For a long, long, long time, I have been saying that one of the biggest hurdles for the NHL to clear is getting every game of every team televised on mainstream television in that team's local market. In some markets, that isn't a problem. All three teams in the New York metro area, Buffalo, Dallas, Colorado, Toronto, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Boston are all regulars on that list. Teams like Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, the California clubs, every other team in Canada (who moved away from a pay-per-view service) and the teams in Florida have also started to bring full TV schedules to the table.
There are still, however, some markets -- mostly in the sun belt -- that have been unable to do this, for one reason or another. A Canes Country interview with Hurricanes play-by-play man John Forslund way back in 2008 shed some light on one of the problems you might not even think of when it came to televising every game in markets such as Raleigh:
Would I like to see every game televised and would the fans? Absolutely. But unfortunately our carrier is based in Atlanta, with I think, more properties than any other FSN region in the country. They have the Predators, the Thrashers, the Hurricanes, the Bobcats, the Hawks, the Grizzlies, and the Atlanta Braves. We're fragmented because of that. Then you have all the college sports.
What needs to happen here someday, is that FSN, or actually, FS Carolina, as it will be called this year, they are going to brand it. But it doesn't necessarily mean that it's coming out of the Carolinas. They need to have a bureau here, they need to have a region here, so that the day when there will be more games broadcast can finally come. While 65 games is better than 55 and gets us close to the league average, or maybe even a bit above league average, the goal would be to get to 75 games and have the rest picked up nationally. Maybe someday we can get there.
Carolina, Phoenix and Nashville remained the league's stragglers in terms of televised games last season. The Hurricanes had 74, the Predators had 70. Both of those were new records for those franchises. The Coyotes had 69, which I believe is up from some years, but down from some of the team's earlier years in Phoenix.
In other years, this would be a post containing every team's television schedule and number of games televised. This year, however, gives us a 48-game schedule, making televising every game look downright easy, if not logical. 29 of the National Hockey League's 30 franchises will televise every game locally, via a regional sports network or national broadcasters. The lone holdout? Those darn Phoenix Coyotes, who will not show a game in Edmonton on Apr. 10 over Fox Sports Arizona. Kind of a shame, because that's likely an entertaining game with the exciting young Oilers, but 719 out of 720 games being carried on television in every local market... not bad, considering the time they had to get the schedule and the production together.