Wisconsin (17-12-7, 13-8-7 WCHA) earned the WCHA's fourth seed and opens up the first round of the playoffs this weekend at home vs. Minnesota-Duluth (14-17-5, 10-13-5 WCHA) for the first time in the past three seasons.
Unfortunately for Badgers fans, no one with any power in the decision-making process apparently cares.
The only game being televised this weekend is Saturday's contest, which will be shown on the Wisconsin Channel with Robb Vogel and Theran Welsh calling the action.
The Wisconsin Channel is carried over-the-air, and on some cable packages around the state. I do not believe it is carried on Dish Network or DirectTV.
Friday, and potentially Sunday's contests will be shown on web stream only on UWBadgers.com for a fee. There will also be a free stream of Saturday's contest running concurrently on wpt.org.
And people wonder why fan interest in the Wisconsin hockey program is waning? Just three seasons ago when the Badgers hosted Minnesota State in a playoff series, both games were shown on FS Wisconsin. Now Badgers fans have the Wisconsin Channel and web stream options only?
Is there another program in the country that claims to be as high profile as the Wisconsin hockey program, yet can't secure television rights for a first-round playoff series? What a joke.
At WORST case, if you can't get a real TV deal done on a station people actually get, at least stream the games for free.
Even the local Duluth TV station My9 is picking up the feed to carry all three games on local TV for Bulldogs fans. I'm sure it's just the in-house jumbotron feed, but at least they are trying.
I know there are a lot of people at the university who work hard, and I'm sure they tried to get something worked out this weekend -- at least, I hope. I also understand the television stations are the ones who make the final decisions on these things.
That said, man, this seems like yet another slap in the face to Wisconsin hockey fans.
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