As first reported by Sports Media Watch, tonight’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoff Quarterfinal between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks could be moved to CNBC if the game runs past 10 p.m. due to Saturday Night Live.
Tonight is the first time ever Saturday Night Live is going live across the country, including the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones. Saturday Night Live has been on a hot run this season, averaging around a 3.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demo as the show has been taking potshots at the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are playing against the Predators in prime-time tonight on NBC, in a game the NHL wanted slotted in.
Chicago’s WMAQ-TV and Nashville’s WSMV would stay with coverage if the game heads to overtime. The game can’t be moved to NBCSN as the network is carrying another Stanley Cup Playoff game.
NBC, NBCSN, and CNBC are all owned by NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast Corp.
NBC execs are trying to avoid a situation that occurred in 2001 when a game in the now-defunct XFL featuring Chicago and Los Angeles went into overtime and pushed the start time of Saturday Night Live back, forcing the show to be taped. The night’s guest host on Saturday Night Live was Jennifer Lopez.
Going back further, NBC was assailed in 1968 when the network cut away from a New York Jets – Oakland Raiders game right at 7 p.m. ET to show the scheduled movie Heidi. Football fans in the Eastern and Central time zones were livid as the network’s switchboards were flooded with angry phone calls. The Jets were leading when the game was cut off, but Oakland scored two quick touchdowns and won the game.
The AFL matchup would later be dubbed “The Heidi Game”.
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