Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by triggrman, Jan 10, 2005.
I think it's unfair as most hockey fans have the NHL package or most that I know anyway. I rarely watched ESPN's coverage. When I watched the Predators on the road I watched the fox feed or the center ice feed. The rest of the games I watched on center ice.
That is the definition of one of the problems.
I personally believe that if they get their collective house in order, with a Cap, some revenue sharing, and a vibrant league where each team can feel that they have a chance to win, each team can have an equal chance at good FA's during the offseason, some tinkering with the product to make it more exciting (redline, holding, etc) then those numbers could really grow. The potential number of fans in the smaller and midsized markets who could be reached is pretty vast . . . But right now, that article illustrates the problem.
In fairness, espn more than likely benefits in the spring with the playoffs. I remember when I first got espn 2 back in 1996, I was excited because they had so much hockey. I believe 2-3 games a week plus nhl2night. Then you had ESPN doing Friday night hockey and you had nearly a game a night. The ratings problem has to do with teams like Chicago and NYR struggling and fans losing interest. During the mid 90's, the Hawks and Rangers both had strong teams and ratings supposedely were better.
You know - blurbs/articles like these really tick me off. Half of the problem with the league is the negative spin that the US sports media puts on the league. Its almost like some of these journalist enjoy crapping on it.
In truth, "yes", this guy is technically correct that replacement programming is generating better ratings than what the NHL brought last year. However what he fails to mention is that the MLB and NBA don't do much better on ESPN2 - especially for what the networks are paying these other leagues.
NHL - TV audience: 1.1 rating on ABC, 0.47 on ESPN and 0.24 on ESPN2
MLB - TV audience: 2.7 rating on FOX, 1.1 on ESPN and 0.6 on ESPN2
NBA - TV audience: 2.4 rating on ABC, 1.3 on ESPN, 0.9 on ESPN2 and 1.4 on TNT Revenue sharing: 35 percent of total revenues
The NHL looks like a deal to me when comparing every dollar spent to rating points.
NHL: TV deal: TV revenues from national contracts in the U.S. and Canada are shared equally; last season, that was about $4 million per team. As for the new deal signed with NBC, "If the NHL sees a penny from NBC, it's only because the guys at NBC are good guys," a FOX executive told Alan Hahn of Newsday.
MLB: TV deal: The league has a six-year, $2.5 billion deal with FOX through 2006 and a six-year, $851 million deal with ESPN through 2005.
NBA: TV deal: A six-year, $4.6 billion deal with ABC, ESPN and TNT brings each team $25.5 million each season.
MLB has double the ratings the NHL does while NBA has triple (on ESPN2).
Yes, exactly. So we are talking on average 360,000 more televisions tuning in for a MLB game and 660,000 for the NBA when you compare against the NHL.
So for 360,000 more televisions sets to watch a MLB game espn is shelling out 851 million. What about the NBA - who knows how much of the 4.6 billion dollar pie ESPN is forking out for 660,000 more television sets.
My point being that doubling the NHL ratings numbers is nothing to brag about - espcially when we are talking about these kind of dollars. For this kind of dough - you would think the MLB/NBA would be pulling in at least 1 mil sets per game. IMO, all three of these leagues' ratings are dismal but all you ever hear the US media dig on are the NHL ratings.
Its the perception controlled media world we live in - I know. The NHL must work on its improving its perception and image in the sports landscape if and when this CBA mess is resloved.
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