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NHL National Cable TV and Broadcast Schedule for January

Like the NBA, the NHL will benefit from fewer NFL broadcasts, picking up ratings steam and interest throughout January and February as the playoff races heat up, the All Star Game happens, and teams who are out of it jettison their good players for draft picks at the trade deadline. The following is the national TV schedule, most games on cable TV but a few on NBC.

Games deserving special attention include the Los Angeles Kings playing the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, January 19 and Tuesday, January 30’s playoff rematch between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.

Mon., Jan. 1 N.Y. Rangers Buffalo NBC 1 p.m.
Tue., Jan 2 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBCSN 7 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 2 Los Angeles Edmonton NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 3 Chicago N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 7 Boston Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 9 Edmonton Nashville NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 10 Minnesota Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 14 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBC 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 15 N.Y. Islanders Montreal NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 16 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Jan 17 Montreal Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 17 Pittsburgh Anaheim NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 18 Buffalo N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 18 Pittsburgh Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 19 Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sun., Jan.. 21 Philadelphia Washington NBC 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 22 Tampa Bay Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 23 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 24 Toronto Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 25 Chicago Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 30 Chicago Nashville NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 31 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule for January

The NFL regular season has ended, and though it will still dominate the sports conversation for the next month or so through the Super Bowl, the NBA, following its Christmas Day showcase when many people start paying attention, is ramping up in the national consciousness.

The following is the national cable TV schedule for the NBA for January. Some games to pay attention to: the top of the Western Conference battle between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors later this week on January 4th on TNT, and Monday, January 15th’s Cavs-Warriors battle.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018
7:00 PM Blazers-Cavs NBA TV
10:30 PM Grizzlies-Clippers NBA TV
Wednesday, January 3
8:00 PM Cavs-Celtics ESPN
10:30 PM Thunder-Lakers ESPN
Thursday, January 4
8:00 PM Warriors-Rockets TNT
10:30 PM Thunder-Clippers TNT
Friday, January 5
7:00 PM T’Wolves-Celtics
Replaces NY-MIA
9:30 PM Wizards-Grizzlies ESPN
Sunday, January 7
9:00 PM Spurs-Blazers NBA TV
Monday, January 8
7:00 PM Bucks-Pacers NBA TV
Tuesday, January 9
8:00 PM Blazers-Thunder NBA TV
10:30 PM Kings-Lakers NBA TV
Wednesday, January 10
8:00 PM Thunder-T’Wolves ESPN
10:30 PM Clippers-Warriors ESPN
Thursday, January 11
3:00 PM Celtics-Sixers NBA TV
8:00 PM Cavs-Raptors TNT
10:30 PM Spurs-Lakers TNT
Friday, January 12
8:00 PM Warriors-Bucks
Only on CSN in Bay Area
10:30 PM Rockets-Suns ESPN
Sunday, January 14
9:00 PM Blazers-T’Wolves ESPN
Monday, January 15
12:30 PM Hornets-Pistons NBA TV
3:00 PM Spurs-Hawks NBA TV
5:30 PM Lakers-Grizzlies TNT
8:00 PM Warriors-Cavs TNT
10:30 PM Rockets-Clippers TNT
Tuesday, January 16
7:30 PM Pelicans-Celtics NBA TV
10:00 PM Suns-Blazers NBA TV
Wednesday, January 17
8:00 PM Lakers-Thunder ESPN
10:30 PM Nuggets-Clippers ESPN
Thursday, January 18
7:00 PM Sixers-Celtics TNT
9:30 PM T’Wolves-Rockets TNT
Friday, January 19
8:00 PM Wizards-Pistons ESPN
10:30 PM Knicks-Jazz ESPN
Saturday, January 20
3:30 PM Thunder-Cavs ABC
8:30 PM Warriors-Rockets ABC
Monday, January 22
8:00 PM Heat-Rockets NBA TV
10:30 PM T’Wolves-Clippers NBA TV
Tuesday, January 23
8:00 PM Cavs-Spurs TNT
10:30 PM Celtics-Lakers TNT
Wednesday, January 24
8:00 PM Rockets-Mavericks ESPN
10:30 PM Celtics-Clippers ESPN
Thursday, January 25
8:00 PM Wizards-Thunder TNT
10:30 PM T’Wolves-Warriors TNT
Friday, January 26
8:00 PM Rockets-Pelicans ESPN
Saturday, January 27
8:30 PM Celtics-Warriors ABC
Sunday, January 28
3:30 PM Suns-Rockets NBA TV
6:00 PM Sixers-Thunder ESPN
Monday, January 29
9:00 PM Celtics-Nuggets NBA TV
Tuesday, January 30
8:00 PM Cavs-Pistons TNT
10:30 PM Blazers-Clippers TNT
Wednesday, January 31
8:00 PM Knicks-Celtics ESPN
10:30 PM Mavericks-Suns ESPN

5 Ways to Cut Your Cable Bill

With cable rates rising each year and many more options now available to the consumer, including streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and internet-based skinny bundle plans from providers like Dish Network’s Sling TV, it is easier than ever to cut your cable bill. But say you want to stick with your cable TV provider. Are there ways you can still lower your bill without switching to another service or cutting the cord altogether? There sure are. Read on below for three ways you can lower your monthly cable bill without leaving your cable TV provider.

  1. Buy a bundle. When you purchase cable TV as part of a two or three service bundle with a provider like Charter Spectrum, you save on the monthly price of each service and only have one bill to remember. Consider a three-service bundle for the most savings and consolidate your internet, TV and phone onto one monthly bill. Or if you don’t need a landline, bundle TV and internet and you can still save.
  2. Trim the Fat. Take a look at your channel lineup and see what it is you really watch. If you don’t watch extra sports or premium channels, cut those from your package and see how much you can save by moving to a basic package from a mid-level or gold tier package.
  3. Avoid Contracts. While contracts can lock you in to a lower rate they also keep you locked up for a certain period of time, usually two years. With technology and the industry quickly changing, you might find yourself looking at a cheaper option and unable to switch in the middle of your contract. Find a service, like Charter Spectrum, that does not lock you in to a contract

In addition, you can always negotiate with your provider if you find your bills too high to handle. You’d be surprised how much you can get knocked off your bill by just threatening to cancel. If you pay your bills on time, they’ll definitely work with you for a more reasonable rate in order to keep your business.

Streaming Gaining Steam over Cable TV

A survey reported on by eMarketer shows that 31% of internet users, nearly a third of all users, use streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu for their primary mode of TV watching. That’s behind only traditional cable TV providers at 35%, and up from 24% just a year ago. Satellite TV comes next at 17%.

More findings from the survey:

Among the top reasons given by those who retained cable packages for traditional TV service were access to broadcast TV channels, sports content and premium channels.

On the other end, streaming’s success can pretty much be summed up in one word—Netflix. Over three-quarters (76%) of respondents named Netflix as one of the services they would pay for if they had to choose just three, based on their current budget.

Netflix’s strategy of picking up the back catalogs of content studios at cut-rate prices is long gone, now that it’s demonstrated that even decades-old content can still have value in the digital era.

But the company’s pivot to creating its own original content appears to be working. According to data from RBC Capital Markets, 58% of Netflix subscribers surveyed in November said the company’s original content influenced their decision to sign up.

Netflix appears to be doubling down on its originals strategy. In its Q3 earnings call, the company said it planned to spend $8 billion on content in 2018, hoping to increase the share of that type of material to half of its overall content library.

Surveys like these showing the growth of streaming and the shrinking of cable subscriptions abound, and the findings show that the convenience of watching what you want, when you want to beats live TV every time, except for live sporting events and the odd other live popular events, like the Academy Awards. They also show that cable TV companies aren’t going to be going anywhere anytime soon, because they’re usually also the major internet provider for a given area.

Still, cable companies will need to improve the convenience and selection of their On Demand options and continue to offer content that no one else can get, making sure that some popular shows stay on cable and off of Hulu, if they want people to continue to get cable along with their internet.

College Football Bowl Game and Playoff Cable TV Schedule

The college football regular season and conference championships have finally run their course, with the playoff teams and bowl games now set. This year, the college football playoff first round will occur on January 1 in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, with Oklahoma and Georgia facing off in the 2-3 matchup in Pasadena and the 1-4 matchup, a rematch between Alabama and Clemson from the past two title games, will occur at the Sugar Bowl. The winners of those two games will meet a week later to determine the national champion for this year.

That’s the deal on the games that “matter,” at least in terms of the national conversation, but the rest of the games matter to the teams playing them and their collegiate fan bases. The following is the complete bowl schedule for broadcast and cable TV, via Bleacher Report, all times EST, with the betting favorite in the final column.

Celebration Dec 16 noon Grambling State vs. North Carolina A&T ABC NC A&T
New Orleans Dec 16 1 p.m. North Texas vs. Troy ESPN North Texas
Cure Dec 16 2:30 p.m. Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State CBSSN Western Kentucky
Las Vegas Dec 16 3:30 p.m. Boise State vs. Oregon ABC Oregon
New Mexico Dec 16 4:30 p.m. Marshall vs. Colorado State ESPN Colorado State
Camellia Dec 16 8 p.m. Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State ESPN Arkansas State
Boca Raton Dec 19 7 p.m. Akron vs. Florida Atlantic ESPN Florida Atlantic
Frisco Dec 20 8 p.m. SMU vs. Louisiana Tech ESPN SMU
Gasparilla Dec 21 8 p.m. Temple vs. Florida International ESPN Florida International
Bahamas Dec 22 12:30 p.m. UAB vs. Ohio ESPN UAB
Potato Dec 22 4 p.m. Central Michigan vs. Wyoming ESPN Wyoming
Birmingham Dec 23 noon South Florida vs. Texas Tech ESPN South Florida
Armed Forces Dec 23 3:30 p.m. Army vs. San Diego State ESPN San Diego State
Dollar General Dec 23 7 p.m. Toledo vs. Appalachian State ESPN Toledo
Hawaii Dec 24 8:30 p.m. Houston vs. Fresno State ESPN Fresno State
Heart of Dallas Dec 26 1:30 p.m. Utah vs. West Virginia ESPN West Virginia
Quick Lane Dec 26 5:15 p.m. Northern Illinois vs. Duke ESPN Northern Illinois
Cactus Dec 26 9 p.m. Kansas State vs. UCLA ESPN UCLA
Independence Dec 27 1:30 p.m. Florida State vs. Southern Mississippi ESPN Florida State
Pinstripe Dec 27 5:15 p.m. Boston College vs. Iowa ESPN Boston College
Foster Farms Dec 27 8:30 p.m. Purdue vs. Arizona Fox Arizona
Texas Dec 27 9 p.m. Texas vs. Missouri ESPN Texas
Military Dec 28 1:30 p.m. Navy vs. Virginia ESPN Navy
Camping World Dec 28 5:15 p.m. Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State ESPN Oklahoma State
Holiday Dec 28 9 p.m. Michigan State vs. Washington State FS1 Washington State
Alamo Dec 28 9 p.m. TCU vs. Stanford ESPN Stanford
Belk Dec 29 1 p.m. Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M ESPN Wake Forest
Sun Dec 29 3 p.m. North Carolina State vs. Arizona State CBS North Carolina State
Music City Dec 29 4:30 p.m. Northwestern vs. Kentucky ESPN Kentucky
Arizona Dec 29 5:30 p.m. Utah State vs. New Mexico State ESPN New Mexico State
Cotton Dec 29 8:30 p.m. Ohio State vs. USC ESPN USC
TaxSlayer Dec 30 noon Louisville vs. Mississippi State ESPN Louisville
Liberty Dec 30 12:30 p.m. Iowa State vs. Memphis ABC Memphis
Fiesta Dec 30 4p.m. Penn State vs. Washington ESPN Penn State
Orange Dec 30 8 p.m. Miami (Florida) vs. Wisconsin ESPN Miami (Florida)
Outback Jan 01 noon Michigan vs. South Carolina ESPN2 South Carolina
Peach Jan 01 12:30 p.m. Auburn vs. UCF ESPN Auburn
Citrus Jan 01 1 p.m. Notre Dame vs. LSU ABC LSU
Rose Jan 01 5 p.m. No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Georgia ESPN Oklahoma
Sugar Jan 01 8:45 p.m. No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama ESPN Clemson

Enjoy the games!

NHL National TV Schedule: December

With the college football playoff set and the NFL season winding down, it’s time to start paying attention to that other cold weather sport: hockey. NBC Sports Network airs two or three games a week nationally, with a focus on popular east coast teams and classic rivalries. Here is the NHL national cable TV schedule for the month of December (all times EST):

Tue., Dec. 5 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 5 Minnesota Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 6 Chicago Washington NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 12 Tampa Bay St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 13 Boston Detroit NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 16 Montreal Ottawa NBCSN 7 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 19 Boston Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 20 Detroit Philadelphia NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 27 Washington N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thur., Dec. 28 Boston Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Thur., Dec. 28 Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 29 Nashville Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.

There are a couple of games that pique particular interest. Tuesday, December 12’s matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning pits the league’s two best teams this year against one another. Both are well-balanced teams and it should be an up tempo game featuring quite a bit of offense. December 28’s game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Los Angeles Kings will bit the two best teams in the Pacific—though since it takes place in Los Angeles, the Vegas home ice advantage won’t have either team hungover.

NBCSN is available from most cable TV and satellite TV providers.

In Europe, Cable TV is Growing

Unlike the United States, where cable TV providers are experiencing subscriber loss, European cable operators are growing in revenue, according to a report from Television News Daily:

European cable operators grew a modest 4% last year in revenue to €23.5 billion Euros ($27.8 billion).

According to IHS Markit, cable homes are rising with “steady growth” — now 30.5% of total European TV homes, or 65.1 million subscribers.

Germany is the biggest territory in terms of subscribers, at 18.6 million.

Germany also pulls in the most revenue — nearly $6 billion. The United Kingdom comes next, at approximately $4.9 billion, followed by the Netherlands at $2.6 billion; Switzerland at $2.4 billion and Spain at $2.1 billion.

European cable operators get 34% of their overall revenue from internet related businesses.

Estimates are that satellite TV will continue to grow. Digital TV Research projects that pay television penetration in Western Europe will increase to 59.4% in 2021, from 56.8% at the end of 2015. The number of subscribers will rise to 104.3 million from 97.4 million.

IHS says: “There is plenty of room for further consolidation in cable, especially in fragmented markets in Central and Eastern Europe.”

So what are the reasons for this difference? European cable providers often have far smaller channel lineups and do not have companies like ESPN who drive up prices for each and every cable TV provider. The US also has more streaming service options popping up each and every day, while European countries that do not have English as the primary language for entertainment have far fewer options when it comes to streaming TV.

Still, American cable companies can learn something from satellite and cable TV providers in the EU. Offering slimmer packages based on particular interests was something that happened in Europe before in the US, as HBOGO premiered outside of cable subscribership in Europe. When streaming catches up in Europe, though, it’s likely just as many will be cutting the cord—it’s only a matter of time.

NFL Ratings Continue Tanking on Thanksgiving

According to a report from CNN, the NFL’s three Thanksgiving Day games dropped about 20% in the ratings compared to last year:

The league’s three national holiday games dropped in viewership by a combined average of roughly 19% compared to last year’s ratings. Fox’s early afternoon game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions was down 10% in viewership from the early game on CBS last year; CBS’ late afternoon game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Chargers was down 25% from the afternoon game on Fox last year; and NBC’s prime time game between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins was down 19%.

Even though the NFL commands a larger audience than most of TV, the ratings hit is eye-popping since Thanksgiving is a major holiday for the league and its broadcast partners. It’s also more ratings woes for a league that is already beset by two seasons of uneven numbers.

While President Trump would have you believe that the ratings drop is entirely due to anthem protests—and that does play into it—it’s actually a combination of factors that have led to ratings drops for America’s most popular televised sport on broadcast and cable TV. Sure, there are some viewers dissatisfied with players kneeling for the anthem. There are also two football markets who have lost their teams in the past two years—there aren’t a lot of St. Louis Rams or San Diego Chargers fans wasting time watching their teams play in front of half-empty stadiums in Los Angeles. People are more and more informed about the dangers of football and abandoning it for that reason. The owners are bleeding public money out of cities for stadiums. And, to top it all off, the play just isn’t that good.

That was especially the case on Thanksgiving Day, with the Cowboys-Chargers mid-day game especially unwatchable. The Giants-Redskins game was a little better, but those two teams are having seasons that are lackluster at best. What was once a showcase day for the NFL—who owned Thanksgiving the way the NBA now owns Christmas—is now just another Thursday featuring bad football games. And you can get those every day of the week.

NBA National TV Schedule for December

Though the NBA season officially began in October, it doesn’t begin for many fans until Christmas Day, when basketball dominates the TV schedule with marquee games, and many NFL teams are long out of the running for a playoff spot.

There’s plenty of nationally televised basketball to go around the entire month of December, though, both on broadcast networks and cable TV. Below is the national TV schedule for December for the NBA. Enjoy the games.

Friday, December 1
8:00 PM T’Wolves-Thunder NBA TV
Sunday, December 3
7:00 PM Spurs-Thunder NBA TV
9:30 PM Rockets-Lakers NBA TV
Monday, December 4
7:30 PM Bucks-Celtics NBA TV
Tuesday, December 5
7:30 PM Suns-Raptors NBA TV
10:00 PM Wizards-Blazers NBA TV
Wednesday, December 6
8:00 PM Warriors-Hornets
Only on CSN in Bay Area
10:30 PM T’Wolves-Clippers ESPN
Thursday, December 7
8:00 PM Lakers-Sixers TNT
10:30 PM Rockets-Jazz TNT
Friday, December 8
7:00 PM Warriors-Pistons
Only on CSN in Bay Area
9:30 PM Celtics-Spurs ESPN
Saturday, December 9
6:00 PM Heat-Nets NBA TV
8:30 PM Jazz-Bucks NBA TV
Monday, December 11
8:00 PM Pelicans-Rockets NBA TV
10:30 PM Raptors-Clippers NBA TV
Tuesday, December 12
7:00 PM Lakers-Knicks ESPN
9:30 PM Spurs-Mavericks ESPN
Wednesday, December 13
7:00 PM Thunder-Pacers ESPN
9:30 PM Hornets-Rockets ESPN
Thursday, December 14
8:00 PM Lakers-Cavs TNT
10:30 PM Mavericks-Warriors TNT
Friday, December 15
7:00 PM Thunder-Sixers ESPN
9:30 PM Spurs-Rockets ESPN
Saturday, December 16
8:00 PM Thunder-Knicks
Added to schedule
Monday, December 18
8:00 PM Nuggets-Thunder NBA TV
10:30 PM Warriors-Lakers NBA TV
Tuesday, December 19
8:00 PM Cavs-Bucks NBA TV
Wednesday, December 20
8:00 PM Lakers-Rockets NBA TV
10:30 PM Grizzlies-Warriors NBA TV
Thursday, December 21
8:00 PM Celtics-Knicks TNT
10:30 PM Spurs-Jazz TNT
Friday, December 22
8:00 PM Clippers-Rockets ESPN
10:30 PM Lakers-Warriors ESPN
Monday, December 25
Noon Sixers-Knicks ESPN
3:00 PM Cavs-Warriors ABC
5:30 PM Wizards-Celtics ABC
8:00 PM Rockets-Thunder ABC
10:30 PM T’Wolves-Lakers TNT
Tuesday, December 26
8:00 PM Bulls-Bucks NBA TV
10:30 PM Kings-Clippers NBA TV
Wednesday, December 27
8:00 PM Raptors-Thunder NBA TV
10:30 PM Jazz-Warriors NBA TV
Thursday, December 28
8:00 PM Rockets-Celtics TNT
10:30 PM Sixers-Blazers TNT
Friday, December 29
7:00 PM Rockets-Wizards NBA TV
10:00 PM Suns-Kings NBA TV

Amazon Will Not Compete in the Cable TV Space

Amazon is backing down on their latest bid for world domination, ditching plans to launch their own streaming service as a competition to traditional cable TV providers. According to a Reuters report, Amazon believes it will not be profitable enough, but there are other potential causes, including the departure of Amazon Studios head Roy Price in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and the reluctance of popular broadcast and basic cable networks to break with their old business models and partnerships with cable and satellite providers.

More from the Reuters report:

Sources familiar with the talks said Amazon has run up against the same obstacle that has stymied firms such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) in their efforts to launch TV services: the traditional cable bundle.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), Viacom Inc (VIAB.O) and other media firms typically require cable companies or other partners to take their weaker channels along with their stronger ones, to prevent the weaker ones withering on the vine.

Amazon did not want to do that. It also asked networks for provisions that are foreign to the entertainment business, including discounts based on the volume of subscribers it brings in. “That might be standard in selling, but it is not how it works with content,” said one industry source.

Amazon’s business model has worked in just about every other arena it’s tried, and with distribution centers popping up all over the place offering almost instantaneous delivery, it’s only a matter of time before they have a complete monopoly over ecommerce. The cable TV industry is a stubborn one, though, so we’ll see if Amazon’s next attempt meets with more success, or is stonewalled yet again.