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Stanley Cup Finals: No local radio, Game One TV ratings down and DirectTV has problems

I was driving Wednesday night and tried to get Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals on my car radio. I checked with all three sports channels in town and heard sports talk about the Buffalo Bills, the NBA finals that begin tonight and automobile racing.

No game.

I emailed Greg Ried, the general manager of all Entercom stations, including WGR and ESPN 1520, about it and he explained “as far as I know there is no network broadcast. I’ll check.”

Sure enough, it looks like the finals between Chicago and Tampa Bay are only being carried by SiriusXM satellite radio.

That is a serious mistake by the National Hockey League.

When I got home to watch the game on TV, my Twitter followers alerted me to multiple problems with NBC’s TV coverage.

DirecTV and Dish customers were complaining that they lost the game at a key moment in the third period of Chicago’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory.

Followers who get Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate, with an over-the-air antenna said they lost the game for awhile, too. Channel 2 confirmed the problem.

And some Time Warner Cable subscribers in certain markets complained that they couldn’t get the CBC coverage. I was able to get CBC via TWC, but the Canadian channel isn’t in high definition on my system so I don’t watch it.

Hopefully, all the problems will be ironed out for Game 2 Saturday.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said this morning that Time Warner and FiOs customers weren't impacted by the station's third period technical problems because Channel 2 is sent directly to them via fiber. He said the satellite services were impacted because they get the station over the air, which was where the problem started.

Game One had a 7.1 rating locally on Channel 2, the NBC affiliate. A year ago when the Los Angeles Kings met the New York Rangers in the finals, Game One had an 8.5 rating here, so the drop is about 20 percent. CBC isn’t rated here.

Back to my radio exploits Wednesday night.

While listening to ESPN 1520, I heard some very entertaining dialogue between a sports talk host and callers about who the Gronkowskis could face off in ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” later this month.

The candidates included the wild and wacky acting Baldwin brothers, the Kardashians, the Mannings of the NFL and “The Goldbergs” featured in the fictional ABC comedy. I’m rooting for the Baldwin brothers.

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