A new Nashville Predators season is almost here as the NHL just announced their national TV schedule for 2022-23.
The Nashville Predators will be getting 10 games on the family of networks ranging between TNT, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu.
Seven of the 10 games will be on ESPN or ESPN+, while the Nashville Predators also got three games in TNT’s weekly schedule.
I’m actually somewhat surprised the Predators even got this many games. They have more nationally televised games than the Montreal Canadiens (0), Vancouver Canucks (2), Ottawa Senators (1) and the Arizona Coyotes (4), and the New Jersey Devils (9):
Nashville Predators have a wide variety of opponents on national tv
The Nashville Predators will see three nationally televised games in October with matchups against the Dallas Stars (ESPN+/Hulu), LA Kings (ESPN/ESPN+), and St. Louis Blues (ESPN+/Hulu). All three of those will be home games so we can showcase the Bridgestone Arena crowd to a national audience and maybe some new fans to the sport.
Shortly into November the Predators will be featured for the first time this season on TNT in a late night clash with the Seattle Kraken. That will be on a Tuesday so there shouldn’t be much competition in the sports world on that night.
The Predators will be featured again on ESPN+ and Hulu exclusively in a road tilt against the New York Islanders on Friday, December 2nd. A random matchup they chose there with two teams that don’t have much history with each other.
For the second time the Predators will be featured nationally against the St. Louis Blues, this time on the main ESPN network on January 9.
It wouldn’t be a Nashville Predators national tv schedule without a battle with the Chicago Blackhawks. That will come late in the season and hopefully by that time the Predators will be pushing for another playoff berth while the Blackhawks are wallowing away in obscurity.
An ESPN tilt with the Vegas Golden Knights on April 4th in Nashville will be a fun one.
Still going to be difficult for out of market fans to find the games
With the recent trends of cutting the cable chord, many fans are scrambling before the season starts to figure out how to stream their favorite team every night. ESPN+ showed nearly every out of market game last season, but it’s slimmed down considerably this season.
For someone like myself who lives out of the Predators regional market, it’s going to be quite the task figuring out how to watch the games when they’re not on national television.
This is the case of the NHL once again coming off a little tone deaf with the younger demographic. In a time when everyone is streaming, it shouldn’t be this difficult to find a way to legally watch your NHL team and pay for it accordingly.
I do think this partnership between the NHL and Hulu/ESPN+ is overall a good thing for the league to grow among casual fans and the younger crowd.
I’m pleasantly surprised the Nashville Predators got this many nationally televised games. They’re not in one of the major sports markets, and they don’t have a plethora of superstars that draws national interest. But a lot of new fans will get a chance to check out the Nashville Predators this season, maybe even for the first time and that is pretty cool.