ESPN Plus exclusive for Original Six rivalry irks viewers

Normally, a big early game highlighting the Bruins and Rangers would have me excited. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who won’t be watching the classic Original Six rivals do battle at MSG.

Due to ESPN Plus having an exclusive window for tonight’s 7:30 PM game, you must be subscribed to their app to watch. Unless you have a ticket to go see the Rangers take on the number one overall Bruins, it won’t be televised.

This is what the NHL signed up for when they agreed to have ESPN as a partner starting last season. Unlike TNT which airs every game on national TV, ESPN picks and chooses select games to air on their networks.

That also means depending on other sports programming, they will stick games on ESPN Plus. In doing so, it benefits ESPN only. Not fans. The more subscribers to their app, the more money made. It also applies to other sports and pay per views they air including boxing, tennis and UFC. The NBA hasn’t yet suffered the same fate. One day, that could change.

In today’s modern world of technology and streaming games and select shows, the future of television is going to become like the newspaper business. That’s why print copies cost so much more as compared to even a decade ago. Online editions of the paper are easy to access. Now, most publications will charge a monthly fee just to survive.

While some suckers fans will pay up to watch the exclusive content to see their favorite teams on ESPN Plus, a good majority won’t. It feels like they’re being conned. Between how much cable costs and other bills due to inflation, not everyone has the money to watch these games.

It isn’t like you have much choice. But with a pivotal Game Five of a good World Series on for free between the Astros and Phillies along with a busy slate of NHL games including area locals the Devils and Islanders on MSG and MSG Plus, there are plenty of options for viewers.

So, if I opt to check out the surprising first place Devils at the Oilers after 9 EST, excuse me for wanting to see a game that’s on for free. Not on a ridiculous app. I will tune into the radio to listen to some of the game that begins at 7:30 PM. I can also catch the baseball on TV.

There’s also the other absurd streaming with the mind-numbing NFL TNF game between the undefeated Eagles and awful Texans on Amazon. Most of those games have been an eyesore. Who would want to watch a likely blowout anyway?

It really insults fans’ intelligence. It’s about as dishonest as the lousy political campaign lies ads being run repeatedly with the election a few days away. Talk about a nightmare.

So, if you are either at The Garden or do have ESPN Plus, enjoy the game. Many fans won’t be tuning in.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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1 Response to ESPN Plus exclusive for Original Six rivalry irks viewers

  1. hasan4978 says:

    Yeah the idea of you pay for one channel to get all the games, only to have to pay another streaming service to actually get all the games is a little rough. Kind of reminds me how Max Scherzer’s first start for the Mets (against the Nationals) got offloaded to Apple TV+, as well as a Judge game where he was on the cusp of #61. You do have the free preview option for that at least, but only for one week.


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