The last time we brought up this issue it was when John Saunders and Bill Walton were covering the FIBA Basketball Championships from Bristol. While I didn’t agree with the practice it sort of made sense because the Championships were ALL THE WAY in Las Vegas.
Well CSTV decided to cover the sold out Cornell-Boston U. hockey game at Madison Square Garden in similar fashion. The only problem, their studio is less than a mile down the road….
In particular, the game Saturday was televised, but was done so using the in-house MSG video feed. The regular broadcasters, Matt McConnell and Dave Starman, were not at the event, but rather called the game off video monitors from CSTV’s studios about a half-mile away from the Garden.
Clearly, budgetary concerns are at play. Advertising revenue has not been there for CSTV. And when CBS bought the network almost two years ago, it was unwilling to continue absorbing those losses. As a result, hockey has gone from the network’s signature sport, to a somewhat lesser role.
This is obviously not a new practice, but what struck me is the amount of money the network saved. CSTV pocketed tens of thousands of dollars by not making the trek down to the Garden. This obviously stinks for Hockey fans and the teams involved, but in the end it makes sense for a struggling Network under the CBS umbrella.