Fans split on Sheffield Steelers TV issue that's got people talking

The move of some ice hockey matches to a Thursday night has met with a mixed reaction from Sheffield Steelers' fans.

By Bob Westerdale
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 1:01 pm

The Star revealed last week that the Elite League's chief sponsors and TV partners Premier Sports were planning to broadcast at least one midweek match from all 10 clubs.

With the possibility of a knockout Challenge Cup match or two, it will probably mean that at least a dozen games will be switched to a Thursday night.

I understand Sheffield's TV date will be October 6 (and no, it won't be a Nottingham Panthers' game.)

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Some fans see a benefit in adding this new viewing option to the sporting platform.

But others have never warmed to the odd Wednesday fixture let alone a Thursday one.

We asked readers whether they liked the idea of Thursday hockey.

Steelers fans in the stands - Hayley Roberts

On Twitter, we received plenty of replies including:

"No and if there were a lot of them I would definitely reconsider getting a season ticket as I personally can't do weekday games; bad idea try getting more mainstream TV or BBC red button...think the league needs a media advertising team to bring the EIHL into the future": Glen Coldwell

"Hopefully for Sheffield, there won’t be any clashes with a sports team that races speedway on a Thursday night, as this wouldn’t help either club. I know a lot goes to the Speedway as well as the ice hockey": Joshua Moss

"Premier and Freesports aren't exactly mainstream sports channels, so as usual, the only people watching the proposed Thursday games would be....existing fans. No difference to playing TV games on Wednesday, apart from knacking players for the weekend!”: @scuff7

EIHL on the telly - pic by Dean Woolley

"No, a completely stupid idea. This will stop families attending due to late finish on a school night. This is the best way yet to lose fans": Andy Stevens

"Well this just seems like a totally daft idea": Matt Bonniger

"If the move came from a substantial development from a more accessible broadcaster I'd say yes. I watched a few @BBLofficial games channel-surfing on Sky TV for free -I plan on going to watch the Sharks": Martin

"A definite no from me, I’m travelling during the week and wouldn’t be able to get to Thursday games": Rob Jackson

Steelers fans in the stands - Hayley Roberts

"Nope.. Wednesdays are bad enough": James C

"Saturday night is hockey night": @rudge_stephen

"Good grief no, every so often there's a game on Wednesday night, unable to get to them": Margaret Nicholls

But there were other points raised on social media.

"Only problem I see with Thursday playing, is that it isn’t enough turn-around time for the players as blink and the weekend games will be there. To counteract this, surely squad sizes will have to be larger to accommodate this": Becky Hubbard

"Would be good for people who work in shops - the daughter misses quite a few weekend games- especially Sundays when we have an early face off": @Kezzy1969

"It doesn’t bother me on which night but get what they are saying. Could possibly work and get more people interested and that can only be a good thing": Shawn Owen

"Don't mind a few played on a Thursday but no more. Considering it's meant to be a family sport you WON'T get them there on school nights. Will hold off Season Ticket till I see fixtures now": Tanya Reid

"I get the idea, and it sounds more like a: “Tough luck if you don’t like it, but there will be some Thursday TV games!” However, FreeSports isn’t going to attract many non-hockey fans to watch. More widespread Friday night games though would’ve been nice": Glynn M