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03-19-2004, 02:02 PM
Breck Av
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Originally Posted by Beukeboom Fan
ESPN can get ratings for Poker but not for hockey. I guess that means that the put all the smart marketing people on the Poker account, and all the morons on the NHL. Of my favorite 10 commercials over the last 10 years, almost every one of them is a ESPN commercial for Hockey. They really did some great promotions IMO.

Not to be condescending, but ratings are based on fan interest. It's easier to be a fan of a sport that you played, or still play. You mention figure skating - how many heterosexual males do you know that watch figure skating?

Do you think that it's a coincidence that there has been a downward trend of NHL games on ESPN over the contract? Did you ever consider that they did the best they did to promote the game, and the ratings tanked. At that point they just decided to cut their losses and not keep throwing good money after bad.

How in the hell can you say it's not hockey's fault? ESPN catches flack here for always showing the same 6 or 8 teams. They do that because it's there only chance to get any sort of local ratings. Do you think that ratings would be better if they showed FLA-ATL games, or CAL-MON games? You almost never see small or Canadian markets on ESPN, but that is because they don't get the ratings.

Again not to be condescending, but you blame the lack of ratings on ESPN because they have the same announcers and theme music? That's like saying the shuttle blew up because it was painted white. It's the NHL's job to promote the game to it's fans. I agree that Bettman hasn't delivered on what he set out to do. I just think that his business model was based on making the NHL a major sport in the U.S., WHICH NO ONE (not the Commissioner, and certainly NOT ESPN) is going to be able to do. It's just NOT going to happen. I don't care how catchy the music is, or how many NHL games that ESPN shows, the NHL will not get TV ratings. Especially if there is a labor stoppage here in 6 months.
Good post. I agree that ESPN showing the same teams through most of their time broadcasting hockey is not a reason for poor ratings. Detroit, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Colorado, St. Louis, Dallas, New York Rangers, and Boston are probably the teams shown most by ESPN in the past decade. Every one of those teams except the Rangers and Bruins (to a lesser extent) has been the best teams in the NHL in that time.

Every league tries to showcase their best teams. Monday Night Football on ABC has been trying for a few years to have flexibility in their predetermined schedule because they have had many terrible matchups in recent seasons. The Cleveland Cavaliers went from not being on TV at all last year to having the maximum amount of games a team can have with the arrival of LeBron James.

The NHL should have had a little more foresight to show Tampa Bay more, otherwise they've done what they can. Adding Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton makes sense since they're all pretty damn good this year, though it's the same thing as HNIC, American teams take precedence.

I think the NHL and its broadcast partners should change tactics and strengthen the televised game to the hard core consumer, as going after non-hockey fans obviously hasn't worked. Try adding fans slowly with quality telecasts and games and stop going after the mainstream with glowing pucks and other gimmicks.

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