this is how i watch 90% of my games these days - i'll say all games should be streamed for free on the internet. Any costs could be covered by ads.
I'd be interested to see what the current internet streaming numbers are and how they compaire to TV/cable. I see alot of TV/Cable going to the internet with netflix, hulu. etc. these days and beleive it to be the future - it would be great to see the NHL take the lead on this.
Just watched this. Do people understand what the guy is proposing? He's not just saying all NHL games on the web for free, he is saying that should be the ONLY way to watch NHL games (unless you go to the game).
He's saying, for example, that EVERY Sharks fan (all of us, local, non-local, etc) would watch all Sharks games online. He's saying, for example, the current CSN-CA feeds with Randy and Drew would be online only. It would not be available on television whatsoever, anywhere.
I love people thinking outside of the box, but this guy is an idiot IMHO.
1.) First off, he ignores the fact that in many markets the NHL team fares better in ratings than the NBA team. I haven't seen extremely recent ratings yet, but I'd be shocked if today (literally today) CSN-BA Warriors broadcasts were pulling more people than CSN-CA Sharks broadcasts. Same for other teams, like the Nets v. Devils. And of course as NBC will tell you certain Northeast markets and Detroit do really well in local ratings. Note that this guy never makes the distinction between local and national broadcasts. He is saying ALL games should be free web exclusives.
2.) Many sports fans who are also HD enthusiasts agree that hockey benefits most from HD. If all NHL games went web exclusive, we'd take a hit in picture quality. Yes I know there are such things as 720p and even 1080p streaming, but it requires sufficent bandwidth [which not everyone has and not everyone has even access to], and even then the bitrate of the streaming isn't comparable to OTA/Cable/Sat [so the PQ won't be the same] AND no chance of Dolby Digital 5.1 sound [yet, but still it can be problematic getting that sound to your AV receiver].
It's would be one thing if he were to suggest that the NHL should dump its US national TV contracts and go with select free web exclusive broadcasts to replace Versus and NBC (I rather like THAT idea, Versus and NBC can go to hell, especially NBC and note I am saying more than just Yahoo sports broadcasts), but to suggest that the Sharks would be online only vs. CSN-CA or the Rangers would be online only vs. MSG is utterly ridiculous IMHO. I can't stress enough that you watch this video carefully and note that he is saying that ALL broadcasts go online (yes free, but all).
Last edited by ChompChomp: 01-31-2010 at 11:17 PM.
To continue my thought, there should be more television exposure, if possible. Last year I wrote Bettman a letter via snail mail explaining why the NHL should buy an ad on the Super Bowl (and why the NHL should get its teams to follow my idea of advertising in movie theaters ["If you missed Sharks hockey this week, you missed" Sharks highlights shown set to rock and rap.] If the gov't/miltary thinks its worth it, the NHL should too.)
New media is great and the NHL should definitely pursue it, but TV is still king. It's where the big time ad dollars are at.
As to Gamecenter, doesn't MLB.TV offer a per day and per month option? That's what Gamecenter needs too. Allow someone to pay $1-2 for a day's access. The pure NHL fan without NHL CI will still purchase full season, but those who just want one team (but won't pay that price for it) can buy a day pass when they can watch and their team plays.
Going to web only doesn't solve the NHL ratings/popularity problem. If anything it makes it worse. Web only makes even it less accessible to the casual sports fan who currently doesn't follow hockey. Maybe that person in the Bay Area for example goes to a Sharks game and loves it. He/she wants to watch more, and you tell them
"No problem! Just log onto this website. You'll see every game!"
"Well, if I happen to be online and bored and remember that site I'll watch, but I don't know about sitting at my computer for 3 hours... but anyways, just so you know I'll be getting my daily dose of sports on TV. If the Sharks aren't on TV, I'm not watching. But let me know next time you have an extra ticket. Those games sure are fun to go to, even if I know nothing about the sport, because I only hear about it from you, not TV or sports talk radio."
My TV screen is a heck of a lot bigger than my computer screen.
I'd much rather watch TV than internet/streaming, at this point.
I, as an European, have no real alternative to ESPN360 Europe which is quite ok as a service (It's technically NHL CI, I think) but could use some competition. Cable sports channels over here show one or two games a night, and that just doesn't cut it when you don't really care about the eastern conference and most of the western teams. I don't want to pay 100 euros a season just so I can see at max ten Sharks games.
The ESPN360 picture quality is not HD, I'd say it's pretty close to what the regular digital broadcasts are, web streams and SD have different weaknesses and strong suits.
And, it has been possible to link modern computers to TV screens digitally for years now, which is how I use my 40" TV as a screen for my computer, full hd. Let's just say there's no going back to those ~20" screens =P