TNT studio shows take differing tones for NBA, NHL

TNT is broadcasting both the NHL and NBA playoffs this spring, but the respective studio shows for each property take “two totally different tones on games,” according to CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amendolara. TNT’s presentation for the NHL is “very, very good” and includes “good play-by-play, good analysis, good graphics.” However, following Saturday’s Lightning-Maple Leafs Game 7, Amendolara said, “I’m, ‘Boy, what are they going to say about the Maple Leafs? Do you blow it up, do you fire the coach, what do you do? Why can’t they get over the hump?’ We go to the studio and they’re kind of being a little polite … and ‘let’s give credit to the Lightning.’” Amendolara: “If Barkley, Shaq and Kenny were doing the postgame show of a huge market team that spends out the you-know-what, has star power and has a better record and has home-ice advantage or homecourt advantage in Game 7 and flamed out again, they’d kill them. They’d lean in on the coaches and the stars and the ownership. In hockey, the tenor is so subdued. ... That’s just the culture of hockey.” He called it a “missed opportunity because that was the game that everybody was waiting for.” Amendolara: “They put in in primetime on Saturday, the Leafs flame out again and you don’t really get anybody willing to go in on it” (“The DA Show,” CBS Sports Radio, 5/16).

U.S. BEATS CANADA IN THIS AREA: In Toronto, Steve Simmons wrote neither TSN nor Sportsnet do postgame hockey “better than Turner or ESPN do it, which is surprising.” Since TSN dropped “That’s Hockey2Night,” there is “no post-game show in Canada that compares to anything Turner or ESPN is doing.” Having Charles Barkley pop in on occasion on the TNT panel is “great publicity for hockey in America” (TORONTO SUN, 5/16).

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