Somewhat OT: ESPN buys stake in Arena Football League, acquires TV rights

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by The Dopefish, Dec 19, 2006.

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  1. The Dopefish

    The Dopefish Registered User

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2702195

    What are the TV ratings for the AFL like, and how do they compare to the NHL?
     
  2. EbencoyE

    EbencoyE Registered User

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    AFL's regular season TV ratings were higher than NHL playoff ratings on NBC (during the first round anyway).

    Other than that, I don't really know how they compared.

    Didn't ESPN get the AFL rights awhile ago? I already knew about it, anyway.
     
  3. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason Registered User

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    I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous on so many levels. (I'm not disputing you, I'm just stunned). How the hell is arena effin' football a bigger ratings draw than the NHL? Who watches that crap? Granted, I'm a hockey fan, but as a human being, I can never, ever, remotely think of one reason to justify plopping down on the couch for an AFL game.
    Even from an entertainment standpoint, how is that better than the NHL? The "you can't see the puck" arguement is bogus. The better tv technology (hi-def, flat screens, plasma, etc) improve the viewing dramatically.
    Arena freakin' football.
    My God, the end of the world must be perilously close...:shakehead
     
  4. puckhead103*

    puckhead103* Guest

    well its better than the CFL, right?
     
  5. Brad*

    Brad* Guest

    Yes.
     
  6. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    Why are you so up in arms- it has the word "football" in it for one thing which is the only thing ESPN or really any broadcaster drools to hear. Hockey is not relevant to a whole bunch of folks at ESPN- has not been for quite a while- just the stark reality. I don't see it changing for a whole lot of years.
     
  7. Whalerfan11

    Whalerfan11 Registered User

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    Come on guys it's not going to be a primetime pick up for ESPN. It will be a few less hours of strong man competitions and dominoes.
     
  8. danno2530

    danno2530 Registered User

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    I'd rather watch arena football than paintball or 89453 hours of poker to be honest.
     
  9. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    I think the point people are making is that ESPN is willing to put even marginal energy into the arena league in hopes it grows, but can't find the time of day for the NHL. If ESPN could find the time to squeeze in the few hours of the arena league, I think they could (if they gave 2 cents worth) put in some marginal attention to hockey but it's a mute point because they don't care squat as I posted before.
     
  10. TorontoSports

    TorontoSports Registered User

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    Nah, they play on fields, AFL is a joke, but the talent is similar.
     
  11. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason Registered User

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    Because I'm troubled by the fact that something as stupid as arena football is seen as having more potential for rating revenues by ESPN that the NHL. That speaks to a variety of areas, such as the US tv public, US sports interests and tv controlling what we see based on what they feel will make them money (chicken & egg- I know. No viewers = no ratings, so why stick with it).
    Just upsetting how far off the radar ESPN (and I guess the US sports-watching public) truly sees the NHL.
     
  12. Stevedude530

    Stevedude530 Registered User

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    AFL will be a joke now that the Ironman rule is gone, but AFL regular season ratings weren't up to NHL on NBC ratings last year, trust me.
     
  13. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    I think at this stage at least for the short term future we should not waste our energy getting bent out of shape about ESPN and its treatment or non-treatment as the case may be of hockey. The next 4 or 5 years will be rebuilding years for the NHL in gaining new fans and keeping older fans. Hopefully Versus will continue to grow and be accessible in more homes and other places like airports, bars, etc. The package they put together has inproved since last season. If the players and teams can be on the same page as it seems they are starting to be in promoting the game with the new stars I am cautiously optomistic you will see an upturn in viewership and maybe 8-10 years down the road ESPN will jump in again. If we waste energy complaining about ESPN then it is energy taken away from trying to grow and improve the game in areas that we can make a difference in the short term.
     
  14. hockeytown9321

    hockeytown9321 Registered User

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    I often said during the lockout that a viable option for financial stability would be selling a minority stake in the league to NBC or another major network.

    #1. It would help offset losses.

    B. If a network had a vested interest, they'd promote the game much better than the NHL ever has or will.
     
  15. USF Shark

    USF Shark Zôion politikòn

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    NHL costs a whole lot more than the AFL to put on the air. the AFL is cheaper and if they can suck out a few years of half-way decent ratings it was a good investment. ESPN lost millions airing the NHL because the ratings were so bad. It's not ESPN's fault that people didn't watch hockey and I don't blame them for not picking up the NHL again until it can prove that it's ratings will be a good deal for the price it will charge ESPN.
     
  16. puck57

    puck57 Registered User

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    No one argues ESPN lost money on the NHL but at the same time they sure as heck did not do anything on their end to try to do much advertising for it or any promotion. You always got the standard answer that it was all the league's responsibility to market itself when ESPN had no responsibility to try to even half promote their own product- especially in the last few seasons- let alone as someone pointed out one time that their parent company Disney was owner of the Ducks for years. It is not their "fault" but their attitude showed they could care less.
     
  17. X0ssbar

    X0ssbar Guest

    Please provide me a link that shows these statistics as I have yet to see anything that backs up this statement.
     
  18. Stevedude530

    Stevedude530 Registered User

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    AFL averaged an 0.9 last year, while NHL a 1.1 (For regular season mind you).
     
  19. EbencoyE

    EbencoyE Registered User

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    Don't have a link. It was in the newspaper last year during the playoffs. One of the local anti-hockey writers brought attention to it when he was trying to pass off the AFL as a major sport.

    Now that I think about it, those might have been Versus(OLN) ratings instead of NBC ratings. Not sure. I can't remember the exact numbers but they were both around 0.8 ratings wise. With the AFL a little higher.

    Which isn't really surprising. I believe it's pretty pointless to nationally broadcast hockey. Everyone is used to watching their teams on local stations and never tune into national broadcasts unless it's their own team playing. Local broadcasts get decent ratings - yet national broadcasts do not.

    The AFL played one game a week, on the same day every week, and everyone knew what station it was on and what time it was on.

    Casual sports fans know NOTHING about when or where hockey is broadcast on TV. Most people I know ask me "I always watch ESPN, but I never see any hockey anymore." Having no idea the NHL has a new TV contract.

    But ask someone about the AFL, and they knew EXACTLY where and when the game was going to be.

    And like I said, hockey is a local station based sport. Whereas all casual sports fans would tune into the AFL - no matter what teams were playing. The NHL only appeals to fans of those teams playing. It's not an "event" like the AFL was where sports fans of all kinds will tune in.

    Not only that, but hockey has been around for a long time and doesn't have the "curiosity" effect anymore to draw in new viewers like the AFL did. Though that has probably worn off now for the AFL too.
     
  20. Bobby Orr

    Bobby Orr Guest

    If you use Wikipedia:

    NHL regular season - 0.7 to 1.5? I think I've seen 0.9-1.0 mentioned as the avg. in other articles
    NHL playoffs - 1.1
    NHL finals (NBC) - 2.3, game 7 = 3.3

    It mentions the NJ/Car playoff game got beat by the surfing lead-in program (wow, add surfing to the endless list of shows that beat the NHL's TV ***), so AFL beating NHL playoff games wouldn't be a stretch.

    I seem to recall OLN getting .2-.3 regular, .8-.9 for the finals.

    The 2006 ArenaBowl on NBC earned the network a considerably disappointing 0.7% of the U.S. households. The small audience for the 2006 ArenaBowl was the culmination of a season that earned NBC 0.9% of the U.S. households. In sharp comparsion to the 2006 season, the first season of The AFL on NBC earned 1.1%.

    I can verify the .7 rating, I remember seeing it on another site.
     
  21. ArchieIsGod

    ArchieIsGod Registered User

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    Article from June 2006:
    According to the Washington Post, OHN posted a 0.4 rating for this year's playoffs thus far. In 2004 ESPN's coverage posted a 0.7. NBC's coverage of select playoff games this year posted a 1.1. ABC posted a 1.5 rating two years ago for the same amount of games.

    http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7003815279


    The deal came six months after the league and NBC, which had a revenue-sharing arrangement, severed ties after four years. The league’s ratings on NBC fell from a 1.1 in 2003 to a 0.8 in 2006.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/20/sports/football/20arena.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
    thats the best i could find
     

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