NHL in TV trouble

Things that need to get higher…

1. Britney Spears jeans.. I know what you’re thinking. What !!! Who doesn’t love that little dime slot butt crack look when you see her on TV or from at least 300 ft (so says the restraining order) away. But the consequences are this: every girl in America will try and duplicate that look. Head down to Costco one afternoon and try to imagine some of those gals lifting the 100lb vat of Hagen Daaz into their carts showing a little “cleavage” with their low riders. Yep. Should I pass you one or two flaming sticks to poke out your eyes with.

2. The calorie count of a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Have you seen these things. they’re like jelly filled orgasms. Of course too many of them and you may explode. They should serve those things with a defibulator or a syringe of insulin.

3. The NHL TV Ratings.

Gary Bettman’s recent NHL state of the union address fooled no one. The NHL is in trouble on the box. Why is that bad? Well, that means that without that extra little bit of revenue (The NHL has a TV contract worth just over 600 million and that expires next season) you may not see some of your hometown teams make it out alive. The ratings have consistently dipped from 2001’s series which drew 2.9 to see the Canes lose out to the Wings to a paltry 1.4 share for this season’s finals. Ouch !

The average audience watching an NHL game on ESPN is around 300,000 per game. This is less that the 750,000 per event average audience for…… Pro Bowling. That’s right, bowling. The sport that equates athleticism with nachos.

Hey, what sport does the NHL compare to on EPN ratings wise. Why, the hardcore world of Bass fishing and of course dirt bike racing.

Take into account the other factors such as the fact that no large market ( read revenue generating commercial sales wet dreams) city (The LA’s and New York’s of the world) even enter into the top 10 in hockey viewer ship. New York has a 1.5 rating versus Minnesota’s 6.5 rating and that the average NHL salary has shot from $271,000 to $1.64 million and all of a sudden even Pythagorous himself couldn’t solve this problem. The NFL gets more TV money and pays its players less and is the NFL profitable… hmmmmm !! Where’s the money going to come from if not TV contract. More importantly, how will the NHL be able to make all 30 teams viable should a lesser TV contract be reached?

And how does good old Gary counter these statistics. Well, he blames (are you ready) possibly faulty reporting system errors. Who does this guys PR? He should hire the guy that put the word out about waffles. Waffles ! They’re just crunchy pancakes but man are they kicking the flapjack’s ass.

Who’s to blame for all this… I don’t know but here’s a possibility… Cable TV. Here’s me paraphrasing an article read a while back. Good stuff. I just wish I could remember the link.

Cable TV and it’s co-axial cables of doom decided to splice their redundant wires and offer “niche programming” That’s why we have Star Trek on 24 hours a day. So, these “extra” wires can also do hockey. Hence, Bluejackets TV, Canuckvision, etc… New cable contracts for all.. Hey !! more teams more cable contracts.. Hello Minnesota and Atlanta !! Now, why is this bad. I love my local team and I can even tolerate Has been A paired with Mr. Fresh out of broadcasting school B. It’s perfect, or is it.

What happens when the person that owns the cable network and the team decides. Hey, I’m not making enough money here….but in City A there are 2x the people which means 2x the cable audience. Goodbye Quebec Nordiques and Hello Colorado Avalanche.

Anyways. I know everyone is all about the CBA and more goals and more excitement blah blah but I think the real problem is not being able to generate a solid TV audience which would in turn land a lucrative TV contract. I don’t think 7-2 games will do it nor will all the crapass ideas about bigger nets, shootouts etc…

Trudeau said that if you make a special allowance to appease a people you will ghettoize them. This is the potential of Hockey. Pander to all those stupid ideas about bigger crossbars, etc.. and the NHL will become the “battlebots” of the sporting world. Pro wrestling will have more legitimacy. The NBA made concessions in teir game and guess what? TV rating still were down this year.

So, what do we do? Here’s my ideas…

1)Broadcast a game that you know will be exciting (at least play the average anyways) on a night when you stand a chance of having a large audience. Hey, that’s why we have Monday Night Football.

2)Pick certain players and market the crap out of them and their jerseys… Let’s see Joe Thornton (pretty boy) on TRL (MTV show) and let’s get .50 cent wearing a Danny Heatley jersey. That’s marketing ! That’s how anything gets to be popular. You like Jack Nicholson, he likes the Lakers. I like the Lakers. I will buy Lakers merchandise.

3)Erase the stigma that Hockey is a Canadian game only. Canadians are funny to Americans therefore so are all of our things. (Tim Hortons, Socialized medicine, toques) etc.. (I’m a Canadian living in Texas, believe me this is true..)

4)Hire a national broadcast team that is not Gary Thorne, Bill Clement and any other chucklehead at ESPN. I’d much rather have the puppets from “The Thunderbirds” do the game then listen to these airwave suckers.

5)Promote more rivalries. I know that TO and MTL hate each other but come on let’s see some more of that Detroit Colorado bitterness…good times.

6)Bring back Peter Puck !!!

Ok, any more…

61 Responses to NHL in TV trouble

  1. TexCan77 says:

    You’re Ebert I’m Siskel…. Ok, here’s my rebuttal.

    1) I’m scared that you keep up with the trends of pre teen/teenage girls. Somewhere in that cry for help is an unwanted “guest” appearance on COPS. Let me know when your “Cutest Prom Dresses Ever” column in Cosmo Teen gets published.

    2) Hockey is fine. The sport is as great as can be. We all love hockey. I can’t remember my article saying hockey is in trouble at all. I do think the TV ratings are in serious trouble which could relate to financial problems down the road. But the sport itself will always survive and needs no changing at the playing level. If you change hockey (redline, shootout etc…) then would it be worth watching ? My belief is no. That’s what I hate about basketball.. Eat a nacho miss 8 points being scored.

    3) I post when I post. If you check my log you’ll notice I have been posting for quite a while. Sorry that this sounds like insults being hurled form my treehouse but “You don’t own the site” so blah !!!

    4) I don’t buy into your argument about attention spans either. For music videos and commercial maybe; but the highly coveted 18-34 demographic in NASCAR keeps on growing and that ain’t exactly the most exciting sport translated to TV.

    5) Have you seen my point ? Because you missed it. (this was much funnier in Grade 4..it must have been the milk coming out of my nose) You need only change people’s perceptions to make it cool. If it’s cool then it’s worth watching. Whether you like it or not.. Case in point George Clooney Movies, NASCAR, and Boston concerts. How much faster can Hockey be? What’s more simple then skate, shoot score. Most goals win…I have been in the USA for sometime now and they are every bit as intelligent as Canadians. The Stupid Yank is as stereotypical as the Johnny Canook. So get over it.

    6) I still don’t understand the “points” or this SCTP thing. More importantly all this bravado should have its own WB sitcom. I get the feeling there were a lot of wedgie pulls and getting picked last in your past. Krispy Kremes are indeed a poor mans Tim Hortons but until they make their way to the South it’s all I’ve got.

    7) Your dream of broadcasting… Will you be able to leave your parent’s basement for it and do you have enough Star Wars T-shirts to last a whole week.

    8) If you want to be the windmill to my Quixote then have at it. I think a great topic would be “Defenestrate Sucks”.. I’ll take counterpoint… whoops, no argument here. You win, he does suck….ha ha ha ha ha !!! Sorry.

    Hmm, you choose the topic if you think its worth debating…just don’t use “Gretzky is the best ever because…”

  2. MIHOCKEYFAN says:

    Some of you guys have had some good ideas. Some sports do not belong in a certain region.

    Like the Toronto Raptors.

    Here are changes I think should be made.

    1) Make sure everyone knows who the best players are. Advertise them all the time.

    2) Free tickets to athletes from more popular local teams. Imagine how many basketball fans in Jersey would have an increased intrest in Hockey if Kidd had been at the game.

    3) Youth development and scolarship programs. North American youths need to start learning hockey skills at a young age. Also hockey gear is expensive and if there were scholarships it would be cheaper.

    4) Hockey has got to be the whitest sport in North America. If there was more minority players it would probably be more popular.

    5) Hockey palyers are boring. They don’t have tatoos. They don’t say anything contorversial. Hockey needs more loudmouths like Hull and JR. And if you compare JR to Allen Iverson, then JR would seem as quiet as a mouse.

    6) Barry Bonds is already the best and might become the best all time. LeBron James has potential to be the best. Who is going to do this for hockey? With Gretzky gone, and everyone tired of the possibly retiring Lemuix and his minor leaugers, there is no player that represent’s hockey. Also because of the way the game is played there might never be one. The NHL has to change the game, keeping it fair of course, but also making it so people like Heatly and Thorton could score a lot of goals.

  3. bender says:

    In your heart you love the game. You may think that nothing is wrong with the game and you may accept it for what it is.

    But somewhere out there are a group of kids wondering what sport they should play.

    All the love in your heart for hockey, and your belief that there’s nothing wrong, and that it’s as great as can be, is pure blindness…..and will not get the next generation of fans interested in 1-0 games. Ask any kid who knows the game, what do they wanna see…..the majority of them wanna see goals. They wanna see action. They don’t give a crap about Selke award and the guys who deserve. The only wanna win the MVP or the art ross. And who wins those awards. The guys who put the pucks in the net.

    The TV ratings are suffering because our game has become a D first game, and if we don’t secure a fanbase with the youth for the future, the NHL WILL NOT SURVIVE as you may think. Hell the NHL may fold after next years CBA.

    You can feel good in your omnipotent beliefs about hockey. But I can’t, hockey needs some changes, maybe not to make the game super crazy. But there is a happy medium to satisfy the all the guys who love that game.

  4. phatrabbit says:

    Get rid of Gary Bettman and reduce the amount of teams to 24 putting the rest into AHL. And move three American teams back to Canada(Colorado, phoenix and another yet not named).

  5. defenestrate says:

    So here you are – and you’re not the boogeyman after all. Too bad you choose to use your powers for evil instead of good.

    Good thing I’m Ebert and you’re Siskel – Siskel’s been dead for over a year.

    1.) As anyone who actually knows me will tell you, I have three teenage daughters. I have no choice but to “keep up with their trends”. If you don’t know where your kids are going, and what they’re doing, they end up like Scotty And Leaf Ex-spurt. And I already used the “Cops” thing on the Isles post, so keep up or shut up.

    On the other hand, your fascination with butt cleavage indicates some penitentiary time in your immediate past or future.

    2.) Hockey is not fine, and anyone who professes to love the sport should know that. You’re still sticking your head in the sand and pretending that no can see you “because it’s dark”. You’ll find a very eloquent disagreement from my adopted son on here – and he’s Canadian, and one of those silly SCTP people to boot!

    3.) I do not own the site. I don’t wish to. My purposes are far more insidious.

    4.) The NASCAR demographic grows because Jerry Springer puts pixels over the boobs now.

    5.) I understand your point. I see it better when you have your hat off. It is indeed marketing that makes things “cool”. The NHL marketing has sucked hind tit for a long time now – because the money is not there, because people are not following the sport. See the circular logic?

    Love is blind; God is love; Ray Charles is blind; Ray Charles is God.

    And, having been born Canadian and raised in the US, I can tell you I don’t buy into any stereotypes, except the one about people using less than ten percent of their brains. The evidence is irrefutable.

    6.) You’re not supposed to understand them. And I can guarantee you that the childhood indignities you suffered do not project successfully onto me. And anyone who uses “touch my monkey” as part of his ID is already well-versed in juvenelia.

    SCTP was created as a defense mechanism against the rampant idiocy, fundamental lack of wit, and homeristic jingoism of so many of the denizens of this cyber-asylum.

    Your own writing style (and I give you props for attempting to have one) indicates that you must find at least some of the postings on here dry and puerile. Yet you dare to impugn us – the best and the brightest? HA!

    7.) I don’t have a “broadcasting dream” – my parents are dead, and I am doubtless old enough to be one of yours. I have never seen a Star Wars movie, a Star Trek episode, or an episode of “The Sopranos”, “Joe Millionaire”, or “Survivor”. I use HTR as an outlet to prevent bad performance reviews at work as a result of my “Type A” personality. It beats that court-ordered “anger management” stuff all to pieces.

    8.) That’s a good topic. Of course, the topic should actually be, “Does Defenestrate Suck, And If So, Why Do People Private Message Him And Tell Him That Some Guy Named Texcan77 Is Trying To Write Just Like Him?”

    You’re so far off base with your last comment that you just fell for the pickoff move. If you had researched me before you leapt, you’d realize that one of my most controversial articles on here was “Wayne Gretzky was a pussy”.

    Whether you like me and my SCTP brethren or not (and trust me, we don’t care), it is our mission to keep things from getting too boring, pompous, serious and / or ludicrous on here. I understand that it’s the nature of lower beasts to hate and fear what you don’t understand. That’s all right. Keep writing, because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    It’s been nice talking to you (and I mean that sincerely – no sarcasm – you are a welcome break from some of the disjointed jargon I usually encounter).

    Please, let’s keep this dialogue flowing, without denigrating into totally personal insults or mindless obscenities. Perhaps we can become a regular feature on HTR to while away the summer months. Maybe they’ll give us our own icon (hear me, Mik?)

    SCTP – “When you shoot at the King, you’d better not miss”…..

  6. defenestrate says:

    You see it everywhere – it’s warm and brown – and you keep stepping in it.

    Move the Avalanche back to Canada. Yep. And I bet all the Australians would like to move back to Ireland while we’re at it, too.

    Tell you what – we’ll give you Tampa Bay instead.

    Why didn’t you ask for Winnipeg back?

  7. OldNord says:

    Just noting the facts, pal!

  8. OldNord says:

    I was wrong last time, he responded at your comment in his last article.

  9. JStatic87 says:

    Yeah, there’s the treadmill girls and then there’s the “I’m so flexible I’m gonna start stretching over by the Freeweights where all of the guys work out” girls………..actually, I don’t mind those ones. Yeah, I’m not complaining about that.

    I also agree, a mutual respect has grown, I usually pick out responses from posters to read and you, Aaron, Titans, and MantaRay always grab my attention. Keep up the good work.

  10. defenestrate says:

    I just got around to reading your belated responses to your “ain’t-I-clever” darwinism post.

    I’M trying too hard with the pop culture references? Look at your preface to this article.

    I have an “ilk” AND a “Peanuts gang?”. Do you mix your metaphors in a blender or what?

    Travis Bickle? You have no clue, Hardy Jenns. If I respond strongly, it’s because I’m sick of your “ilk” thinking you can make a reputation on here by “taking me down a peg or two”. I apologize for neither my vocabulary, my tone, my sentiments, or the admittedly biased nature of what I write.

    I’m here to vent, to enlighten, to entertain, and to network with my “Peanuts gang, WB sitcom, ilk, NO MA’AM (thanks, B)”, or whatever you wish to call it.

    If I disturb you – good. I’m eliciting a reaction, and fulfilling my niche in our little entropic closed system.

    Think of me and my “ilk” as a bad traffic accident – if it bothers you, don’t look (but you know you will, because you always do it’s your base instinct).

    I won’t even tag this SCTP, because it’s between you and me.

    There is a certain school of psychiatric thought that advances the opinion that those things that disturb us the most are the things we refuse to recognize in ourselves, and that we should face them and embrace them, because we can learn and grow from them.

    Given your slavish emulation of my “style”, which you allegedly disdain, I’d venture there’s more than a grain of truth in that codicil.


  11. cwthrash says:

    You kidding? If I could find one, I’d love to go. Been watching lacrosse off and on since the Gait brothers were in college. Didn’t actually like them that much, or Syracuse at all, but what they could do at times was just plain nasty.

    Yet another drawback of living in the south. And my favorite band is Rush. Think I was born in the wrong country, or at least the wrong part of this one?

Leave a Reply