Here’s an idea from the Olympics for NBC, and it’s not even hockey-related, it’s NBC-related:
During the Olympics, which NBC had rights to air in the States, the network would broadcast not only on NBC, but CNBC and MSNBC as well (I don’t think USA or any other Universal-owned networks had coverage this past Olympics, but please correct me if they did).
Today’s three NBC games start at 3:30 pm eastern. The games are regional, although most of the country will get Pens-Caps. If you have Center Ice, you can get the other two games on there.
What’s on CNBC at 3:30? Paid programming until 6:30.
There has to be some sort of deal the NHL and NBC can work out to get a bonus game on that network. No, it’s not going to be any sort of ratings monster, but CNBC is on basic cable on many systems and any extra accessible hockey would be good for the league right now, even if a lot of marketing has to be done to let people know it’s there.
One good thing that is being done already: if you have Universal HD, the game of the week is replayed late at night.