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Russians don't care for the NHL?

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09-29-2013, 02:52 AM
  #1
daggeg
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Russians don't care for the NHL?

How's the general attitude towards the NHL amongst Russians these days? The KHL has been on the rise for quite a few years now so I guess the interest must have been vaning even though your biggest stars still play over there? The reason why I'm wondering is that during the two years we had our Swedish fantasy site going we didn't have one manager from Russia. Nevertheless, this year we partnered up with Dobber Hockey and started the site Dobbernomics thinking we would at least have some Russian managers onboard. But with two days 'til first faceoff we still have no Russian managers. I guess the KHL is nowadays big enough to not care about the NHL?

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09-29-2013, 03:19 AM
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Raptor1990
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NHL>KHL for next 70 years or more... Sad but true.

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09-29-2013, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Raptor1990 View Post
NHL>KHL for next 70 years or more... Sad but true.
True for most of us. But I was looking for som insights from a Russian perspective. For instance, if you're using Facebook to find Russian NHL groups or whatever there are hardly any. In contrast, since you're a Slovak, it's easy to find active Slovak NHL facebook groups.

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09-29-2013, 03:33 AM
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From the audience point of view? Yeah. Most people don't care. That's the reason why not a single tv channel has picked up nhl rights yet - abysmal, nonexistent ratings. And that's when KHL TV channels have more than 11 million subscribers.

Sure, there are some glory hunters left who loathe anything Russian, and do not miss a single chance to mention how nhl is superior, but mostly it's just frustrated kids. They won't spend their time on anything other than trolling.

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09-29-2013, 03:50 AM
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Raptor1990
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NHL season begins 1.October, then see the number of NHL TV subscriptions and do the math.

KHL is good but it will be still 2nd best league for many many and many years to come. I fail to see trolling there, though.

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09-29-2013, 03:57 AM
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Russains use http://vk.com/ as a social network
Path dependance effect

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09-29-2013, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Raptor1990 View Post
NHL season begins 1.October, then see the number of NHL TV subscriptions and do the math.

KHL is good but it will be still 2nd best league for many many and many years to come. I fail to see trolling there, though.
There are no nhl on tv in Russia. At all. Not on federal, nor on cable or satellite channels, or any sport tv network. I'd say you can count all nhl viewers from Russia on some justin tv stream or something. That would be a couple of hundred people with insomnia. So wtf are you talking about? He asks about Russia. And I know nhl ratings in the US. 5 mln viewers for stanley cup finals. Less than your average sitcom.

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09-29-2013, 04:10 AM
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What sitcom ? You mean burlive vino ?

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09-29-2013, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ult View Post
From the audience point of view? Yeah. Most people don't care. That's the reason why not a single tv channel has picked up nhl rights yet - abysmal, nonexistent ratings. And that's when KHL TV channels have more than 11 million subscribers.
It's really interesting to here that there are no TV channels airing any NHL. That says it all I guess regarding whether there is any interest or not

I'd forgotten about VK. Should have figured that any virtual Russian NHL groups would be found there rather than at Facebook.

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09-29-2013, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ult View Post
There are no nhl on tv in Russia. At all. Not on federal, nor on cable or satellite channels, or any sport tv network. I'd say you can count all nhl viewers from Russia on some justin tv stream or something. That would be a couple of hundred people with insomnia. So wtf are you talking about? He asks about Russia. And I know nhl ratings in the US. 5 mln viewers for stanley cup finals. Less than your average sitcom.
It is wierd that cable tv dont broadcast NHL. Small CZandSK TV market have about 5-10 sport cables TV. They broadcast several NHL games, mainly recorded due time zones

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09-29-2013, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by swosh View Post
It is wierd that cable tv dont broadcast NHL. Small CZandSK TV market have about 5-10 sport cables TV. They broadcast several NHL games, mainly recorded due time zones
Why weird? There were such broadcasts. First of these (in early 90-th) were even on federal non sport channel. Pittsburgh - Chicago final, if I remember right. It was a big deal then. But time goes on. Now ratings of translations are too poor even for sports channels.

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09-29-2013, 08:51 PM
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Most Russian hockey fans find it difficult to be fans of a team which has no connection with them. These teams play on the other side of the world playing in cities they have likely never been to, in stadiums they have never stepped foot in. What connection is that? Russian hockey fans prefer to follow their team, representing their city at a decent level.

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09-29-2013, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by daggeg View Post
True for most of us. But I was looking for som insights from a Russian perspective. For instance, if you're using Facebook to find Russian NHL groups or whatever there are hardly any. In contrast, since you're a Slovak, it's easy to find active Slovak NHL facebook groups.
First of all you should really hear out Russians.

Then Russians don't use facebook much. Thank God the world is not that unicentric yet. Russians have own social networks like vk.com.

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09-29-2013, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by daggeg View Post
How's the general attitude towards the NHL amongst Russians these days? The KHL has been on the rise for quite a few years now so I guess the interest must have been vaning even though your biggest stars still play over there? The reason why I'm wondering is that during the two years we had our Swedish fantasy site going we didn't have one manager from Russia. Nevertheless, this year we partnered up with Dobber Hockey and started the site Dobbernomics thinking we would at least have some Russian managers onboard. But with two days 'til first faceoff we still have no Russian managers. I guess the KHL is nowadays big enough to not care about the NHL?
There are a hundred different factors and thus different fan groups.

Basically there are all 3 types of fans in Russia:

1.The ones who adore the NHL and bash the KHL for whatever reason.
2.The ones who don't care about the NHL
3.The ones who follow both leagues.

1 and 2 are pretty small groups, even if they might be vocal enough on the net to give you a wrong impression.

The vast majority of hockey fans in Russia would follow both leagues, BUT it also depends on such factors as geography, time zones, age and so on Look, I have a KHL team in my home town. That's definitely a priority for me. Somebody living in a region with no KHL team in reach might be in a different mood. On the other hand I still follow the NHL, BUT only because of russian players. I never watch a NHL game with no russian players in it, even if it's the 7th game of the finals. There are russian fans who would do it though. Still I can't embrace an idea of being a fan of a NA team I have no personal bond with. I cheer for fellow Russians and that's it. Then there is the time. My father is a hockey fan all his life. He'd still call me nuts for getting up at 3am to watch a NHL game when I visit. The NHL just can't be that popular with games taking place in the middle of the night for most Russians(Moscow time zone and close to it). Of course for some central Siberia or far East ppl it's a different story again. As for the age of the fans you have to consider how new the KHL is. There was no high profile league league in Russia for a long time in the 90s. We had no choice but to follow the NHL for some high grade hockey. I have no prejudice at all about NA hockey or the NHL, but I have to say in the last couple of years my personal interest for the NHL diminishes because of the development of the KHL. A lot of kids anf young folks start to folow the KHL now and are more bound to it than the NHL(in big parts again due to the time zones). You can't expect a 12yo to watch a game at 3am.

I think there always will be interest for the NHL as long as Russians play there, but the development of the KHL indeed already has had an impact on fan's priorities. In the end theer is no substitute for a live game at the arena too.

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09-29-2013, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by daggeg View Post
It's really interesting to here that there are no TV channels airing any NHL. That says it all I guess regarding whether there is any interest or not

I'd forgotten about VK. Should have figured that any virtual Russian NHL groups would be found there rather than at Facebook.
There always are broadcasts. They are no priority to the TV guys obviously though as tehy are still negotiating about the rights for the upcoming season.

The game times mean there is nothing else on TV which would compete with the NHL for ratings so TV ppl have no trouble with putting it on as they would air some meaningless BS instead anyway at the time. On the other hand there are not many ppl who would get up to watch at the time.

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09-30-2013, 07:39 AM
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Atas, I think you overestimate a number of people who seriously follow the N.
Just for example, I tried to find a decent NHL vk group and really ended quitting all of them. I didn't expect HFBoards level of interest for the NHL, but even there ~90% of people only follow the league by highlights of Russian players and half of the rest are russophobic elitists. There are very few watchers who do it because they love hockey.

I'd even say hockey in general isn't that popular of a sport in Russia. Among winter sports, biathlon and figure skating are easily ahead in people's interest (except maybe for the Olympics and Worlds, when bandwagoners come from nowhere), even with all hype for hockey and KHL.

It's even worse with the NHL because of the game time, as Atas already has said. People in the Western Russia have to get up 3 am to watch the game. Well, I'd have to get up at 6 - it's not a problem, i wake up early, but, um, I have a job so I'm never able to finish the game outside the weekends have to watch what I want later by less than convenient ways. Not everyone is ready for a stuff like that.

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Most Russian hockey fans find it difficult to be fans of a team which has no connection with them. These teams play on the other side of the world playing in cities they have likely never been to, in stadiums they have never stepped foot in. What connection is that? Russian hockey fans prefer to follow their team, representing their city at a decent level.
I don't think it's the main reason. No connection isn't stopping soccer fans to cheer for teams outside Russia, and I think you understand that there are a lot of hockey fans who never visit stadiums and have no home team?

There were times when we really had an NHL cult in the media, but the games were barely available to watch - so a lot of people were following the paper NHL. Fun times, catching those rare games and waiting for the Olympics/World Cups/World Championships in hope to see those best players. Now the sports media in Russia are pretty much dead, and to watch hockey is still quite a quest.

Actually the KHL made a mistake, essentially coming off Russia-2 so early. A lot of people still don't have khl-TV available.

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09-30-2013, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Acallabeth View Post
Atas, I think you overestimate a number of people who seriously follow the N.
Just for example, I tried to find a decent NHL vk group and really ended quitting all of them. I didn't expect HFBoards level of interest for the NHL, but even there ~90% of people only follow the league by highlights of Russian players and half of the rest are russophobic elitists. There are very few watchers who do it because they love hockey.

I'd even say hockey in general isn't that popular of a sport in Russia. Among winter sports, biathlon and figure skating are easily ahead in people's interest (except maybe for the Olympics and Worlds, when bandwagoners come from nowhere), even with all hype for hockey and KHL.

It's even worse with the NHL because of the game time, as Atas already has said. People in the Western Russia have to get up 3 am to watch the game. Well, I'd have to get up at 6 - it's not a problem, i wake up early, but, um, I have a job so I'm never able to finish the game outside the weekends have to watch what I want later by less than convenient ways. Not everyone is ready for a stuff like that.


I don't think it's the main reason. No connection isn't stopping soccer fans to cheer for teams outside Russia, and I think you understand that there are a lot of hockey fans who never visit stadiums and have no home team?

There were times when we really had an NHL cult in the media, but the games were barely available to watch - so a lot of people were following the paper NHL. Fun times, catching those rare games and waiting for the Olympics/World Cups/World Championships in hope to see those best players. Now the sports media in Russia are pretty much dead, and to watch hockey is still quite a quest.

Actually the KHL made a mistake, essentially coming off Russia-2 so early. A lot of people still don't have khl-TV available.
It's the same for all Europeans. For us Finns, the earliest weekday games start at 02:00 while the latest start at 5-5:30 am. Since I personally have never had a single favorite team but have instead been on the Teemu Selänne bandwagon since -92, those times have really effed up my daily rhythm. The weekend matinee games which are on prime time in Europe, can get me to watch non-Anaheim games as well. How do the start times go for the Eastern part of Russia?

As for the types of people who follow the leagues, I know there are many people like me in Finland who follow the team of their favorite player. One would think there are people in Russia who follow Ovie, Malkin or Datsyuk?

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09-30-2013, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Acallabeth View Post
Atas, I think you overestimate a number of people who seriously follow the N.
Just for example, I tried to find a decent NHL vk group and really ended quitting all of them. I didn't expect HFBoards level of interest for the NHL, but even there ~90% of people only follow the league by highlights of Russian players and half of the rest are russophobic elitists. There are very few watchers who do it because they love hockey.
1.90% of hockey fans I know follow the NHL in one way or another.

2.There are casual fans. They indeed have even very little knowledge about the NHL. But we're talking about hockey fans here I think. Ppl who would ask you if Bure were still playing don't count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acallabeth;71740945[B
]I'd even say hockey in general isn't that popular of a sport in Russia[/B]. Among winter sports, biathlon and figure skating are easily ahead in people's interest (except maybe for the Olympics and Worlds, when bandwagoners come from nowhere), even with all hype for hockey and KHL.
Now, that is complete nonsense. Hockey is in the news every day, not only when Russia wins something like other winter sports or sports in general. Pppl play hockey in winter, ppl follow leagues. I don't know where this kind of perception can come from. The bold is a bad joke. It's not even worth a debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acallabeth;71740945[B
]
I don't think it's the main reason. No connection isn't stopping soccer fans to cheer for teams outside Russia, and I think you understand that there are a lot of hockey fans who never visit stadiums and have no home team?
Soccer fans cheering for foreign teams with no russian players on them need to see a shrink. I don't follow any russian league soccer because I can't emotionally cope with our Argentinians winning against their Brazilians. That's not my home team anymore, just some rich guy's plaything. Connection is the one and only thing that matters to me. And it's not me alone. Just thinking of all the Tatars cheering for AkBars, coming from even the nieghbouring regions to watch games. To them the fact it's a team from Tatarstan with Tatar players on it is a big factor.

Well ppl who don't have a home team can still have a bond of a different kind to a team or a player. Like Syomin and Krasnoyarsk for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acallabeth;71740945[B
]There were times when we really had an NHL cult in the media, but the games were barely available to watch - so a lot of people were following the paper NHL. Fun times, catching those rare games and waiting for the Olympics/World Cups/World Championships in hope to see those best players. Now the sports media in Russia are pretty much dead, and to watch hockey is still quite a quest.

Actually the KHL made a mistake, essentially coming off Russia-2 so early. A lot of people still don't have khl-TV available.
Really? How? No quest I would be aware of. Btw I'm watching a KHL game at Rossiya2 right now. So check your facts.

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09-30-2013, 11:53 AM
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It's the same for all Europeans. For us Finns, the earliest weekday games start at 02:00 while the latest start at 5-5:30 am. Since I personally have never had a single favorite team but have instead been on the Teemu Selänne bandwagon since -92, those times have really effed up my daily rhythm. The weekend matinee games which are on prime time in Europe, can get me to watch non-Anaheim games as well. How do the start times go for the Eastern part of Russia?
7pm ET standard game time is:

3am for most western Russia

5am for the Ural region

6am for Omsk and Novosibirsk

10am for Vladivostok

Obviously hard to follow games live on work days.

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As for the types of people who follow the leagues, I know there are many people like me in Finland who follow the team of their favorite player. One would think there are people in Russia who follow Ovie, Malkin or Datsyuk?
Of course there are. To me Datsyuk is an artist of hockey. I do not care much for Detroit anymore with Datsyuk being the only Russian there, but I'd watch another game and listen to the Detroit game to catch only the Datsyuk shifts. I know it's close to weird, but that's what I do.

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09-30-2013, 12:41 PM
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Now, that is complete nonsense. Hockey is in the news every day, not only when Russia wins something like other winter sports or sports in general. Pppl play hockey in winter, ppl follow leagues. I don't know where this kind of perception can come from. The bold is a bad joke. It's not even worth a debate.


Soccer fans cheering for foreign teams with no russian players on them need to see a shrink.
I guess you should be telling that to rest of the world as well since the most popular clubs are the likes of Man U, Real Madrid, Barca and Liverpool. Likely you'll be met with equal indifference. I mean when Liverpool played in Australia this summer, you had like 90K people singing YNWA in Melbourne. I don't think any of those people care if some one cries on an internet message board about them not supporting their domestic clubs.

As for biathlon, for some reason that sport is ridiculously popular in Central and Eastern Europe. Tv ratings and attendances dwarf most winter sports these days.

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09-30-2013, 02:02 PM
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I guess you should be telling that to rest of the world as well since the most popular clubs are the likes of Man U, Real Madrid, Barca and Liverpool. Likely you'll be met with equal indifference. I mean when Liverpool played in Australia this summer, you had like 90K people singing YNWA in Melbourne. I don't think any of those people care if some one cries on an internet message board about them not supporting their domestic clubs.

As for biathlon, for some reason that sport is ridiculously popular in Central and Eastern Europe. Tv ratings and attendances dwarf most winter sports these days.
Well, I'm not telling the rest of the world is sane from a clinical point of view

The hype around soccer is pretty artificial, but in the end I just don't care. I don't find the sport interesting to watch and I'm hard to convince otherwise even if a hundred thousand ppl around and the whole media would try to change my opinion. I'm no soccer hater by the way. I know it well enough. And yes, Messi is exceptionally talented. Still have no interest watching him on a regular basis. But I would watch a russian NT World Cup game, even if it is a sad picture most of the time.

As for biathlon it's an extremely entertaining sport to follow on TV. Emotional and unpredictable due to the shooting outcome. The guy trailing 2 minutes can end up the winner. That's probably the roots of the popularity. You still can't compare it to hockey in Russia.

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09-30-2013, 04:18 PM
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Not that many Russians care for sports at all. And those who care are mostly soccer fans. Hockey is more like biathlon/tennis/racing than a real major sport. And for the majority of Russians it's more about the Team Russia than club championships of any kind. As for the NHL I have an impression that there are more NBA fans.

The thing that also boggles my mind is that alienation between NHL and KHL fans you may notice on the internet and in this thread too. It appears to be something that is unique to the hockey fanbase, soccer fans are comfortable with following more than just one league.

The way mainstream Russian media neglect the NHL is no less troubling. Whatching sports news you're more likely to sit through a ton of information on all those foreign soccer leagues they show on the federal channels than NHL stuff about some the best Russian professional athletes.

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09-30-2013, 05:53 PM
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As a North American sports fan, I find the idea that there could be a pro hockey fan that wouldn't follow the NHL to be very strange. North America is a different climate because here, if a sport is popular, in almost all cases, the best league of that sport is also here (NBA is the best basketball league, MLB best baseball league, NHL best hockey league... NFL the ONLY football league).

The ONE exception in which a sport is fairly popular in North America but the dominant league does not play here, is soccer. And if you're a soccer fan in North America it's pretty much a GUARANTEE you follow a European club. European clubs are more popular here than North American ones. I literally can't picture someone in North America being a hardcore MLS fan and not caring about any team in Europe... I don't think that is very common at all.

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09-30-2013, 07:59 PM
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Well, I'm not telling the rest of the world is sane from a clinical point of view

The hype around soccer is pretty artificial, but in the end I just don't care. I don't find the sport interesting to watch and I'm hard to convince otherwise even if a hundred thousand ppl around and the whole media would try to change my opinion. I'm no soccer hater by the way. I know it well enough. And yes, Messi is exceptionally talented. Still have no interest watching him on a regular basis. But I would watch a russian NT World Cup game, even if it is a sad picture most of the time.
Well most people would of course follow their national team in WC or Euro but that team simply isn't good enough to qualify. If there isn't a team in home town and/or the domestic league isn't interesting at all, people will root for a team that gets lot of air time on free tv.

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The way mainstream Russian media neglect the NHL is no less troubling. Whatching sports news you're more likely to sit through a ton of information on all those foreign soccer leagues they show on the federal channels than NHL stuff about some the best Russian professional athletes.
From a Finnish point of view, networks tend to pimp the sports they have broadcasting rights to or access to footage.

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As a North American sports fan, I find the idea that there could be a pro hockey fan that wouldn't follow the NHL to be very strange. North America is a different climate because here, if a sport is popular, in almost all cases, the best league of that sport is also here (NBA is the best basketball league, MLB best baseball league, NHL best hockey league... NFL the ONLY football league).

The ONE exception in which a sport is fairly popular in North America but the dominant league does not play here, is soccer. And if you're a soccer fan in North America it's pretty much a GUARANTEE you follow a European club. European clubs are more popular here than North American ones. I literally can't picture someone in North America being a hardcore MLS fan and not caring about any team in Europe... I don't think that is very common at all.
Portland Timber and Seattle Sounders fans might disagree on that. I've seen videos on Youtube, the atmosphere is almost like in European leagues.

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09-30-2013, 09:38 PM
  #25
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: I mean when Liverpool played in Australia this summer, you had like 90K people singing YNWA in Melbourne. I don't think any of those people care if some one cries on an internet message board about them not supporting their domestic clubs.
Slightly off topic but oh well, here is some useless information for you

I spent the majority of my life in Australia before moving to Moscow to chase some $. So I can speak about Australia. The majority of those fans singing YNWA were likely to be Melbourne Victory fans Football in Australia is not very popular (Behind Rugby League, AFL, slightly behind Rugby Union) but it has a strong presence which is ever growing. The domestic league is quite popular (Average attendance was close to 13k last season), the Melbourne derby normally sells out, The West Sydney Wanderers sold all the season tickets that are available, they are guaranteed sold out matches all season. Sydney FC got big crowds last season due to Del Piero. A lot of people support an A-League and EPL team.

The Australian National Team (Socceroos) are more popular than the Rugby Union and Cricket national teams which was not the case ten years ago.

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