Instead of hockey Friday afternoon, viewers on NBC will be treated to a fifteen-year-old soap opera rerun.
NBC originally planned to carry the Rangers/Bruins NHL “Thanksgiving Showdown” Friday afternoon, but the game was canceled due to the NHL owners’ ongoing lockout of the players.
Instead of airing another sporting event, NBC will televise a June 1997 episode of the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” that the network has called one of the “most scandalous, memorable and joyous episodes” of the series.
In presumably one of the high points of the episode, a woman impersonating the bride at an Elvis-inspired wedding has her cover blown when “her false teeth fly out of her mouth and land in a wine glass” (Oh No They Didn’t, 11/22).
Last year’s Red Wings/Bruins Black Friday game drew a 0.9 rating and 1.3 million viewers. In the most recent week where ratings were available (November 5-9), “Days of Our Lives” averaged a 2.0 and 2.6 million.
Friday is the first of two canceled NHL dates on NBC due to the owners’ lockout. The January 1 Maple Leafs/Red Wings Winter Classic has also been wiped from the schedule.
The 2012 NHL lockout is the fourth work stoppage in league history (three owner-imposed lockouts and one player strike). In the two decade tenure of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, the league has never reached agreement with the players on a new collective bargaining agreement without first imposing a lockout and canceling games.