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Scheduling Conflicts Damage Championship Series

by Jeff Briggs

The culmination of two of the four biggest American team sports, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, are both taking place right now. Neither event plays every day; in fact, both play just three games a week. Now last time I checked, there are seven days in a week, seemingly enough time to never have to have a game from each final on the same day. For whatever reason, the powers that be decided that allowing people to watch both series in their entirety is unacceptable.

Tonight, Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals is on NBC at 8pm. A mere hour later, Game 3 of the NBA Finals airs on ABC. While there are clearly two separate sets of fans that follow the sports, the two leagues are still cannibalizing each other’s audience. Sports fans like to watch championship events. People shouldn’t be forced to choose between either the Stanley Cup or NBA finals. They should be able to watch both, hockey one day and basketball the next.

I don’t know who is to blame for the situation, the networks or the leagues themselves, but however the decision was made, it was stupid. Other sports are able to avoid scheduling conflicts of this type. You don’t see the BCS Championship being played on the same day as a NFL playoff game, nor should you. This could be one of the greatest times in sports, alternating days between two championship series, but instead the NBA and the NHL (and NBC and ABC) have forced us to choose, and in this choice, there is no winner.