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Sabres, MSG should compromise

The Sabres and MSG have to come to some compromise over airing these West Coast games next week and not leave a rabid fan base to radio-only calls -- from substitute announcers that include a Winnipeg-based guy no one in Buffalo has ever heard of. I've been directed to this article in SportsBusiness Journal that came out this week and lists local TV ratings for NHL teams in the U.S. this season. Check out these numbers:

1. BUFFALO 8.87

2. Pittsburgh 6.14

3. Detroit 3.7

4. No one else over 2.3!!!!

Buffalo was NBC's No. 3 market for the Winter Classic behind Detroit and Chicago but I'm floored we are so much further ahead of every American-based team. Except for Pittsburgh and Detroit, MSG's ratings for Sabres game are nearly four times that of the other US markets.

And so they're not going to show four games in a row and be off the air for two weeks? How does that make any sense at all? The Sabres should be on the horn to MSG right now trying to work something out to allow the home-market broadcasts into Buffalo. And I think those ratings show there should NEVER be radio-only games. This isn't the 1970s.

Maybe the Sabres are trying to work on this issue behind the scenes. But I reiterate the piece of basic marketing advice that I said yesterday: If the customers want your product, why would you keep it away from them?

---Mike Harrington

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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