Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by SENSible1*, Mar 10, 2005.
One less leverage point for the PA.
I don't get ESPN but this is still great news for the NHL and the game.
People love to point out that dog shows and bowling get better ratings (more people in the US bowl or own dogs than play hockey, duh) but NHL fans tend to be more affluent and are a better target for advertisers.
Hmm good point, mooseOAK. Sure the masses like to watch high stakes poker, but what more are they gonna buy because of it? They'd obviously rather piss away their bucks at the casino than on what most of the major advertisers want to push to them.
Anyway this is good news, even though I hate ESPN's coverage.
ESPN also needs to look in the mirror when it comes to poor hockey ratings. While there is no argument that the NHL needs to improve the game, the broadcasts themselves are at LEAST as critical a factor in attracting and sustaining viewership. They simply have to learn how to televise hockey. Compare a mid-week ESPN2 broadcast of a game in St Louis to a HNIC broadcast in Edmonton. It's like watching two entirely different games. The closeness of the camera, the audio, the crispness of the picture, etc.... everything is FAR superior in the HNIC broadcast. Even as a diehard fan, it's often nearly impossible for me to sit through those types of ESPN2 broadcasts. If a diehard can't, what are the chances that the masses can?
Learn how to televise the game now!
also if you look at ratings even the NBA gets smallish numbers on cable, something like 1.5-2.0. almost all regular season games are never in the top 20 like spongebob's ~4.0 ratings. Poker-dogshows-bowling get just as low but take hardly the same in production costs to bring it to air, THATS why espn has gotten increasing lame over the last few years.
maybe they can bring in Chris Cuthbert to do play by play...
If it's part of an overall effort to replicate the HNIC quality of broadcast, bring it on. What ESPN2 (and some regional broadcast outlets) do with hockey is pathetic. It's painful to try and watch a game with no quality audio, announcers who lack sufficient emotion, and cameras that appear to be positioned about a quarter-mile from the ice.
they need to get mics on the boards as well... this sound effect makes you feel more part of the game when watching on tv...
Umm..it was obvious ESPN was using that to threaten the NHL to get rolling on the talks....if you really thought they were going to pull the plug on the NHL then your
Yeah I must be crazy then. Nothing points to this actually being a smart business decision for ESPN if they were to pull the plug. Nothing as in, horrible ratings, locked-out NHL with unforseen long-term damage to the game, fan support?, sponsorship pulling out, etc. etc. etc.
It is a good deal, long term... if ESPN can keep the NHL locked in around the 2-3 million mark per team, it will gain..
The NHL will go through another period of growth... it happens.. Sport fads go in swings.. and the NHL is a Fad sport in the US... Vs baseball and Football are America's core sports...
what I mean to say, is that in another 4-5 years, assuming a CBA ever gets worked out, the NHL will swing back up on the market, and ESPN will have a sweat deal for cheap..
60 Million a year is a STEAL for a sport that, IMO, is still a top 4-6(but very distant from #3) sport.
I recognize all of this, and I don't blame ESPN for picking up the option, I might be a little biased though. I was just trying to show FLY boy that ESPN dropping the NHL was more than a real possibility with more than a few reasons why.
The reasons that they state are very valid. Young and fairly affluent males, a big part of hockey's core demographics, are a hard audience to reach through regular programming. They will get a long of bang for their $60 million buck, especially if hockey carries through on its end and gets scoring up.
I completely agree with the law-talkin' guy.
I agree. What gets me most excited about hockey's future, is the apparent influx of kids signing up to play hockey in alot of markets where the league has expanded that aren't necessarily hockey markets, and even other markets without NHL teams. In time this will translate to a more popular sport, as these kids grow to love the game and become paying fans themselves. It starts at the grassroots level, and the U.S. is growing their's at a good rate.
And for how many years have people been saying the same thing about soccer?
Playing the game does not translate into a love for the game.
Whatever the reason, it's great news. For us Yanks, ESPN is the hockey network. I don't know what hockey's return to NBC will be like, but I don't ever want to lose ESPN.
The problem with soccer, is the best leagues in the world are in Europe. We don't have the tv access to the teams over there as much as we have to our own sports. There are so many leagues and teams that it is tough for someone to just pick up that sport especially with the time zone differences and the lack of coverage over here. Its much easier for a young kid playing hockey to familiarize himself with his hometown NHL team and the players, that he can go and watch live or catch them on tv 15 times a year. If the best hockey leagues were in Europe, I wouldn't make such a claim about hockey or the NHL. And for the most part, people play games (in whatever sport) because they love the game. Having first hand access to the sport you love, by means of the best league in the world right in your own backyard, is much different than having to get your fix with an ocean in between you and the best league.
I don't think hockey follows the soccer model.
Most of the kids I know who play soccer are indeed fans of the game (ie enjoy playing it) and not big fans of the sport. Some follow the MLS, very few the European or other leagues. The biggest exceptions were the girls - who were indeed fans of the Women's league - until it folded. (Let's keep the viability of Women's professional sports for another discussion)
Every kid I know who plays hockey is a also fan of the NHL. They have their favorite players, they go to games, get their famiyly to watch, etc.
And this is in California (SF Bay Area).
BTW, Logitech Ice - the Sharks practice and public skating facility is the largest public ice facility west of the Mississippi - 3 NHL size rinks, a 4th under construction, and they manage/operate another rink in Fremont (10 miles away) - all pretty much completely booked.
The products hockey can sell have a different audience too. The dog shows getting better ratings, is sometimes a misleading statement, apples and oranges. The dog shows and bowling are often going to a national audience, and tape delayed to the time slot, whereas the Ana-Chi hockey is more often only broadcast regionally. So the higher numbers would be expected. But it makes for good copy
Its still a major sport. Ratings or not...the biggest sports channel in the US wasnt going to pull hockey.
Great news. I just checked my TIVO and ESPN Classic is running classic games again. WOO-HOO
Well, if Anastasia-Priscilla (refer to avatar) ever goes in one of those doggy-shows, even the NBA will be jealous of the ratings!!!!!...