If Bettman Does Not Continue NHL Participation In The Olympics...
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03-01-2010, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Originally Posted by
Wrong. The Olympics helps make the never-watched-a-hockey-game person curious enough about the sport to tune into an occasional game on NBC on Sunday afternoon if they happen to be channel surfing at that time, but it won't turn people into zombies who consume nothing but hockey. The limited national TV (and unliklihood of nonhockey fans stumbling across Versus) prevents the Olympics from being a considerable springboard for the sport.
Sure, you can question the choice of expansion markets or the decision to not to simultaneously expand into already strong Canadian hockey markets, but the comparison of national vs. regional hockey TV ratings is confirmation that in the U.S. at least, hockey fans are created by having an NHL team in close proximity.
If the Olympics were so good at converting people into fans, there would be a million 14-year-old short-track speedskaters in the U.S. today.
You dont convert, you build awareness (which is basically what you are saying in your first paragraph i guess). The Olympics by itself cant turn people over to hockey, youre right. The NHL has to do a better job at getting it on TV other than Versus. People dont really like ESPN (from what ive heard), but its one of the major sport stations in the US, and its important for the NHL to eventually get back on with ESPN
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