Hockey Day in America

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by David Singleton, Jun 30, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    Is there anyway to tweak the schedule in order to increase interest television-wise?

    Unfortunately, I assume they will keep a full 82 game schedule (I would like to see that trimmed to about 60), so I will work from that assumption.

    What if they adopted something similar to baseball in doing three game home stands? Maybe Thursday evening, Saturday afternoon/night, and Sunday afternoon/night. The primary national TV network (NBC?) could replay the earlier games in the series prior to the "rubber" match declaring that day as "Hockey Day in America." Well, maybe without the corny slogan it would work.

    The side benefits to home stands is less travel for the teams (and fans when attending away games), fosters rivalries, creates huge local interest around the arenas (especially downtown arenas), and allows teams to offer a ticket package for all three games (hopefully helping attendence where that is necessary- which may be everywhere initially).

    The more I think about it, a three game series in downtown Nashville with the visiting Red Wings would be a tremendous draw.

    Does the idea have merit?

    David
     
  2. Montrealer

    Montrealer What, me worry?

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    3,796
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    147
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Chambly QC
    You want to reduce the schedule to 60 games AND have 3 game homestands between teams?

    There's a reason that works in baseball - they have 162 game schedules... there's no way this works in hockey because

    Either you have everybody playing 3 game homestands against everybody, which is way too many games (unless it's only intra-divisional, in which case it might be possible, but I don't know if it's desirable)

    OR

    You have specific teams matched up against other specific teams for one 3 game series a year, in which case it becomes luck of the draw (Detroit-Colorado is high drama, but lucky Philly gets Washington for three games at home?)

    I don't think this is workable. I don't even think it's necessarily a good idea in this type of sport (I can't even imagine this working in basketball).
     
  3. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    Those series against the Wings and the Blues (for the Preds) would draw very well. The problem is when you're doing 3 game series against teams that the fans don't really care about.

    Plus, as a season ticket holder, I wouldn't like it. Even in the current format there are times in a season where there are too many games over a short period of time and it just prevents you from getting anything done.
     
  4. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    As for the title of your thread, I think they should do something similar to HCIN but even take it a little further. Pick a night during the week... maybe Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and air two games.. one starting at 7ET and one starting at 10ET. These two games would need to be good matchups. That catch, however, is that these are the ONLY two games played on that night of the week. Also, whoever is airing the games whether it's ESPN or TNT has exclusive rights to these games meaning the local channels cannot air them. With the fans of the 4 teams that are playing the games having to watch it on ESPN/TNT/etc and the fans of the other 26 teams not watching their own teams' games, the ratings for these games would destroy any NHL game on cable in the recent past.

    And since the general public is too stupid to figure out that these factors caused the ratings to go up, suddenly the NHL will look like it's in really good shape.
     
  5. Drake1588

    Drake1588 UNATCO

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Messages:
    28,340
    Likes Received:
    153
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    To clarify... you're suggesting a major network (NBC, ABC, CBS) show somewhere on the order of 6-8 hours of hockey consecutively on a Sunday, with 2/3 of that bloc of time devoted to two games that have already been played, when the results are known?

    That wouldn't even begin to fly on ESPN2, much less a major network. Ratings for hockey are way too low. Something, anything, else is a much bigger draw for a network on a weekend.
     
  6. CrazyCanucks

    CrazyCanucks Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,150
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    96
    As a Canuck fan, I would love to see the Avs come in for a 3 game series, but I think someone would get killed in the last match, given the history between these 2 teams the last few years. Buit I wouldn't want to see the Wild for 3 games straight, they play boring trap put you to sleep hockey
     
  7. Tawnos

    Tawnos A guy with a bass

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    20,733
    Likes Received:
    1,681
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    This would cause standings to be decided too much on how teams are playing at the given moment of the season. For example, let's say it's towards the beginning of the season. The Rangers are streaking, the Islanders are not. The Rangers sweep the series. As the season goes on, the Rangers prove to be right around the 8th seed. So do the Islanders, who were streaking towards the end of the season, trying to catch the Rangers in the 8th spot. The Rangers end the season with 85 points. The Islanders end the season with 84 points. Had just one of those 3 games in the series been played in February instead of November, the outcome would've been different. Sure, you could say that's how it works anyway, but it's not so weighted in favor of the hot team, as opposed to the better team.
     
  8. Greschner4

    Greschner4 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think 3 game series would work, for the reasons others have written.

    But I think they should do many, many more home-and-homes.
     
  9. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    The thought regarding the above is that NFL would dominate the daytime ratings anyway and the replays would essentially be filler programming that just might increase the viewership of the later airing of the final match.

    Admittedly, it was a stretch and something I was just throwing out for discussion.

    David
     
  10. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    My other hope is it would generate additional rivalries. The games with all of the divisional foes for Nashville would draw well as a rivalry is starting to develop with each team (as it should).

    But if the NHL could also start matching up teams annually that aren't in the same division, then other rivarlries could be started. For example, Nashville and Atlanta would make complete sense to a play a three game series each year (home team rotates annually) due to their close proximity.

    I agree that there could be some clunkers, just like in baseball, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

    As a partial season ticket holder myself, I understand the negative impact that it may have with that group. However, I have already come to grips with the fact that sometimes tickets are given away to events at their starting time for filler purposes even though I bought my seat (not limited to hockey). I think that the negative impact to season ticket holders could be taken care of by offering many quality perks to those individuals throughout the season (free jersey, player access for autographs, etc.).

    My hope would be that the "too many games in a short period of time" problem would be solved, somewhat, in this manner. Hopefully less travel time would also help that as well. I'm not sold necessarily on those specific days either, although weekend games in Nashville draw much, much better than weekday games. Typically, weekend games are sell-outs, or near sell-outs, and weekday games may only draw 10,000.

    I give a break down of an example schedule with 60, 66, and 72 games later today to further illustrate what I'm talking about.

    Thanks,
    David
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2005
  11. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN

    This, I like very much.

    BTW, WC, in my short time on this board, I've really enjoyed reading your posts. You definitely put some thought in your posts and attempt to address the issues in the thread (whether I agree with them or not ;) ).

    Thanks,
    David
     
  12. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    Example Schedules

    Example 60 Game Schedule


    Games Against Divisional Opponents 6 x 4 = 24
    Games Against Conference (Non-Divisional) 10 x 3 = 30
    Games Against Traditional Foe (Non-Conference) 2 x 3 = 6


    Example 66 Game Schedule

    Games Against Divisional Opponents 6 x 4 = 24
    Games Against Conference (Non-Divisional) 10 x 3 = 30
    Games Against Traditional Foe (Non-Conference) 2 x 3 = 6
    Games Against Inter-Conference Foe (Based on prior year standings.) 2 x 3 = 6


    Example 72 Game Schedule

    Games Against Divisional Opponents 6 x 4 = 24
    Games Against Conference (Non-Divisional) 10 x 3 = 30
    Games Against Inter-Conference Division (Rotating) 5 x 3 = 15
    Games Against Traditional Foe (Non-Conference) 1 x 3 = 3


    These are only some examples and could be modified.
     
  13. syc

    syc Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    3,062
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Not Europe
    Home Page:
    Most NHL teams can't make a profit off 80 games so I don't see them going to 60 anytime soon. As for hockey day in America..the TV networks know they'll get higher ratings with just about any other sport like cricket or rugby so why choose hockey. The networks will act when theirs a market to target.
     
  14. flambers

    flambers Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In my opinion a 60 game season would suck. Its simply not enough games. A 75 to 82 Game Season is perfect.
     
  15. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    There's no question that hockey doesn't get good ratings, but when you say that cricket gets higher ratings than hockey it only makes you look bad, not the NHL.
     
  16. HockeyCritter

    HockeyCritter Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,656
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since it appears that the league is going to an even more unbalanced schedule --- home and homes seem a natural.
     
  17. Benji Frank

    Benji Frank Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,805
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    141
    Home Page:
    I thought the title of the thread was an idea something along these lines also. I really enjoy the "hockey day in Canada" when CBC basically spends the day focusing on local minor hockey, history of hockey, & even the odd clip of an NHLer growing up or mingling in his current community along with 3 NHL games at 4, 7 & 10 my time. It's usually a Saturday in Jan/Feb & it always keeps me pretty much in the rec room having a few wobblies with some buddies for the day!

    As for the initial post, as mentioned 3 game homestands against the same team, while intriguing likely wouldn't be logistically possible in todays NHL....
     
  18. bcrt2000

    bcrt2000 Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hockey Day in America would be a GREAT idea imo... Bob M should pass this idea on to ESPN... oops, ESPN isn't carrying hockey anymore

    but it would be great... get the 4 original 6 teams facing each other (NY vs BOS, CHI vs DET) and then maybe other rivalries as well
     
  19. Slartibardfast

    Slartibardfast Registered User

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    NBC tried doing a "Baseball Night In America" about 5 or so years ago, and it failed miserably. If baseball failed, hockey has no chance.
     
  20. Kenadyan

    Kenadyan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Asheboro, NC
    Home Page:
    I posted in another thread that ESPN kept moving "National Hockey Night" around when they had the contract with the NHL and it really didn't take. If they had left it on say Wednesday night, I think it would have worked better.

    Also, I like the idea of two games (7 p.m and 10 p.m.) on Wednesday night. Kind of like HNIC does on Saturday. The problem with a US network broadcasting two hockey games on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday night is that it will lose big time to both college and NFL football viewership. Thursday nights are the highest viewership for primetime shows on the major US networks (CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC) so that night doesn't work either (against, say, an ESPN or TNT showing hockey games). Too many local high schools play football on Friday nights and college football has now started to air on ESPN on Friday nights as well.

    Therefore, that would leave Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I think Wed. nights would work, if the NHL and whatever network gets the TV rights were to market it correctly. I think TNT or Spike would be the networks to have the games aired on.
     
  21. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    OK, how about this:

    Hockey Night in America x 2
    Wednesday and Friday Nights; Two Games @ 7 and 9:30 pm ET

    Regular Season
    3-Game Homestands played MWTh or FSaTu. Teams that draw better with weekend games have their schedules tilted toward those and vice versa.

    Goal #1:
    Worry about attendence in the arenas first. Offer packages, concession discounts, etc.

    Goal #2:
    Foster rivalries when creating schedules (both old and new).

    Goal/Result #3:
    With improvements in the game, great rivalries, and full arenas, the ratings should come around. Networks get hockey on the cheap until those ratings do come around in order to provide incentive to air games.

    This is a good discussion.

    David
     
  22. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    139,774
    Likes Received:
    2,279
    Trophy Points:
    232
    60 games is absurd. I thought we're trying to make money here.
     
  23. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Ottawa

    Good points, but I think its safe to say thay every team draws better on weekends - except those that sell out every game, of which there are few.

    How about the good ol' home-and-home with a division rival? If Wednesday is "HNIA", make it a Tuesday/Wednesday or Monday/Wednesday for teams that are far apart geographically.
     
  24. Patman

    Patman Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D. Student--Statistics
    Home Page:
    The NHL would have to pay a premium for this but I suppose it could work by starting at 3PM with a weekly around the league show like ever sychophantic Amhad Rashad does for basketball... turn around at 4PM with a wrap-up of futures and prospects... not so much the players but the minors.

    OK, now this is where it goes screwy. 7 and 10 sounds nice but that means you have to show western teams for what is primarily an eastern focused league. Instead what might be better is either 6 and 9 or 5 and 8. That way with 6 and 9 you can move the mountain timezone to a 7PM start and have it work and the central to 6PM start OR you can have a 5PM game and then 8PM so you conquer the eastern seaboard, of course this leaves the western fans a bit out in the cold. In either case working into "family time" before the kiddies go to bed before 7-9 PM could make serious inroads. The NHL would need to pay a mighty cost for this because such specialized coverage would not come cheap unless you can convince the broadcaster that this will work.
     
  25. David Singleton

    David Singleton Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    I think I've changed my mind to favor the 66 game schedule.

    One other thing I wanted to do, that I haven't mentioned yet, was to target the playoffs to start almost immediately after March Madness and finish sometime toward the end of May- before the NBA Playoffs go several rounds.

    The goal there was to showcase the Stanley Cup Playoffs while competing against the smallest amount of competition possible.

    I must admit that I believed that the notion of the regular season being too long was gaining widespread acceptance.

    Part of the problem with ratings (same as baseball and basketball) is that the regular season goes on forever. Football has only sixteen weeks for thirty-two teams to determine a champion. Each game has a lot of importance to it.

    In any of the other Three, generally, if a team drops an early contest to a non-divisional opponent- who cares? Of course, that game may matter at the end of the season, but that is so far away the thought is always- no problem, we can't make it up. Obviously, that doesn't always happen.

    The short schedule also keeps the teams going into the playoffs fresher and with less injuries. The games should be even more exciting than they are now.

    David
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"