Media Views: Blues second-round playoffs could be televised at least in part on secondary networks ESPNU, TruTV |  St. Louis Blues

Media views: Blues second-round games could be televised on secondary networks | St. Louis Blues

Do you have, or even know, how to access TruTV? ESPNU?

You better be prepared if you want to watch some NHL second-round playoff games — including maybe Blues-Avalanche contests — in their entirety next week.

Blues fans who didn’t attend Game 6 of their team’s victorious playoff series against Minnesota on Thursday night could watch the contest in its entirety on local television station Bally Sports Midwest – the same setup as for all club first-round contests. But that full game coverage isn’t always the case with national networks, which have exclusive coverage for the rest of the Blues’ playoffs. They have double heads most nights and push opening nightcap matchups to the side channels when contests starting earlier go on for a long time.

And this could happen again on the networks (ESPN and TNT) which will broadcast the second round. TNT’s plan is for games starting earlier to remain on the main channel, with the later contest being returned to TruTV. An ESPN spokesperson said the network’s overlap policy has not been finalized, based on the availability of a stream schedule on ESPN2. It should be noted that he used ESPNU in the first round and could do so again.

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This is the first year of the league’s new television contracts after a long spell with NBC/NBCSN. In previous seasons, when games ran concurrently, NBCSN welcomed fans to markets for teams playing in the last drink by moving the first contest to a secondary channel and starting the local club on the mainnet.

But that won’t happen now, at least in some cases. And with no local versions of shows airing after the first round, fans in those markets such as St. Louis will be scrambling to find where those later-starting games air at the start before switching to the “main” channel afterwards. the introductory contest is over.

So, rooters for teams that appear to be on the back end of second-round doubleheaders, like the Blues, would be wise to familiarize themselves in advance as to where TruTV (which broadcasts NCAA tournament basketball games ) and ESPNU are on their carrier – if they have any at all.

According to recent statistics, TruTV has around four million fewer subscribers than TNT. And the gap between ESPNU and ESPN and ESPN2 is 20 million, according to estimates by media research group Kragan.

Not only could the start of the games be on a secondary channel, but a good chunk of it – or even possibly an entire contest – could be there if a kickoff game turns into an ultramarathon. To wit: A Rangers-Penguins first-round triple-overtime game lasted over 4.5 hours and didn’t end until 10:48 p.m. (St. Louis time).

TNT and ESPN officials were not made available for interview.

At first glance, it would seem more logical that TNT’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, offers late-start games on sister network TBS, which is better known than TruTV and has roughly the same number of subscribers as TNT. But TBS has original programming (like Major League Baseball games and the Samantha Bee program) on some nights that it won’t run ahead of, unlike TruTV.

The second round begins Monday with matches on ESPN. TNT has coverage on Tuesday, with the alternate format to continue – ESPN on even dates, TNT on odd dates.

Cruising the Blues in the ratings

Viewership numbers were still being tallied for Game 6 of the Blues-Wild Series, but there was a lot of positivity in the viewing numbers for previous games in the game.

The first five games averaged 153,200 viewers, significantly better than the same point from the Blues’ first-round clashes over the past two seasons. In fact, no contest in those previous two years has done better than the least-watched of the first five games this time around.

The low point this year was 149,000 viewers for Game 2, which the Blues trailed 3-0 at the end of the first period en route to a 6-2 loss in a game that started at 8:45 p.m. and did not end. until almost 11:30 a.m.

The highlight of five contests was for Game 4, and that should come as no surprise. Not only did the Blues win 5-2 in what was a one-goal game until the final two minutes, but it’s telling that it was the only game in the series that started at a “reasonable” time for many. fans.

The opening face-off took place at 3:40 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, unlike the rest of the competitions which all started around 8:45 a.m. This game attracted 236,400 viewers.

The series was tied with the first round of 2019, which averaged 155,600 viewers over five games as the Blues eliminated Winnipeg en route to their only Stanley Cup title.

All of the numbers mentioned above come from tabulated data by Nielsen, which measures viewership, and includes those who watch local and national versions of TV shows.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of viewers chose the Blues-oriented offering. Just over 87% of them watched on Bally Sports Midwest, the rest chose ESPN, TNT or TBS.


Media Views returns May 27.

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