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America and Hockey


ROCHitman

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I will agree with the fact that the NHL is not something you can watch on TV and get hooked. You have to go to those games and watch it in order to get hooked.

But I will say that not EVERYBODY in America is oblivious to hockey...just 80% of it.

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Hockey is Hockey is Hockey. Its a great game. I'm am American I've travelled all over to see games, NCAA,QMJHL,UHL,AHL,NHL there are so many of us Americans who love the game, but were dwarfed because of Football and Baseball, Basketball. The so called reporters know nothing about Hockey here in America, its like a novelty to them, the boss throws them a media pass and tells em' to give em a story. I can watch Hockey on TV, listen to it on the radio. But nuttin' beats bein' at the rink.

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I think it's the lack of exposure they get on television. Along with coming to some my games, my friends fell in love with the sport, while watching the Bruins on NESN. I'd say it was 30% live experiences, and 70% seeing it on television.

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My 2 cents.........Last NHL game I attended was at MSG...Rangers.. Flyers...1996...set me back 300 bucks total.....of course the three hour drive...one way didnt help my attitude...to me that was alot of dough to shell out....the seats were o.k. ....alittle high up for my vewing pleasure ....but the Rangers/Flyers are always a sure sellout....any way twice a year MAYBE My family can afford a game. We do however attend Binghamton Sens and some Albany Rats games...good value...great seats good atmosphere..I always watch the NHL on TV.....only way I can afford to follow the Rangers...or any other teams that I can tune in...but as mentioned here there is no better way to view hockey than in person............... :D

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The NHL just needs more exposure in the U.S. I guarantee if you ask most people who led the league in goals last year, maybe one person would say Cheechoo. Hell, most of them probably don't know who he is. You might even get Gretzky as an answer. I wouldn't doubt it if people don't know who Thornton, Iginla, or Ovechkin are.

You don't see commercials for hockey unless you might happen to be watching OLN, meaning unless you're outdoorsy and a hockey fan, that commercial will mean something to you. THis goes without even mentioning that the one, maybe two, games each week is absolute garbage. Hockey should be on TV nearly every night, like football and baseball if it wants to get more interest.

Even put college hockey on tv, or the Calder Cup finals. They put all the college football and basketball on tv, why not put hockey on?

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I think America has had their chance to be exposed to hockey. 1/3 of the league is in Southern States, the so-called "hockey dead-zone", where they were first turned on to hockey by Wayne Gretzky's LA Kings and Disney. Don't get me wrong, teams from the south have won the last two Stanley Cups, and the fans have been great, but with hockey already spread over the US in just about every area, and Americans in general are STILL not interested in hockey, then they've had their chance.

Show's over folks, nothing to see here, let's go back to Winnipeg.

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Heres the big problem Hockey needs to shorten the season and start it later it is dumb to start at the same time the MLB Playoffs start, if you start in Novemeber you will only be abttling the NBA and thats winable, at least for me.

I rather watch the NHL before the NBA any time a hockey game is excitingg through out but t the NBA has lul and dead spots and does not really get edge of the seat until the last 5 minutes.

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Hockey has the following problems that they can do nothing about:

1. It is the only sport that really has "chaning on the fly." Casual fans have a hard time with that. One minue Gretzky's on the ice, then he's not. If Jordan was on the floor, he would never disappear before the whistle.

2. The stars play less than half the game. In a game that, like basketball, turns from D to O instantly, Michael Jordan was on the floor for 40 to 45 out of 48 minutes. Gretky was on the ice 20 to 25 out of 60. People want to see the stars more.

3. One of the worst sports for statistics. Yeah, there are records and milestones, but there are not as many as most other sports.

4. Perception as not exciting because it is low scoring. (I hate to say it but things like larger goals would probably help the game with the casual fans, though most of us would hate it. I think dumping the two-line pass rule was great, though).

5. Just generally not a great TV sport. Because of some of the reasons mentioned above along with the casual fan's frustration with following the puck.

Hockey has only one thing going for it on TV versus the other team sports and I appreciate more and more every time I see hockey. Not so many commercial breaks in the final minutes. Sure two intermissions sucks, but other than that, there is so much less stopage for commericials than sports like basketball.

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I think it's a mix of hockey fans only wanting to watch their own team (unlike big sports like football where EVERYONE will tune into MNF or the SuperBowl even if they aren't fans of the competing teams) and the fact that... well... hockey isn't even shown on TV. I still find it odd that they criticize the NHL's viewing ratings when most people don't even get hockey on their TV. Versus is almost non-existant and NBC barely shows a game. (And when it does, not all the local affiliates even show it.)

When I hear complaints from fans that don't get Versus, the complaint goes "now I can't watch MY TEAM when they play on Versus." not "now I can't want a good national broadcast of other NHL games."

If hockey fans had a definite "game of the week" on a station everyone gets (like MNF on ESPN), I think there would be an improvement in TV ratings. Back when hockey was on ESPN, everyone knew where it was going to be on and knew where to look. Back then, the NHL was barely getting beat out by the NBA in ratings. Now the NHL is struggling to keep up with the AFL.

The Versus deal had good potential, but Comcast has yet to deliver an ESPN-rivaling broadcast and network. Therefore the new television deal has been a bust and the main reason ratings are struggling.

It's a matter of if the NHL wants more $$$$$ or more exposure. The money sounded good after the lockout, but I think it's time to make amends with ESPN and take the broadcast fee paycut.

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I think it's a mix of hockey fans only wanting to watch their own team (unlike big sports like football where EVERYONE will tune into MNF or the SuperBowl even if they aren't fans of the competing teams) and the fact that... well... hockey isn't even shown on TV. I still find it odd that they criticize the NHL's viewing ratings when most people don't even get hockey on their TV. Versus is almost non-existant and NBC barely shows a game. (And when it does, not all the local affiliates even show it.)

When I hear complaints from fans that don't get Versus, the complaint goes "now I can't watch MY TEAM when they play on Versus." not "now I can't want a good national broadcast of other NHL games."

If hockey fans had a definite "game of the week" on a station everyone gets (like MNF on ESPN), I think there would be an improvement in TV ratings. Back when hockey was on ESPN, everyone knew where it was going to be on and knew where to look. Back then, the NHL was barely getting beat out by the NBA in ratings. Now the NHL is struggling to keep up with the AFL.

The Versus deal had good potential, but Comcast has yet to deliver an ESPN-rivaling broadcast and network. Therefore the new television deal has been a bust and the main reason ratings are struggling.

It's a matter of if the NHL wants more $$$$$ or more exposure. The money sounded good after the lockout, but I think it's time to make amends with ESPN and take the broadcast fee paycut.

Well ESPN never did put it consitantly on. It jumped around from one day to the next and then there were periods where it wasn't even on. I never would find an ESPN game unless I was flipping through the channels and saw it. And even then practically every game was the Red Wings so it got boring to watch the same team every time. Then on top of that the treatment it got from the network didn't help. At least with Versus I know when the games are on, every Monday and Tuesday at 7/8 o'clock.

I think Versus should be given a chance. I've notice the network improve not only in it's NHL coverage but overall the past year. I think that moving to Versus was a long term decision for the league and they knew they were sacraficing ratings last year. I think the network is one big sports package away reaching that 90 million availabilty that ESPN has. The network is in the running for that other LCS package for next year and that should be announced soon. If VS. gets it then stay with VS. If not go to another network but not ESPN. NBC owned USA is the best option, they are already TV partners with them for broadcast network.

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the only reason I aint been watching lately is cus most of the TVs in my house have crappy reception when you go above a certain channel, and Versus falls well past what I'd call the reception border. talkin mo snow than an informer, couldn't see the picture if I had 20/20 vision.

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Down here I've got Vs., Sun Sports, and FSN Florida. I've yet to see a Panther game on FSN (Monday the Guide said "NHL Hockey" but it was some poker tournament), I'm thinking I'm just ouside of the Panthers broadcast area as I am in Northwest Florida. I had always watched hockey on TV, but like a lot of people, I never fell in love with it until I went to my first game. Ever since then I've been going to Ice Pilots games.

EDIT: Ater looking at their website, I'm technically in the Lightning viewing region so even if I get both channels I wont get Panthers' games. Stupid.

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