The Revolution is Being Televised
While we dined on the finest Chinese from Eggroll Express, I was quite stoked to find that ABC was broadcasting game three of the Calgary-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Final. Better yet, the game was in high-definition (HD).
And so began Hockey Night in West Hartford, at least until the General Tso's was finished.
Having never watched a game in HD before, I was amazed. The picture quality was as good as I remember from back in the cafeteria. The picture was stunningly crisp, the puck (as my American fellow viewers noted) was much easier to follow, we could see from end-boards to blue-line, and the general sensation was of being at the game.
It has been said somewhere that sports will be the "killer app" that compels people to upgrade to HD-compatible televisions, and I believe that. I can't imagine that watching Scrubs (the only non-sports show I watch regularly) in HD will be so desirable that I will have to go out and upgrade my set. But watching hockey (and, says Vince, basketball) in HD is an entirely different experience than watching it on plain-ol' TV.
I don't think HD will help hockey ratings as much as some think. A nicer picture might attract some casual viewers, but I think the failure to sell the game at the grassroots level means the NHL will see low ratings in the US for years to come, regardless of HD adoption rates.