Excerpted from the Daily News archives, Friday, April 16, 1993:
For the first time in 13 years, the NHL has playoff games on over-the-air networks. For the Kings’ Game 1 first-round opener in Calgary, the L.A. market will get an ABC coverage, with Al Michaels and John Davidson. This is a year removed from when CBS covered the 1992 Winter Games.
Three years earlier, Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller let go of his radio duties to do a TV-only broadcast for Prime Ticket with Jim Fox. That left Nick Nickson and Brian Engblom on the XTRA-AM (690) broadcasts over radio.
Miller talked about how he stayed at his Woodland Hills home for Game 1 from the Saddledome rather than join the Kings’ traveling party and would later go to Calgary for Game 2 on the following Wednesday.
“It seems a little weird and I’m not really happy about it. I feel left out,” said Miller.
“I understand that the league wants the network exposure and I’m all for that. But I don’t understand how you abandon people you’ve been with all year. To me the fairest thing to do would be to let ABC do the game, but not shut out the local TV.”
As part of the new five-year, $80 million ESPN-NHL TV contract, ESPN bought time on ABC for five straight Sunday playoff games, with the Kings-Flames being one of three regional telecasts. Prime Ticket was upset over losing local TV ad revenue from the change.
Interestingly, Kings owner Bruce McNall helped orchestrate the ESPN-ABC-NHL TV deal.
ABC also did the Kings-Flames Game 4 from the Forum on Sunday April 25, changing the faceoff from 7:30 p.m. to noon.