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MLS vs. NHL Going Forward?

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Old
12-29-2012, 10:52 AM
  #151
krudmonk
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Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
NHL fans have become very arrogant for a sport that is on the verge of not existing.
It's part of the problem with the owners right now. Losing a second season in a decade would be unthinkable by other organizations. We, on the other hand, largely operate under the assumption that things will go right back to normal, just like 2005.

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12-29-2012, 11:08 AM
  #152
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NHL fans have become very arrogant for a sport that is on the verge of not existing.
Yup. I agree. People laughing at soccer are in for a rude awakening when we have 3 or 4 channels dedicated to soccer. Fox Soccer channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Goltv, and BEIN was recently launched. Considering 15 years ago, we had no channels, that is amazing. I can't say MLS specifically is close to passing up the NHL but soccer in general may have already passed the NHL in the US.

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12-29-2012, 11:39 AM
  #153
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On the contrary, all the evidence suggests that soccer is growing at an incredible rate. The number of kids sticking with the sport is now huge, with it having surpassed baseball in terms of high school players. The ratings are exploding, especially when things like disparate leagues and weird time zones are factored in. Studies have shown that it's the second most popular spectator sports for males under 20.

The "FAST KICKING, LOW SCORING AND TIES? YOU BET!" attitude toward soccer is rapidly dying (and, fwiw, is how people in about half the country view hockey, too).
soccer has been growing for how many years now? 30 & you know what, big deal. It's a minor league sport & will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. I'm going to be 40 in a few months & they were spreading this nonsense when I was 10. It will never take off because kids gravitate towards real football & the other sports. High schools don't have soccer specific stadiums, they use football fields. High school soccer is never on the tube, but high school football sure is. More importantly, college football is big business. College soccer, not so much. This is why this myth needs to stop. Soccer will never become relevant in the US.

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12-29-2012, 11:40 AM
  #154
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Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
Yup. I agree. People laughing at soccer are in for a rude awakening when we have 3 or 4 channels dedicated to soccer. Fox Soccer channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Goltv, and BEIN was recently launched. Considering 15 years ago, we had no channels, that is amazing. I can't say MLS specifically is close to passing up the NHL but soccer in general may have already passed the NHL in the US.
I'm curious how you come to the last assertion. Already passed by what metric? I don't know anyone who is laughing as at soccer, its incredibly popular but you are not going to get huge fan bases for teams that play 5000 miles away.

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12-29-2012, 11:45 AM
  #155
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soccer has been growing for how many years now? 30 & you know what, big deal. It's a minor league sport & will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. I'm going to be 40 in a few months & they were spreading this nonsense when I was 10. It will never take off because kids gravitate towards real football & the other sports. High schools don't have soccer specific stadiums, they use football fields. High school soccer is never on the tube, but high school football sure is. More importantly, college football is big business. College soccer, not so much. This is why this myth needs to stop. Soccer will never become relevant in the US.
It's not the same kind of spreading as when you were 10, though. You didn't have the internet, nor cable packages with multiple soccer channels. You didn't have a league in England receiving an 83 million dollar deal from a US channel.

Soccer is growing, not from a playing perspective like you are talking about, but from a watcher's perspective.

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12-29-2012, 12:00 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
It's not the same kind of spreading as when you were 10, though. You didn't have the internet, nor cable packages with multiple soccer channels. You didn't have a league in England receiving an 83 million dollar deal from a US channel.

Soccer is growing, not from a playing perspective like you are talking about, but from a watcher's perspective.
No one is saying that its not easier to watch soccer but I don't think that translates into increased demand. You can watch khl on the internet, I don't see huge numbers of fans clamoring for the khl.

Being a fan requires some relationship to the team. There will always be legacy fans from other markets but that's not sufficient to support a team, especially one that plays an ocean away. I think these technologies are great for hardcore fans, but these fans are in the extreme minority.

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12-29-2012, 12:02 PM
  #157
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It's not the same kind of spreading as when you were 10, though. You didn't have the internet, nor cable packages with multiple soccer channels. You didn't have a league in England receiving an 83 million dollar deal from a US channel.

Soccer is growing, not from a playing perspective like you are talking about, but from a watcher's perspective.
In Canada it certainly is.

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12-29-2012, 12:08 PM
  #158
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In Canada it certainly is.
And it has been for as long as I have been alive. It might pass hockey in Canada by 5052 if everything aligns right.

There is nothing wrong with slow and steady growth but if it is in the same position when my grandkids have kids of their own, I don't see this as a great success. Perhaps you are more confident in the really really really long term.

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12-29-2012, 12:10 PM
  #159
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Originally Posted by edog37 View Post
soccer has been growing for how many years now? 30 & you know what, big deal. It's a minor league sport & will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. I'm going to be 40 in a few months & they were spreading this nonsense when I was 10. It will never take off because kids gravitate towards real football & the other sports. High schools don't have soccer specific stadiums, they use football fields. High school soccer is never on the tube, but high school football sure is. More importantly, college football is big business. College soccer, not so much. This is why this myth needs to stop. Soccer will never become relevant in the US.
Why did you start comparing soccer to high school and college football? This is a hockey forum.

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12-29-2012, 12:16 PM
  #160
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I dunno, I don't see these huge inroads that soccer is supposedly making into the general culture. It seems like more of a cultural diversification than anything. The presence of 4 soccer channels can basically be chalked up to 52 million Hispanics in the United States. Demographically they are driving the popularity of soccer and keeping baseball afloat, which is great for those sports but is not really different from Canadians and northerners driving the popularity of hockey, or southerners and midwesterners driving the popularity of NASCAR. We're not looking at a situation where soccer is challenging the NFL or even MLB for broad-based cultural relevance that crosses demographics and leads to huge "Q ratings".

Little kids play soccer because it's easy and cheap. Generally, the kids who stick with it past adolescence are chasing scholarships or come from a foreign cultural tradition. By the time they're 16 or 20, are they flocking to their school's soccer games? No, they're piling into the stands to watch football and basketball, same as 40 years ago. The general cultural needle has twitched, but it isn't moving much.

Bottom line, I don't think these sports threaten each other or compete for dollars as much as it seems. Latino kids aren't going to suddnenly watch hockey en masse, [colloquial term for Massachusetts natives]s aren't going to suddenly become NASCAR fans, middle America isn't going to go nuts for hockey. Lacrosse exploded onto the scene over a decade ago; how many kids play lacrosse now? The gains are made in limited demographics with minimal crossover, and none of them seem to be breaking barriers to any great extent.

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12-29-2012, 12:16 PM
  #161
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Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
It's part of the problem with the owners right now. Losing a second season in a decade would be unthinkable by other organizations. We, on the other hand, largely operate under the assumption that things will go right back to normal, just like 2005.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyBowman View Post
Yup. I agree. People laughing at soccer are in for a rude awakening when we have 3 or 4 channels dedicated to soccer. Fox Soccer channel, Fox Soccer Plus, Goltv, and BEIN was recently launched. Considering 15 years ago, we had no channels, that is amazing. I can't say MLS specifically is close to passing up the NHL but soccer in general may have already passed the NHL in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edog37 View Post
soccer has been growing for how many years now? 30 & you know what, big deal. It's a minor league sport & will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future. I'm going to be 40 in a few months & they were spreading this nonsense when I was 10. It will never take off because kids gravitate towards real football & the other sports. High schools don't have soccer specific stadiums, they use football fields. High school soccer is never on the tube, but high school football sure is. More importantly, college football is big business. College soccer, not so much. This is why this myth needs to stop. Soccer will never become relevant in the US.
Yup. I remember 2005. Right before the social media explosion. Could not find decent hockey news anywhere. ESPN would not mention them. All the crap people are saying against soccer here can be applied to hockey out side the Midwest and Northeast. Frankly if not for the growth period between 2008-09 hockey would be behind even more.

Demographics are changing. How will hockey deal with that.

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12-29-2012, 12:16 PM
  #162
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I'm curious how you come to the last assertion. Already passed by what metric? I don't know anyone who is laughing as at soccer, its incredibly popular but you are not going to get huge fan bases for teams that play 5000 miles away.
No, but you can't underestimate the large Latino Market in the US and fans like myself who are loving soccer and never cared for it when I was in my youth because I didn't have access to it on tv. Champions league games are close to averaging 1 mil viewers. Thats pretty damn good considering they are aired when everyone is at work. The champions league final had over 2 mil viewers. The average champions league game on fox soccer channel had more viewers than the average playoff game on versus. And one is aired at 3pm est and the other is aired at 8 pm est.

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12-29-2012, 12:19 PM
  #163
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EPL might become more popular, but I don't see the MLS as a threat. It's the minor league's minor league of the soccer world.

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12-29-2012, 12:30 PM
  #164
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Originally Posted by DyerMaker66 View Post
In Canada it certainly is.
And it has been for as long as I have been alive. It might pass hockey in Canada by 5052 if everything aligns right.

There is nothing wrong with slow and steady growth but if it is in the same position when my grandkids have kids of their own, I don't see this as a great success. Perhaps you are more confident in the really really really long term.

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12-29-2012, 12:31 PM
  #165
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Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
Yup. I remember 2005. Right before the social media explosion. Could not find decent hockey news anywhere. ESPN would not mention them. All the crap people are saying against soccer here can be applied to hockey out side the Midwest and Northeast. Frankly if not for the growth period between 2008-09 hockey would be behind even more.

Demographics are changing. How will hockey deal with that.
They're off to the right start by being the most internet accessible of the 4 major sports. They've quietly let a lot of NHL content out onto Youtube when the other big sports are squashing it as they find it (especially MLB). Hockey is the easiest sport to really find on Youtube, at least by my experience. A lot of clips young and old and even no small number of full games. That's a very savvy move when you're pushing for national attention.

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12-29-2012, 12:33 PM
  #166
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EPL might become more popular, but I don't see the MLS as a threat. It's the minor league's minor league of the soccer world.
Again, stick to what you know. If anything, England's "minor leagues" would be their own lower divisions.

During this lockout, I've watched a whole lot more ECHL and college football. Both are further behind their respective top tiers than MLS is against the majority of England. Nonetheless, they still exist and draw fans. Go figure.

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12-29-2012, 12:35 PM
  #167
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Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
And it has been for as long as I have been alive. It might pass hockey in Canada by 5052 if everything aligns right.

There is nothing wrong with slow and steady growth but if it is in the same position when my grandkids have kids of their own, I don't see this as a great success. Perhaps you are more confident in the really really really long term.
It already has: More Canadians are signed up for youth soccer programs than any other sport.

http://afootballreport.com/post/2745...ccer-defectors

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12-29-2012, 12:35 PM
  #168
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Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
Again, stick to what you know. If anything, England's "minor leagues" would be their own lower divisions.

During this lockout, I've watched a whole lot more ECHL and college football. Both are further behind their respective top tiers than MLS is against the majority of England. Nonetheless, they still exist and draw fans. Go figure.
By "Minor league's minor league", I meant the talent in the MLS is average compared to the soccer world.

And they can exist and draw fans all they want, still don't consider them a threat.

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12-29-2012, 12:39 PM
  #169
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By "Minor league's minor league", I meant the talent in the MLS is average compared to the soccer world.

And they can exist and draw fans all they want, still don't consider them a threat.
Average compared to the soccer world? You do know that most every sovereign country has a domestic league, right?

And here you are holding up England, when Germany has the highest attendances and Spain is home to the best players. So, how are we going to continue forcing this bogus "minor leagues" metaphor?

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12-29-2012, 12:40 PM
  #170
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No, but you can't underestimate the large Latino Market in the US and fans like myself who are loving soccer and never cared for it when I was in my youth because I didn't have access to it on tv. Champions league games are close to averaging 1 mil viewers. Thats pretty damn good considering they are aired when everyone is at work. The champions league final had over 2 mil viewers. The average champions league game on fox soccer channel had more viewers than the average playoff game on versus. And one is aired at 3pm est and the other is aired at 8 pm est.
Great for soccer, because the teams finances are still predominantly local, they can leverage over seas fans for what essentially is the cherry on the cake as an essentially "free" market. If the EPL went to ppv, how many of those fans carry over ?

Its not hard to get more fans when you are essentially giving away the product. Soccer might be better positioned to attract severely geographically displaced fans than the NHL, but the assumption that this could surpass the local fans of NHL teams is, for all intents and purposes, a fantasy.

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12-29-2012, 12:53 PM
  #171
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Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
Average compared to the soccer world? You do know that most every sovereign country has a domestic league, right?

And here you are holding up England, when Germany has the highest attendances and Spain is home to the best players. So, how are we going to continue forcing this bogus "minor leagues" metaphor?
Yep, just like lots of European countries have hockey leagues, but I wouldn't consider any of them a "Major threat" either because they don't have major players.

Fact is less than 800,000 watched the MLS Cup this year. Not even close to NHL viewership (In what was widely considered a down-year) which is terrible when you take into account the fact that it was a single game event.

Hell, first round games blow that rating out of the water.

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12-29-2012, 01:00 PM
  #172
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Yep, just like lots of European countries have hockey leagues, but I wouldn't consider any of them a "Major threat" either because they don't have major players.

Fact is less than 800,000 watched the MLS Cup this year. Not even close to NHL viewership (In what was widely considered a down-year) which is terrible when you take into account the fact that it was a single game event.

Hell, first round games blow that rating out of the water.
800k vs 2 million. Just under half is not even close. I suppose the ratings for 2014 or 2015 will be lower.

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12-29-2012, 01:18 PM
  #173
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800k vs 2 million. Just under half is not even close. I suppose the ratings for 2014 or 2015 will be lower.
Considering your average of the SCF viewership is slightly over a million viewers off the real numbers, yes, nearly quadruple the ratings is not even close.

Especially when you don't ignore the parts about the MLS Cup being a single game event and that the SCF ratings were considered sub-par this year.

Or that that NHL average includes games on NBCSN, which is only available to 80% of the audience that ESPN is available to.

Hell, even the God-awful Anaheim-Ottawa Final in from five years ago that everybody ripped the NHL up for had double the viewership.


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12-29-2012, 01:35 PM
  #174
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I watched a lot of MLS when I was a kid growing up (late 90s), the league has come a long long long way. They started out with almost a counter-culture type of soccer. They slowly started migrating back towards the mainstream (soccer wise) where they are now. I think that has more to do with how popular MLS is becoming than the Beckham factor.

I'm not going to lie to you, MLS soccer is pretty darn good. To be honest, I don't see it ever passing the NHL. Many soccer fans think they are "too good" to watch the MLS, and they stick to European leagues, this is especially true of immigrants (in my experience). If I was in charge of marketing for MLS teams I would have teams sign foreign players from countries that reflect their immigrant culture. For example, I would have the LA teams always have a couple of Mexicans. Chicago needs a Polish player or two. New York should have a Polish player, someone from the Balkans, or even an Italian (not sure if that would work). Texas should always have a Mexican or Central American.

That's the best way to get those immigrant diasporas watching MLS.

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12-29-2012, 01:48 PM
  #175
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No it isn't. That kind of affirmative action always sounds tempting, but fans of a sport want to watch the best sport available. Not having a couple of political signings stinking up the team.

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