Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Uh oh...brace yourselves...

1) Yes I think we can all agree that Colin Cowherd sucks. Now apparently, The Sports Guy agrees.

2) I'm going to beat you all to the punch. Yes I'm aware that Saturday night's game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals was not just the lowest rated hockey game on network TV of all time, but tied for the lowest network ratings for its timeslot ever. Thats right! EVER! People have been sending me this link all day, then sat back and waited for me to start squirming, then hopelessly defend my favorite dying sport. Except it didn't happen. All three times this "newsworthy tidbit" was pointed out to me, I simply shrugged and dismissed it completely (otherwise known as "the high road"). Sadly, you are all much too savvy for such a cavalier response from me (even AWM). You've seen me get pissed over much dumber things, so you know that this ratings thing must be eating away at me, right? So fine, allow me to validate my insecurities by explaining these low ratings (or rather, explaining their insignificance):

First of all, there are four people in the world that actually care about these ratings; that is, the four people that stand to actually profit from high ratings- the head of NBC, the owners of both teams involved, and of course NHL commish Gary Bettman. Anyone else who actually cares is simply using TV ratings on a summer Saturday night as a means of validating their opinion on something that, quite frankly, shouldn't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.

Second, I've said it before and I'll say it again (even though it may come as a shock to some of you): hockey is not popular in the United States! *GASP* Ok, have you all caught your breath yet? Good! Compared to NBA/NFL/MLB, hockey is relatively unpopular. The average American probably cannot name one NHL player. These are all indisputable facts. Regardless, the NHL makes money. How do I know? They simply wouldn't exist if that were not true (they would never have returned from the lockout, at least). How does the NHL make its money? By capitalizing on HUGE market potential in hockey hotbeds- like Detroit, San Jose, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh (amongst others). Also forgotten in the equation is the fact that Canada is actually a country, with people. People who have income, sometimes of the dispensable variety! Hence, the NHL profits. And it does so by not just simply getting by at the gate, but by actually excelling at the gate. The vast majority of the NHL's profits are made by ticket prices, not TV deals. Don't believe me? Check out this attendance chart from the '06-'07 season (2/3 of NHL teams sold 90% of their total tickets this year, including 10 that sold EVERY FREAKIN' SEAT AND THEN SOME!). Now compare that to the NBA, which also had 20 of its 30 teams sell 90% or higher, but only 5 sold every seat.

Now lets put this into perspective. Clearly the NBA is more popular (I'm not an idiot), but the NHL sure does compare favorably in terms of attendance (and I'd like to add that the NBA isn't exactly tearing it up in the ratings either). So I guess my point in this longwinded, borish diatribe, is this: the league aint goin' nowhere. There could've been 4 people watching the game on Saturday (me, my roommate, my boss and my mom), and it wouldn't change that fact.

But if you want to point out the ratings, maybe even make a joke comparing it to Paris Hilton's blood alcohol level, be my guest. Its an easy target, and it will win you millions of friends in the blogosphere.

3. Poop

4. 'Mocraft


AngryWhiteMan said...


Skurny said...

I couldn't agree more with Goal #4...should we talk "off-line" about a possible raid of Angst Angelo Alpha Male the IV's Castle of Broken Dreams this weekend? Text me and we can make it happen, I have backup in the region.

J.ust O.ver B.roke said...

The point isn't that hockey should be discontinued. The point is that it mostly sucks at fan acquisition. Americans will eat up anything. We'll watch people play bingo on a Friday night for crissakes. Don't give me your excuses for why people don't watch it. The most interesting things in hockey are the fights and the penalty shot. All the players grow beards in the playoffs so we can't tell them apart anyway, and they have no name recognition.

People haven't tuned in to watch any Spurs-Jazz tilts, but they dang sure know who Tim Duncan is. I guarantee you Finals ratings will be up because of your boy Bron-Bron.

Finally, as far as attendance goes, until you show me how short the 5 teams that only sold between 91-99% came from hitting 100, I'm going to say the attendance disparity is negligible at best. Oh yeah, how do hockey ticket prices compare to basketball ticket prices, considering the Blackhawks were literally GIVING AWAY tickets? I'm not impressed.

Brown Buddy said...

Ok, first of all you can't compare the Chicago market to anything when discussing NHL prosperity. Thats like talking up the MLB and using the Montreal Expos as exhibit A. Also, I don't buy into the name recognition thing, because the NFL does just fine without promoted individual players.

I understand what you're saying that they suck at fan aquisition. I couldn't agree more (thats why the Blackhawks hired ME of all people 3 years ago to work in marketing and fan relations). My point is that, while they suck at getting new fans, they haven't done too badly in keeping their existing fans.

And yeah, the 5 NBA teams weren't far off from selling out 100%, but thats not what I was sayin really. The NBA drew more than the NHL, actually (it is more popular, after all...). My point was that the NHL actually did quite well at the gate, and I used the NBA as a measuring stick (same # of teams, same size arenas, same # of home games, etc.)

Of course everyone hates hockey...I'm not arguing that. I'll never understand why...I mean, its only a sport. And its such a fashionable whipping boy, and most of the idiots on TV who bash it simply have nothing better to say, and are lacking creativity...but despite all this, the sport is just fine. And it isn't going anywhere...which was the crux of my original argument. Bad ratings and all