By Ellen Chlumecky
Hockey has never been the most important or popular sport in the United States. While all leagues of hockey have their large fan bases, but the NHL, college hockey, high school hockey, and youth leagues are still barely making the top of the list for most popular sport in the United States.
While hockey is still barely at the top of the list, they have been making head way in the past couple years. As I previously stated in an earlier article, the 2014 NHL season has started to make a huge splash in different media outlets other than just the NHL Network. While ESPN still rarely shows hockey video clips, NBC Sports Network has been devoted to showing hockey games even more than any other network in the United States.
The most recent addition to the NBC Sports Network family is NCAA college hockey. Last year, NBCSN only showed the NCAA Frozen Four, which is the championship, and a few games here and there. While very important to all college hockey programs to make this huge step, the championships are only just one important part of the season. Which is why it is such a big deal that NBCSN is now showing college hockey regularly now. While so far they have only shown Boston College and Notre Dame, two of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division I, but for them to regularly start showing college hockey games is something that was unimaginable a couple of years ago. A couple of years ago, the only way you could go see some college hockey games was to attend the game in person or if you lived locally you might be able to catch the game on a local sports television show. For the college hockey programs across the United States this is a huge step especially when college football and basketball tend to take a lead when it comes to ESPN and other larger sports networks.
I am not saying that the NBCSN has perfected the spread of college hockey yet. NBC Sports Network has still yet to add a college hockey tab to their website. While they do still have college hockey clips to watch on their website, they are far from making it a big deal. The college hockey season is only about ten games in so I believe that NBCSN can blow college hockey up and make hockey a true contender in that list and a game that people are excited to watch.