The NHL Lockout has left many television networks with available airtime, especially in Canada.
On the American front, The Globe and Mail reported ESPN has decided to televise KHL games with their vacant slots. They will be airing on ESPN3, which is available in approximately "73 million U.S. households."
While TSN has taken the route of televising past Canadian international victories, such as the "1972 Summit Series," Sportsnet will be showing AHL games starting October 13.
Where does that leave CBC?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hockey Night in Canada, if you're a hockey fan, you must know Don Cherry.
If there's any important hockey night to a Canadian fan, it's Saturday night. Check out CBC's montage, which aired prior to the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils.
Yeah, Canadians take their hockey very, very seriously.
Not to mention, Hockey Night in Canada is, let's be honest here, one of the few reasons to tune into CBC. A great piece from The National Post sums up the importance of the NHL on Canadian sports television networks.
For damage control purposes, CBC has introduced "Your Pick," which is explained on their website by HNIC host Ron MacLean.
This seems like a great venture and, not to mention, a great use of social media and online advertising.
The games are to air in HNIC's normal time-slot, while voting is reset every Tuesday on the website provided above. For those die-hard American NHL fans, this could be a great opportunity to get your hockey fix too.
Personally, since this is not a vote for political office, I will share my own vote.
There are four choices in total, and for Saturday, October 20 they include Wayne Gretzky's final game in the NHL and the last game the original Winnipeg Jets played before becoming the Phoenix Coyotes.
Though both seem like a great choice, the Soviet Red Army and the Philadelphia Flyers will be my vote. I have seen all three other games and the description provided gives the hairs on my neck a little bit of exercise.
For all those Canadian fans out there, start voting to enjoy a little bit of NHL history every Saturday night. As for the American fans, CBC executives would love your effort too. It would be wise to broadcast HNIC online as well, but that option is yet to be provided.
It's a win-win situation for hockey fans and all it takes is a couple of clicks, great first step for CBC.
Hopefully the damage control works.
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