NBA Low Ratings Compared to NHL Ratings

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Mr Underhill, Jun 9, 2007.

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  1. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill Registered User

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    Im sure by now you all heard the the NBA Finals game 1 set record low ratings. Along with NHL record low ratings, is it time to take a step back and look at a bigger picture? There is no way you can market and hype up an even more than ESPN did with the NBA final. And ESPN is going to go to the grave saying that "no one wants to watch the NHL and everyone wants to watch the NBA". Granted, the NHL finals ratings and the NBA finals ratings were a great deal different; if the NHL got the kind of press and support the NBA got im sure they could have put up similar numbers.

    What do you think this all means? Are the 82 game sports just not drawing the ratings as they used to? And for all these people saying the reason the NHL is not showcased on ESPN is because ESPN is a buisness first and ratings are a priority, then what is ESPN going to show to get ratings? If the NHL and the NBA and other sports cant get the ratings they expect then are the going to pull a MTV and stray from format and start showing programing that vaguely resembles sports but gets high ratings?
     
  2. jkrdevil

    jkrdevil UnRegistered User

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    I think it just further shows that ratings overall are down. I believe this past World Series was the lowest rated World Series ever also. If you compare the hockey and basketball ratings against each other from 10 years ago and now it is about the same ratio. Unfortunately for Hockey it's at the low end. The stuff after game 3 of the cup final was crazy as said before hockey has never got great ratings but the game 3 rating wasn't because people stopped watching hockey it was just because of lower ratings across TV because more and more people each year are getting more channels and more entertainment options. Of course it is interesting that the NBA ratings aren't generating a similar reaction as the NHL did. By guess is because for some reason there is an anti-hockey sentiment among general sports producers, editors, and columnist and an anti-bettman sentiment among hockey writers and such.

    As for ESPN if you haven't already noticed it is going to way of MTV although they will keep with games. That said as a news source it isn't what it was 10 years ago.
     
  3. Doc Scurlock

    Doc Scurlock Registered User

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    They're not generating the same reaction because although they may be down they've still got a long way to go before they reach the levels of the NHL. Bettman would be creaming his pants if the NHL got the ratings that the NBA Finals Game 1 got.

    Personally, I don't follow the NBA that closely but I do know some things about it and one of those things is that the Spurs are probably going to steamroll the Cavs because well they are just that much better. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way so they aren't as inclined to watch because the result is predictable.

    Now if say Lebron James all of a sudden starts dominating and turning it into a real series, well I'm sure you'll be seeing the ratings pick up for the later games.
     
  4. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill Registered User

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    Thats a good point about the World Series ratings. So basically the only sports that are meating or exceeding ratings expectations are the "once a weak-big event" sports. NASCAR and the NFL as well as certaint individual sports evens such as the majors in golf. I say - so what. Not every sport can have that kind of schedule. Why try to ignore a sport that has been a top 4 staple in the sports world for 100 years just because its been getting low ratings the last few years?
     
  5. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill Registered User

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    Like i said earlier, if the NHL got the same marketing press and support the NBA did it would probably see similar numbers. Do you think the same people that liked the game 10 years ago all of a sudden dont like it anymore. NO. They dont watch because they dont hear anything about it. Because the largest sports news outlet in the world chooses not to market it.
     
  6. Tadite

    Tadite Registered User

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    The NHL got the lowest ratings for a show in Primetime in history.
     
  7. jkrdevil

    jkrdevil UnRegistered User

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    I don't think the NHL is really less popular than it was 10 years ago. Yes ratings are down but they are down by about the same percentage the other sports are down. I wouldn't say MLB and the NBA are less popular than it was 10 years ago it's just you aren't getting the non-sports fan as much as there are more options. The fact is that the NHL has never been that popular.

    Part of the leagues TV problems were they were late to the game and were never able build a tradition of the Stanley Cup being a big event in the States. They were the last league to expand and also don't forget during Gretzky's prime the league wasn't on network tv.
     
  8. dkatzism

    dkatzism Guest

    Yeah, we've heard that part. If only the way ratings are collected were at all really reflective of how many people are actually watching... :shakehead
     
  9. Novak Djokovic

    Novak Djokovic #14 and counting...

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    It's interesting though.....Because Lerbon James (Sidney Crosby) is playing.
     
  10. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill Registered User

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    The fact is that hockey is a sport. A mojor sport with a bunch of fans. The fans really dont care if there are a trillion people or a million people watching it. The fact is we want coverage. And if we dont get coverage of the game then we want to know why. ESPN has told us the reason we dont get coverage is because the ratings are low. So therefor hockey fans have disscusions like this to try to figure out why that is and what can be done so we can get coverage.
     
  11. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    It is a major sport for a lot of people in CANADA but not in the US where it is barely a bleep on the radar screen as far as tv goes. We are not going to get ideal coverage in the US- at least in the near future because we are stuck with Versus for the time being- down the road 10 years from now IF Crosby becomes a media darling and maybe a few more mega stars come along like AO as well, maybe there might be a better tv deal who knows. In the meantime I think regional tv coverage should be the priority to get interest and as long as there is Center Ice we will have to survive with that along with hopefully Versus getting on more cable providers as well.
     
  12. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill Registered User

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    How many times do i have to say this. Because NHL is not on ESPN, ESPN chooses not to market them. Therefor no buzz or hype, therefor no viewers and no ratings.

    And damnit, obviously a lot of people like the NHL because it has great attendance and local tv ratings are relatively good, even with no national support. Its the only sport played pofesionally in all 50 states. Leages and rinks are increasing in the south. And it will always be a big sport in the north. Plus dont believe everything ESPN tells you. A lot of people like hockey and want to see it, it is the number 1 complaint they get at ESPN as far as their programing.

    Read this ladies arcticles...http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=schreiber_leanne&id=2866241
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  13. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Hey, I would not deny with even half hearted marketing the NHL could have better ratings- especially if it could have stayed with ESPN- but that is not reality. In the US we are stuck with Versus for the next 4 or 5 years- even the most diehard hockey puckhead knows that hockey does not translate as well on tv- at least until hd and other fancy stuff gets commonplace- then who knows along with Crosby and others becoming marketable players things could turn up in ratings. All sports have suffered especially in the US because of all the options casual sports fans have and it will be an uphill battle except for football which is so far above the other sports in tv viewership they are not even in the same universe.
     
  14. Doc Scurlock

    Doc Scurlock Registered User

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    I'm guessing they don't if they're not watching. If you're a hockey fan you don't need to be marketed too in order to watch games, you do it anyway. Marketing is usually for those who don't watch so if the largest sports news outlet chooses not to market the game then it doesn't affect the people who already are fans of the game because they know it exists and will usually find other methods of following it i.e. internet.
     
  15. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Exactly. Marketing is for the casual fan not the hard core fan who will watch and follow his/her sport no matter what. The combination of ESPN chosing not to market hockey or even consider it a "major" sport along with the league's less than stellar marketing department has left hockey on life support in the US- especially when you consider tv viewership and revenue is the kingpin for a major sport to attract the new as well as casual fan to yes GROW. Again, I think as far as tv goes in the short term the NHL should focus on their regional broadcasts to get new viewers to support their local teams and hopefully Versus can continue to get on more cable providers in the next few years as well and that Center Ice will NEVER go away for us diehard fans!
     
  16. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill Registered User

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    This is true to some extent, but you cant expect every true hockey fan to know whats going on in the league and out of market games if the major sports outlets dont tell them. Just because some people dont search on the internet or have XM radio to give them their hockey news doesnt mean their not hockey fans. They might not be die-hard, but they are still fans, and they will watch if they know whats going on ands when theres hype. Like i said im sure local teams ratings are just as good as NBA and maybe MLB.

    Its the casual sports fans and everyday hockey fans that need more news and marketing. The die hards will always be there, and hockey has a great core of those fans.
     
  17. Hollywood3

    Hollywood3 Bison/Jet/Moose Fan

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    I think pro sports are getting more viewers in total (i.e. throughout the season) due to sports specialty channels. This backfires in playoffs when casual viewers continue to watch their channels and don't bother with the specialty channels.

    The lesson here for sports leagues is: Don't go overboard with pay-per-view. Your popularity has grown over the years by making your games available free or at low cost on cable packages. If you go to PPV then yes you'll make short term gains from the current die-hard audience which you will then lose several-fold over by not having a replacement audience as this one ages.
     
  18. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    One major problem (which I guess effects all sports except the NFL) is that the league has to try and convert a bigger percentage of team-fans into hockey-fans.

    I am guessing that hockey has the biggest drop-off compared to other sports when the local team is eliminated. This might be because in the other sports, there are college fans of the some players who will continue to watch that player even if they are not on the local pro team that has been eliminated.
     
  19. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    I think there might be something to the idea that 82 game seasons are not good for TV ratings. Problem is, NHL can't cover cost without gate sales.
     
  20. It Kills Me

    It Kills Me Registered User

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    More to do with SA and Tim Duncan playing .

    Everyone knows they're going to win, whether it's them or the officials that win it for them remains to be seen.

    It's bound to be a boring Finals if LeBron doesn't come up big.
     
  21. st5801

    st5801 Registered User

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    Very good point. I agree completely.
     
  22. fan mao rong

    fan mao rong Registered User

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    According to what I heard on ESPN Radio (Cowherd) NBA's low ratings was , like, 7.0. So it's not a comparable situation.

    I seen every game I wanted to see over the season, because it was paid for. To get Versus the "3rd tier" must be purchased. The rest requires a Center Ice Subscription. When something does not draw enough on relatively free TV it will not be widely available, and a premium must be paid.

    All of this hew and cry over getting back on ESPN is not well thought out. ESPN has interests in many other sports, some financially. They do not have time to promote much else (and that article quoted above, from the Omsbudsman , states that directly.

    Those clamoring for ESPN, I believe, is based on the fact they don't want to pay up. It could be that many come from areas where a local over-the-air station might carry some games, and if ESPN would put on the rest (which they mistakenly believe) then they could most of the deal on 1st tier ESPN and their local station.

    If you're not willing to pay, you will get little. The League needs lots of money to pay the players and maintain operations. I believe those who don't want to pay are prime supporters of the Players Union gouging every last cent from Management, and are the 1st to complain when a team will not spend every last cent on some player.
     
  23. Meichel Kane

    Meichel Kane My Name Is

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    Now, I probably watched about 2 full NBA games all year, but ESPN hyped up Lebron so much ("Look what he did to Detroit! Quite frankly everything I say is important!") I said to myself, "eh, I've got nothing else to watch." After about 10 minutes of a terrible game (mind you, the score was close, but for anyone who thinks the NHL is boring...), I turned it off.
     
  24. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Obviously, most people would rather have ESPN coverage because it is so accessible and part of most general cable packages. Just because some don't want to "pay up" I don't think is a valid criticism- when you have to pay out for so many incidentals as it is. To get the "casual" fan you are not going to draw them in if they have to pay up to 2 extra fees just to see a lot of the games- I would not pay a lof of extra for basketball for example if I had to pay all those extra add ons to get the special station- only because I love hockey I pay out for CI and my cable already gets Versus so I luck out that way as well.
     
  25. TorontoSports

    TorontoSports Registered User

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    NBA's low ratings would be the NHL's highest ratings ever. If that puts some perspective on the situation.
     

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