NHL fans need to do the same to GCL: BAIL and mock it publicly for being so damned arrogant towards fans.
Utica and Albany are closer to NYC than Buffalo, especially Albany (Buffalo is 4 hours, NYC is 2, yet its in the "Buffalo" market all of the sudden). Its a money ploy. Apparently Bettman and Daly didnt take geography in school.
Try being a Ranger fan in Eastern Upstate NY (Utica, Albany). They think people here are Sabres fans when its the exact OPPOSITE. We've had the Rangers on tv for 40 years and then one day its Sabres (about 5 years ago). Then the NHL has the nerve to tell us that its always been a Sabre market. Right, because you know Upstate NY better than Upstate NYers. Buffalo is WESTERN NY. They tell us to get Center Ice to watch the Rangers, yet that doesnt work because theyre blacked out. Why? Because they black out local feeds, meaning we actually ARE in the Rangers market.
I feel your pain Atlanta. When it comes to the NHL setting TV markets, they dont have a fucking clue.
@MrMotto Wow. That might very well be one of the most ignorant things I've heard the NHL do. I'm guessing they black out Islanders games too?
The marketing department for this league's amazing.
@hildymac it prompted this and a host of people complaining via internet messageboards. a quick google search and youll find a lot of people raising this debate.
@freetouse Damn good question. I headed over to my folks' house because they have DTV and I think that I might maybe be ok there since DTV didn't black out the Preds game last night. If not, then I guess I'll be using FoxyProxy and keeping my fingers crossed that it tricks GCL into thinking I'm not in ATL. This is the only product I know that necessitates you to undertake shady methods to get what you've paid for.
Can't tell you how upset I was last night when I sat down to watch the Predators game. Unbelievable.