UND Women’s Coach: Many Factors Preventing Women’s Tourney from Being Televised
Women’s hockey has grown significantly in the last couple of years. According to the Globe and Mail, Canada and the U.S. have thousands more females playing hockey than the rest of the world and their federations invest more dollars in women’s hockey than the Europeans and Asians.
While women’s hockey is growing in popularity, the women’s NCAA division I hockey tournament still isn’t on television. That’s a travesty in my opinion.
If you’ve been a fan of women’s hockey, you know that it’s hard to find “any” women’s hockey game on television. To their credit, the University of North Dakota women’s games are occasionally on Midcontinent and Fox College Sports.
Recently, I interviewed UND Women’s hockey coach, Brian Idalski and I asked him if the WCHA has had a conversation about getting more of their women’s games on television.
“We haven’t had a lot of discussions as coaches and the commissioner in that regard,” Idalski said. “I know there’s some talk of creating a web package similar to what the National has created now, and even the WCHA men where they’re having league streaming. But quite honestly, we’ve always had that for our program, so that’s not a huge deal.”
Idalski continued: “The push for TV is great, I think the game has continued to improve. I think the product is getting better and better. The more people that are exposed to it, the more it will grow. A big start to that would be to get our league championship on TV.”
There’s a few issues standing in the way of getting the woman’s NCAA division I college hockey playoffs on television.
“Some of the problems that happen with getting the championship on television for the women is the timing of it,” Idalski said. “There’s a plethora of programming through (March), you have the conference tournaments for the men. You have the national tournament for the men. You have March Madness for basketball that’s done a good job of marketing and promoting that.”
Idalski broke it down further: “You have a couple of options. You move further back, which we can’t do because that goes into the IIHF and the World Championships. So we can’t go any farther back. That means we have to move forward. That means we have to move into February for our championship. That means we have to truncate the season either by a couple of weeks or start a little earlier when we start school in September.”
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