Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by nyranger61494, Jul 9, 2007.
ideally, hockey and soccer should get = coverage on ESPN....... lots of it.......
No doubt about it. Hockey only comes up as a butt end of jokes.
This is nothing new and has been talked and talked about every time ESPN is trashed which you can pretty much guess on the regularity of that. Of course it hurt and hurt a lot when ESPN dropped the NHL but the coverage and respect given to the game was getting less and less anyway the last few seasons. I think the league and fans need to look how to respond for the future and do an end around ESPN by going to as many other networks as possible including Versus, Fox local affiliates, NBC and just keep knocking on the doors of any possibility that is out there as well as trying to get the NHL channel in the states soon. It is going to have to come from the bottom up and go from there. We are in the lean time right now for tv and it is not going to change in the next 5 years or so in the states at least. Let's just focus on anyone BUT ESPN for the near future and who knows 10 years down the road ESPN could be back in the picture.
Nothing any other channel airs will ever be Sportscenter in American pop culture.
i think ESPN is a big reason y hockey is dying. the NHL needs to be on a big stage where people actually can watch the games. The biggest reason why hockey is dying is b/c of VS and NBC. the NHL should go back to ESPN and Fox as their TV syndicates in the US. i would personally love it if TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and the other Canadian stations broadcast in America but that wont ever happen
No one is saying hockey will get a lot of air time on Sportscenter and that SC is not hughly popular. It is not getting hockey fans anywhere by bemoaning the obvious over and over is it? For the near future, we take what we can take and it will be Versus and NBC and local broadcasting by Fox and Comcast and whomever else. The challenge is to work up from that and get somebody in the top ranks of the league with top marketing skills and contacts to work from whatever avenues that are available to get the team on whatever channels and stations he or she can. I mean I can sit here and think of some maybe unrealistic possibilities but at least to explore like working more with TSN or CBC if possible, the NHL network, get the union involved more, advertise on other sports shows, etc., etc. It is not going to be easy or fast but if someone with some vision who knows 10 years from now- ESPN might come calling again for a respectible contract. Stop dwelling on losing ESPN and focus on what might or could be done 5 or 10 years ahead.
With the treatment that hockey received prior to the lockout I was very upset with ESPN. But now that there's no hockey on ESPN, I don't watch any ESPN channel. EVER. PERIOD. Good riddance!
ESPN has lost me as a viewer. And I used to watch ALOT of ESPN. That's the only way beside writing to ESPN (which I did) to tell them that I will not support their company any longer unless they expand their hockey coverage. I want the NHL broadcast partner to be just that, a PARTNER to grow the sport. Not give the sport insuffient coverage and bash hockey at any and all chances during SportsCenter or PTI which is exactly what ESPN did IMO.
"is"... is that even a question? They've been talking down hockey for at least 7 years now. It didn't help that boring play and scoring made for problems. The other problems have always been that the baseball-football-basketball pundits have never cared for hockey. Now, I note they don't care about soccer either, but the exception to the rule is that soccer has tremendous market potential in the eyes of the beancounters. ESPN's professional talent have been not-so-subtly talking down hockey for quite awhile. Add to that the times that writers have tried to make hockey a "women's game" much like they've tried to tar and feather soccer. Hockey was the butt of the jokes and the perception long before the lockout. The only thing the lockout did was exacerbate the perceived need for change away from a channel who would rather snipe at the sport than promote it. I don't know why people forget it so easily. This was coming way before the lockout and the current situation was not because of the lockout. Bart Simpson was right... too many people have a 15 second memory.
The problem has always been that ESPN and the people working there did not understand hockey, mostly because they didn't care for it. Like most people they were there in sports broadcasting for baseball, basketball, and football. They've poisoned the pool against hockey due to their goliath status within sports perception. This wasn't done out of direct malice but rather they just didn't care.
If anybody thinks that going back to ESPN will improve public perception are kidding themselves. The talent and those around ESPN will continue to snipe at hockey because its part of the shtick. Not only that, but they'll have no incentive not to snipe as long as they know they can't be negatively affected for doing so. Effectively, the NHL will be placed under the "*****" position to those sports pundits.
Versus's treatment of hockey has been substandard in a lot of ways and hockey would probably be better off with a NBC/USA deal with a desire to push a HNI-USA angle. Going back to ESPN will not further the game as witnessed by its falling while with ESPN.
I think mismanagement of the league has more to do with it than ESPN.
Its not just ESPN it is almost every sports writer in the country. Thankfully however, living in the greater Philadelphia region, our hockey talk and coverage is pretty good. Our local Comcast Sportsnet channel is very non discriminative, and it shows that they try to be. The only time hockey gets dissed in this market is when 2 non hockey people get together and try to kill time because they cant intelligently talk about it.
However, whenever i turn on espn and hear hockey talked about...it is either for 10 seconds running down the ticker...or when Jay marrioti, Jim Rome, Woody and Page or the bums from PTI are talking **** about it.
It is quite annoying...however, hockey is still alive, and i think the league needs to quit trying to gain new fans and please the already existing ones.
ESPN sucks anyway... instead of covering real sports they choose to broadcast the Rock Paper Scissors championship.
ESPN treated hockey like **** when they had it, I don't understand why anybody would want it back on that channel (other than more households, which can be remidied).
A better thing to do would be to try and get VS on as many households as possible. That, coupled by improving their broadcast quality, would be the best course of action.
The sport is never going to be "mainstream" in the US, it's best just to promote it as best as possible.
I find it incredible that such a silly, non-traditional sport like hockey continues to draw media coverage when there's so many more exciting things to watch, like bowling and poker.
Both bowling and poker get better ratings than the NHL could ever dream of, although all three sports are blown away by the ratings for the Full House Reunion episode, whereby the Olsen Twins were offered a Big Mac with large fries in an extremely unfortunate ad lib attempt at humour by Mr. Stamos.
Needless to say, there was more vomiting than at GM Place on Messier Appreciation Night.
Whats the big deal with ESPN? When I was in USA and watching TV in my hotel. I had it on ESPN and wasn't impressed at all.
But I also have a few American freinds, and part of the reason they look down at hockey is because the way ESPN treats it during the highlights etc.
Who runs ESPN?
Thinking about TV like it's still the 1950's is detrimental to a network's health.
***** Disney. They ruined ESPN.
ESPN can't make hockey popular any more than they could make the WNBA popular.
Until technology changes (HDTV helps some), the NHL, like baseball, will be "watch-able" only by those who already have a passion for the game. This passion can only be found in people who watch the sport live or have the passion passed down from family or close friends.
The way to "grow the game" is to show people the game live and have them spread their love of the game to others. Neither ESPN, nor any other media outlet, can make that happen.
The only Americans who let ESPN influence the way they view a sport are stupid male jock/fratboy types who are too dumb to think for themselves and so they are happy to have ESPN do their "thinking" for them.
Ditto. I'm exactly the same, I used to watch ESPN all the time thanks to the hockey coverage. But now I hardly ever turn that channel on.
Also, another reason why I don't watch anymore is that ever since the NHL came back, I was so thrilled and excited that most other sports (namely baseball which I used to follow a lot) became rather uninteresting.
I can see the others, but you need to take Rome out of there. He's always treated the game with respect (but honestly) and has plenty of NHL players on his radio show. You ought to be thanking him because he's one of the few left on the national scene that still loves the game. That's not to say he isn't blinded to the faults of the management of the sport, and he has said that for the good of the game it needs to be back on ESPN.
Contrast this with jerkwad Colin "I'll ditch my wife after I've made her follow me around the country as I pursue my radio career" Cowherd. He openly dislikes the game and makes fun of the fans. Why he is still on the radio in any market that has a solid NHL franchise is beyond me. WGR in Buffalo carries him for 2 hours, just so he can take backhanded swipes at hockey fans. But hey, Georgia football and Mixed Martial Arts get great coverage.
I agree that ESPNs coverage is atrocious (perhaps due to a rival channel Versus covering the NHL) but they own TSN which is the most respected outlet for hockey news. It seems odd that they would try to kill the sport of choice of one of their main media outlets.
Not to stick up for ESPN, but they covered hockey a lot better than VS. ESPN2 showed a lot more games during the week including double headers. They also did a pretty good job of showing all the teams, not just the teams on the upper east coast.
VS has hockey on 1 or 2 nights a week? Over 70% of the games involved east coast teams and the majority of those games were played in the east coast building. The Rangers were shown more than any other team, followed by the Devils, the Flyers, and the Sabres.
The biggest problem with that, besides the fact that there are other teams in the league, was that the games are over or close to it by the time 3/4 the country gets home from work. I live in the central time zone and I get off work at 5:00. By the time I would make it home, kiss the wife and kid, and do what needs to be done so I can watch TV, that game is already halfway through the 3rd period. Of course I didn't miss any of the 4 hours of bull riding competition!
I watched more games over the internet than I did on VS, which was 2 whole games.
I will be getting the Center Ice package, which I canceled during the lock out, but I think it's sad that the NHL is ran by people with no idea, or no motivation, to do what it takes to make sure the league is covered fairly and more than once a week on a bull riding channel that most people don't get or watch.
Also, ESPN didn't drop the NHL. They made an offer to extend the contract and Bettman felt like wasn't enough. Then VS offered slightly more money and the deal to kill the NHL was made and since extended.
As far as thinking the sport could never be "mainstream" is flawed and sounds like something Bettman would say to cover up his failure at doing his job.
When I moved to Dallas in 1992, there were 3 ice rinks and they were all located in malls. Hockey was not even an afterthought, much less something the kid were playing or watching.
The North Stars moved down here, had success and hockey here as blown up. There are several "Stars Centers" around the metroplex where people can skate, practice, take lessons, get equipment and host high school games. The key is now there are high schools that have teams, something that wouldn't have happened without the Stars and the NHL. Every Stars game is 95% full and is becoming more popular every year.
With the right marketing, the same thing can happen in a lot more cities than most would think.
What most fail to realize is that VS gives the same if not more coverage than ESPN did. just happens to be that not every carrier has VS.
Actually Rome never ***** on hockey unless it deserves it. Hes a huge hockey fan which most seem to overlook. The only time he says anything bad about hockey is when it involves management or an ugly incident on ice. Other than he praises the sports loves the sport loves to have players on the show.
TSN is Canadian channel. A Canadian sports channel is basically dead if they cover hockey like ESPN does.