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And the bad news for Hockey in the US continues

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  • And the bad news for Hockey in the US continues

    All-Star Game's TV ratings take huge hit
    Jan. 28, 2007
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

    NEW YORK -- TV watchers didn't exactly warm up to the NHL's midweek All-Star Game, which experienced a 76 percent drop in household viewership from the previous event in 2004.

    Wednesday night's game in Dallas drew a 0.7 Nielsen rating on Versus, the cable channel formerly known as OLN. The game was viewed in an estimated 474,298 households and by 672,948 viewers, down from the 1,985,000 households that saw the 2004 All-Star Game on a Sunday afternoon on ABC.

    Wednesday's most-watched show, American Idol, drew an estimated 37 million viewers in the 9 p.m. ET hour.

    The NHL ratings drop-off was even greater when compared to the 2000 game in Toronto, which was watched in approximately 2,681,000 households on a Sunday afternoon -- or more than five times as many homes as were tuned in Wednesday.

    While Wednesday's game was the most-watched cable show that night in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, it did not place among the top 20 cable shows in NHL markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington and Miami. The 7.1 rating in Buffalo was by far the largest in any U.S. market.

    In host city Dallas, the game was only the 18th most-watched cable program with a 0.5 rating. The national rating is the percentage of U.S. television households tuned to a program, and each point represents about 1.1 million homes.

    In Canada, the estimated audience on CBC was 1.238 million, up about 6 percent from 2004.

    The All-Star Game wasn't held in 2005 because of the season-long labor dispute or in 2006 because of the Olympics.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service
    While the audience in Canada grew, it was snubbed by US viewers. Granted, it appeared on a third rate cable network, and on a weekday evening... but come on.

    More people were watching reruns of the Andy Griffith show on another cable network...

    Which ever moron scheduled the game on a weekday should be shot.

    It just shows how low interest in Hockey has fallen in the US.
    Keep on Civin'
    RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O

  • #2
    This is the BIG problem with the NHL going for Versus instead of ESPN. It's hit them all season, not just the All-Star Game.
    I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
    - John 13:34-35 (NRSV)

    Comment


    • #3
      The only way I can get OLN (or whatever it's called now) is by subscribing to a package that is $50 a month... the most expensive package my provider offers.

      Plus, the NHL is just crap now. If Ovechkin and Crosby are going to be the superstars for the next decade, the sport is in real trouble.

      And now it looks like Nashville is going to be the team to beat in the West? C'mon... Nashville? Who gives a **** about Nashville?

      Also, teams voted down the realignment so now we're stuck with unbalanced scheduling at least until after 2007-2008.

      The NHL is easily the worst managed sport.
      To us, it is the BEAST.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's your answer, the f*cking American commish.

        http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slu...yhoo&type=lgns
        Unhappy anniversary
        By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
        January 29, 2007

        Dan Wetzel
        Yahoo! Sports
        Everyone has a favorite conspiracy theory about the NBA. Some like the idea that David Stern fixed the 1984 draft lottery. Others favor his supposed secret suspension of a star player for gambling problems.

        Mine dates back to the early 1990s, when the NHL was white hot with fans and never better on the ice. Wayne Gretzky was in Los Angeles. Mark Messier was with the New York Rangers, who were on the verge of ending their Stanley Cup drought. Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy and many others were hitting their prime.

        Anyone who doesn't think hockey can work in America is forgetting this era. All of a sudden, hockey was challenging, if not beating, the NBA in a number of major U.S. markets including New York. It's almost impossible to imagine now, but it happened.

        As the conspiracy theory goes, Stern sensed the potential trouble in 1993 while the NHL was in search of a new commissioner. So he looked around his own office for someone so incompetent that if they got the job, the NHL would be marginalized by their mismanagement and never again be a threat to the NBA.

        Naturally, Stern recommended one of his assistants, Gary Bettman, for the job.

        True story or not, it worked.

        Bettman is set to begin his 15th year as commissioner Thursday, and like most hockey fans I feel the need to mark the occasion by popping a bottle of champagne, chugging the entire thing in an effort to drown my misery and then smashing the empty bottle over my temple to black out the memories.

        There has never been a commissioner of a major North American sports league this inept, yet the league's board of governors keeps employing him, keeps giving him another chance to sink this once-proud, once-vibrant league to new depths.

        Bettman is on a 14-year run of bad ideas. His latest was a classic, moving the league's all-star game, which featured attention-grabbing young megastars, to midweek on the Versus Network as opposed to NBC on a weekend. He claimed it would allow Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to own the sports landscape, unlike some crowded weekend.

        The result was a catastrophic 0.7 rating. That's a meager 474,298 households in the States that bothered to watch, down 76 percent from the last all-star game.

        It is par for a season which has seen TV numbers plummet in both the U.S. and Canada (down 20 percent by some reports), attendance drop and media coverage dwindle.

        Hockey fans would laugh if we weren't crying. We'd figure it would be the last straw that would lead to his dismissal, but at this stage, we know he's never going away. For those of us who grew up loving and living this sport and this league, all of us who cared about the NHL long before Bettman's slow, steady suicidal stewardship of it, it's just the latest in a recurring nightmare.

        The Bettman era has been an unmitigated disaster for the league in virtually every possible way, one outrageously terrible initiative after another.

        I could write a book about Bettman's insulting and imbecilic moves through the years (Chapter 9, "The Glowing Puck") but the main problem has always been the same. He has shown no respect for the game, for its history, for its fans, for its unique qualities.

        Bettman might consider himself an astute sports marketer, but in practice he is arguably the worst of all-time. He has never figured out how to change his marketing plans to fit the product of hockey. Instead he changed the product to fit his marketing plans.

        The league is now overexpanded and overpriced, misplaced and misdirected. It is less exciting, less interesting, less traditional and more difficult to follow for the non-obsessive fan.

        Yes, hockey fans remain. I'm one of them. But even we can't believe what has happened here. It is bad enough a desperate, ill-advised grab of supposed "new, emerging markets" have come at the expense of the old fan base. It's dispiriting that the league chased the fickle corporate dollar and priced out families. But what's worse is it just keeps going and going, Bettman on the job for life.

        Under Bettman's watch, the NHL's improvements are few. Certainly new technologies such as the "Center Ice" package and the Internet have been great. And there are far more highly skilled players than in 1993, thanks to the influx of talent from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

        Of course, Bettman had nothing to do with these things occurring.

        The elimination of the red line and the crackdown on obstruction are positives. Some will argue that shootouts to decide regular-season games and the severe curbing of fighting are positives, but that's a matter of personal preference.

        While some hail the salary cap that allows across-the-board competitiveness, I think it suppresses the kind of elite play that makes the game great. Hockey is the ultimate team pursuit the need for timing and teamwork is paramount. The individual star is utterly worthless without strong teammates.

        The great player needs other great players to be great. In the mid-1980s Gretzky needed Messier, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri and others to maximize his abilities and thrill fans. A salary cap prevents talent from flocking together like that, so we get economic viability of the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for breathtaking teams such as the Edmonton Oilers of 1980s or the Detroit Red Wings of the late 1990s.

        The negatives are too numerous to list, but consider the league's current uneven schedule which serves no purpose other than cutting travel costs for a few cheapskate owners. Teams play eight games per season against division foes, or 32 a year against just four teams.

        Bettman claimed it would spawn "new" rivalries. Of course, old rivalries such as Detroit-Toronto two hockey-mad towns separated by a single highway that actually has an exit for Wayne Gretzky Blvd. no longer play a home-and-home series each season. It's like killing Red Sox-Yankees so Blue Jays-Diamondbacks might catch on.

        And, since fighting has been curbed, the "new" rivalries haven't really taken because a hockey rivalry without fighting is like non-alcoholic beer.

        Plus, not everyone gets to see young superstars such as Pittsburgh's Crosby or Washington's Ovechkin.

        Last week, 22 franchises tried to bring the old schedule back, but eight blocked the move in a vote while Bettman, predictably, did little lobbying on behalf of the majority opinion.

        This is Bettman's NHL. Fourteen years, four bankruptcies, three franchise moves, two lockouts, one lost season and no effective leadership. The business is so sick that the Pittsburgh Penguins, despite a loyal fan base and the most promising talent since Gretzky, are 50-50 to move to that noted hockey hotbed of Kansas City.

        Bettman has his apologists who point out that he beat former NHLPA head Bob Goodenow during the last lockout and got a salary cap installed.

        Which is true, except it cost the NHL an entire season and an incalculable number of fans. And the proposed cap for next season is already creeping close to the average pre-lockout team salary. Wasn't the new deal only needed because the old deal was so bad? And who negotiated that one for the NHL in 1994? Oh yes, Gary Bettman, who locked the players out and killed all momentum from the Rangers' Stanley Cup championship to get that ill-fated deal done.

        Lord knows what is next. Lord knows how he can make it worse. Lord knows what prior screwups he'll try to solve now with fresh screwups.

        You'd think a 0.7 was rock bottom, but then again, this is someone who surveyed the burning wreckage of the NHL and decided that what would really turn things around this time were sleek new uniforms from Reebok, which were trotted out last week.

        "This is an evolution of our uniform," Bettman proudly crowed.

        Of course, already fans who are carrying even a few extra pounds report that they look ridiculous in the new form fitting jerseys, which has led to predictions of plummeting apparel sales and jokes about how Bettman hatched the idea after watching George Costanza comically change the New York Yankees' uniforms to cotton.

        "This is a Seinfeld episode, isn't it?" wrote one fan on the San Jose Mercury News' hockey blog.

        Yes, David Stern's bizarro world, now entering its 15th year and counting.
        "The issue is there are still many people out there that use religion as a crutch for bigotry and hate. Like Ben."
        Ben Kenobi: "That means I'm doing something right. "

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sava
          Plus, the NHL is just crap now. If Ovechkin and Crosby are going to be the superstars for the next decade, the sport is in real trouble.
          I strongly disagree.

          And now it looks like Nashville is going to be the team to beat in the West? C'mon... Nashville? Who gives a **** about Nashville?
          Who cares about where they're from? Nashville is a great team to watch -- very young, fast, promising players.

          Also, teams voted down the realignment so now we're stuck with unbalanced scheduling at least until after 2007-2008.

          The NHL is easily the worst managed sport.
          To be fair, 22 of the teams voted in favour of changing the schedule. Especially the ones in the west. Doesn't mean **** though.
          "The issue is there are still many people out there that use religion as a crutch for bigotry and hate. Like Ben."
          Ben Kenobi: "That means I'm doing something right. "

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting article by Wetzel.

            I didn't even realize the All Star game was on during the week - I expected it to be on the weekend. Probably would've watched it if it had been. I think it was bad for the NHL to go with Versus.

            As for the jerseys, maybe they should have loose-fitting ones for the fans.
            Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
            Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
            One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Asher
              Here's your answer, the f*cking American commish.
              Great piece... I hadn't seen that one yet. THANKS!

              When I was visiting my parents in Florida over Thanksgiving, I was able to spend some quality time (golf and lunch) with Bob Pulford and Emile 'The Cat' Francis. When the subject of hockey came up (how couldn't it) they had some "concerns" on how the game was going today. Two many teams... bad TV contract... the loss of fans during some STUPID lockouts... Little did we know it was an NBA conspiracy... again, great piece!
              Keep on Civin'
              RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O

              Comment


              • #8
                AS for the all-star game, I started to watch it but I just couldn't continue to watch. I can get into a Columbus-phoenix mmatchup but I couldn't be bothered to watch a no-hit pansy-ass dipsy doodle.

                I like a fancy play but its nice when the guy actually has to get around someone that dares to hit them


                I am a big hockey fan and even watched the skills competition-- but the all-star game-- no thanks
                You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

                Comment


                • #9
                  The problem is both the league (primarily Bettman) and owners. Unfortunately, it's a problem that just feeds off itself.
                  "The French caused the war [Persian Gulf war, 1991]" - Ned
                  "you people who bash Bush have no appreciation for one of the great presidents in our history." - Ned
                  "I wish I had gay sex in the boy scouts" - Dissident

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sava
                    And now it looks like Nashville is going to be the team to beat in the West? C'mon... Nashville? Who gives a **** about Nashville?
                    More than you might believe... the rumors of the franchise's demise (or departure to KC) are largely overblown.

                    Anyway, if the NHL wants more recognition, they'll have to go out and get it; it's not going to just come to them. That means getting more games on a REAL cable or broadcast network (like ESPN), not some channel most people have never heard of. 1 game a week on NBC isn't going to get it done. Yea, it will cost them more in the short term, but it will ensure the long-term viability of the league.



                    As for the all-start game... I really couldn't care less about all-star games in any sport. A lot of what makes many of these guys so great stems from the team dynamic they have; put them all together, and they lose some of that magic. (See '04 US Men's Olympic Basketball Team).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If Nashville wants more popularity they gotta ditch the mustard uniforms. WTF.
                      "The issue is there are still many people out there that use religion as a crutch for bigotry and hate. Like Ben."
                      Ben Kenobi: "That means I'm doing something right. "

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And, since fighting has been curbed, the "new" rivalries haven't really taken because a hockey rivalry without fighting is like non-alcoholic beer.
                        I don't get this part. Even forget American football and boxing or any martial arts. Even ice skating has rivalries, and MOST of the time there's no violence.
                        Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
                        "Hating America is something best left to Mobius. He is an expert Yank hater.
                        He also hates Texans and Australians, he does diversify." ~ Braindead

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There's rivalries, and then there's hockey rivalries.

                          Football rivalries are a joke in comparison to the 70s/80s hockey rivalries...
                          "The issue is there are still many people out there that use religion as a crutch for bigotry and hate. Like Ben."
                          Ben Kenobi: "That means I'm doing something right. "

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Asher
                            Football rivalries are a joke in comparison to the 70s/80s hockey rivalries...
                            Blah, Blah, Blah... the Bears and Packers rivalry is far longer and means a hell of a lot to many people. Now that's a real fivalry
                            Keep on Civin'
                            RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ming


                              Blah, Blah, Blah... the Bears and Packers rivalry is far longer and means a hell of a lot to many people. Now that's a real fivalry
                              Are the Bears even 100 years old like some NHL teams?
                              "The issue is there are still many people out there that use religion as a crutch for bigotry and hate. Like Ben."
                              Ben Kenobi: "That means I'm doing something right. "

                              Comment

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