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…