For those fans who were looking forward to the Chicago Blackhawks appearing on HBO’s “24/7” ahead of the Winter Classic against the Washington Capitals, we have some bad news to share with you:
JUST IN: Sources tell me HBO is done w/ the NHL in terms of producing a 24/7 Series, revolving around Winter Classic or otherwise... — Greg Brady (@bradyfan590) September 11, 2014
The series, which began in 2011 with the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, profiled each team involved in the outdoor game as they went through the month of December. Whether it was behind-the-scenes video from the locker and training rooms, or Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle being stymied by a toaster, the series brought insights and laughs throughout its run on the network.
Even with that being said though, the age of “all-access” shows appears to be running its course. The series “Hard Knocks” was arguably the dullest it’s been during its run, with the Atlanta Falcons simply not capturing the attention of the viewing public like previous teams like the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets had done.
Last year’s “24/7” was another example, with the Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs not exactly providing compelling content. Both Carlyle and Wings head coach Mike Babcock kicked cameras out of the locker room during intermissions, robbing the show of some of its behind-the-scenes appeal.
With an organization like the Blackhawks, who frequently use their social media prowess to give fans unique videos and other content, losing out on the “24/7” experience may not be such a bad thing. Fans already know the personalities of players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and really the only thing that would come out of being on HBO would be to perhaps introduce fans to some of the people who make the organization run on the inside.
According to Brady, the NHL might do some sort of behind-the-scenes show (a show similar to NHL 36 about a player preparing for the Winter Classic would be an interesting concept), but as of right now, there is no definitive plan in the works to replace the HBO show.