Leafs TV? How About Caps’ TV?

Cup'pa JoeApprised of Comcast’s commitment to the Caps this week, I turned on Comcast SportsNet the moment I arrived home from work Monday night, and left it there. What I watched over the next four hours stunned me.
I saw new Comcast Caps’ beat reporter Lisa Hillary studio host a season preview alongside Joe Reekie. I saw just about all of Alexander Ovechkin’s first-ever NHL game (I’d forgotten that he was a flubbed breakaway from a hat trick that night). Then I saw JoeB and Craig host another studio half hour, “Caps Speak,” for another team preview. Promos for Comcast’s “SportsNight” that followed promised even more Caps’ coverage.
It was “Monday Night Hockey in Washington,” of course.
Head Coach Glen Hanlon was interviewed in depth by Hillary. GMGM was thoughtfully interviewed, at length, and he provided his customary thoughtful replies. Key personnel — Chris Clark, Olie Kolzig, Tom Poti, Nicklas Backstrom, Michael Nylander — all took turns before Comcast’s cameras. Tarik El Bashir’s segment with Joe and Craig I thought was a highlight of the entire night. (Tarik, true to form, offered a sober and fair assessment amid the rampant optimism engulfing the organization early this autumn. The Caps, he said, could finish anywhere “from sixth to tenth” in the Eastern conference.)
Broadcast Buzz about pro hockey in D.C. these days? Umm, yes — only if you regard all-consuming, single-topic devotion by the local sports television outlet to the city’s red-headed stepchild of pro teams “buzz”-indicating. Apparently it’s going to be like this the remainder of the week each evening on Comcast.
At one point during the prime time proceedings I saw Joe and Craig flash on the screen multiple-screen listings of Caps’ prospects. I saw the names Michal Neuvirth, Simeon Varlamov, Karl Alzner, Joe Finley, Mathieu Perreault, Francois Bouchard, Dave Steckel, and Chris Bourque, all broadcast on an outlet that never in its life held an office fantasy hockey pool. Briefly, it was like a breakout from hockeysfuture, and two DraftGeeks renting out the Comcast studio and making like Wayne and Garth on local cable access.
Wayne, er, JoeB: “Look at all this talent in the pipeline, Dude!”
Garth, er, Craig (head cocked): “Excellent!”
This is what importing one Canuck can do to an outlet!
More seriously, Hillary was hired to bring her NHL coverage experience to Comcast. The in-house hockey talent was significant, if under-appreciated and grossly under-utilized, but had the outlet ever boasted a dedicated reporter on the beat? Next I’m going to allege that coverage decisions like Comcast’s for this week haven’t occurred in a vacuum, and that they’re a harbinger of better coverage to come, print and broadcast, traditional and alternative. To an extent, it’s fashionable, of course: the Caps may not make it to the postseason this year, but they will not be dull.
But of course I’m a subscriber to the theory that a media revolution for this team and its sport is well underway these days, in these parts.
I’m also, at week’s end, when this trial run on Comcast terminates, planning on becoming a subscriber to CapsTV.

This entry was posted in Chris Bourque, Comcast SportsNet, Craig Laughlin, Francois Bouchard, Joe Beninati, Joe Finley, Karl Alzner, Lisa Hillary, Mathieu Perreault, Michal Neuvirth, Morning cup-a-joe, Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Post. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Leafs TV? How About Caps’ TV?

  1. Kurt says:

    Excellent to hear there’s some actual coverage out there this year. I’ve gotten spoiled by MSG over the past few years, but I was always fairly unimpressed by CSN’s off-ice coverage when I returned home. Sounds like there’s more to look forward to this year.

  2. odessasteps says:

    Color me cynical, but I could see the same thing happening for the Wizards in a few weeks. I’m no basketball fan, but the Wiz are projected to be a better team, league wise, than the Caps and have the very media-genic Gilbert as their star. I mean, Steinberg seems to cover every move he makes.

  3. B.ORR4 says:

    With the loss of baseball to MASN, it seems that Comcast is deciding to hitch its wagon to the Caps and Wizards. Of course, the improved outlook for the Caps and the resulting buzz created by blogs and message boards has probably sped up their decision to increase coverage of hockey. Whatever the reason, it’s good to be a hockey fan these days.

  4. littles says:

    It’s Capitals week on Washington Post Live as well …
    Today — Mike Vogel In Studio
    Wednesday — Michael Nylander In Studio
    Thursday — Gary Bettman LIVE from NYC
    Friday — Joe Reekie and Lisa Hillary In Studio, Tarik LIVE from ATL

  5. Caps Nut says:

    Caps TV? Sure why not?
    But, what else are they going to show?
    Remember Ted says, “diverisfy or die.”

  6. odessasteps says:

    vogs and Blog Show on the same day?
    I may have to miss PTI.

  7. norske says:

    I appreciate the additional coverage. I really, really do. Sadly, though, it appears that “Caps TV” doesn’t have enough programming to fill even one week, since apparently they are simply re-running the same versions of “Caps Speak” and “Caps Season Preview” every night this week. Lisa Hillary’s Glen Hanlon interview might have been fine, but I’ve now seen it three times, and won’t be watching it again.

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