Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When the Cup is Won, Will Anyone Know/Care?

1) The article referenced was written by Caps beat writer Tarik El-Bashir. In it he tells of the major cut backs in newspaper hockey coverage in the states. How many cities with NHL teams are actually NOT having a reporter cover the Finals! This can not be good news to Mr. Bettman. If the average person doesn't even know games are happening, how can they expect people to gravitate/look for the games on TV?
2) We predict that the first games on Versus will receive dismal (even for hockey) ratings. Games 4-7 on NBC will probably be slightly higher due to more potential viewers, but even there we expect there to be little interest in hockey when its 80-90 degrees in a vast majority of the country.
3) Now, not having a paper from Houston or Seattle covering a hockey series isn't news BUT when papers in successful hockey towns like New York and Detroit's decide to not cover hockey's most important series, then it doesn't bode well for Gary's hope to 'grow the game'. Just another nail into the coffin of hockey becoming a mainstream sport in the U.S.
4) Coupling that with the inevitable move of 1-2 teams from the sun belt into Canada, many can now see the writing clear. Hockey fans are realizing that under Mr. Bettman it has failed to grow where he had stated it was vital to become a major league sport in the U.S. Some like our friends at Jibblescribbits have postulated this will be the end of Bettman.: http://jibblescribbits.blogspot.com/2007/05/can-blackberry-bring-down-gary-bettman.html#links Though we'd love to see Bettman gone, we don't see him being abandoned now by the owners. Once he got the salary cap he assured himself a job for life, and misery for the rest of us!

14 comments:

VLAD THE IMPALER said...

Sorry man, but ratings and number of newspapers covering the games has no impact on me and the average fan.
Teams are making money, the players are making about the same as they did before the lockout. Ticket prices have gone up almost everywhere. No differences that I can see. So why care?

Jibblescribbits said...

The thing is that the sport COULD grow in the US. The potential is there. The on-ice product is as good as it's ever been.

Bettman is just an awful marketer. He is supposedly a David Stern disciple, but he does nothing that Stern does. Instead of marketing Stars, he focused on faceless teams. When something bad happens Stern goes on every show that will have him and defends it. Bettman holes up in his office and hopes it goes away.

Bettman is a failure in marketing, and it's killing the game in the US. I think owners will wise up to that sooner or later.

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) Perhaps Bettman STILL works for the NBA? LOL

Sauce said...

Vlad - you should care because the handwriting is on the wall... this sport will die a slow and inconspicuous death if things don't change. Ratings are down, and the rate of decrease is getting bigger. To say that "teams are making money" as an indication of league health is foolish considering that almost half are LOSING money despite a hard salary cap. How healthy is a team who's largest expense is capped at a percentage of revenue, but is still losing money?

So why care? Because if you don't now, you're guaranteeing yourself that you'll care later when you press every button on your remote and not one of them will lead you to an ice hockey game.

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) We have to agree with Sauce. At some point we the average fan WILL feel it if the bleeding is allowed to continue.
2) One way or the other we will feel it. Either another work stoppage(Inevitable in our opinion), even worse/less TV coverage, fewer teams, etc.
3) We do have some question of the truthfulness of the stated financial losses though. If the league were losing so much money, why would franchise values be escalating so quickly?

Jibblescribbits said...

I don't think the league will die, it's too popular in Canada. But it could conceivably contract to 12-16 teams if allowed to continue like this.

It could also move past the point of no-return, where it will never gain the importance in American mainstream, which will affect non-North American born players coming to the NHL both because of salary and prestige.

Antzmarching said...

Sauce, stop making so much sense - you're right, but these ramifications are disastrous... Remember something regarding David Stern's days of promotion... He had Michael Jordan in his league... Stern could have been asleep and the NBA would have been healthy... Ratings have been down since Jordan's exit from the court... However, Bettman has no idea how to promote his wonderful sport, which is a really exciting product right now... With Crosby and Ovechkin (who has a captivating personality), Bettman should figure something out - but, I amay be giving him too much credit...

Jibblescribbits said...

Antz you are right, the on-ice product is absolutly fantastic right now. The game between Ottawa and Anaheim last night was phenominal. Exciting, well-played, physical, fast. It had everything. There are superstars in the making (Crosby, Ovechkin, Stastny, Malkin, Staal, Phaenuf, Lundqvist) and older superstars still playing at a pretty high level (Sakic, Jagr, Alfredsson, Broduer, Nierdermeyer etc).

Yet Bettman has failed to use all this positive to get people to watch. Instead of relying on the game to carry the league, he has tried marketing gimmicks (the glowing puck, shootouts, NA vs World all-star competitions). This gives the sport kind of a "Carnival side-show" feel sometimes.

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) If Bettman failed to sucessfully promote the game while Lemieux and Gretzky were in their primes simultaniously, we doubt he ever can/will!
2) Sadly we believe the owners as a whole are short sighted and care little of the long range of things. They are happy to be back and have their salary cap. As we stated earlier we are dubious as to the amount of financial losses we're hearing about.

dlyjoe5726 said...

better question faux boy is if you write any more stupid posts will anyone other than the dickheads who regularly respond care?
Holy shit this blog has to win as one of the dumest ever!

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) As they say: If you have nothing nice (Intelligent) to say, say nothing at all!

Jibblescribbits said...

dlyjoe...

Why do you read then? If I find blogs I dislike I simply don't go there

Sauce said...

I think 'douche-bag joe' has got an inferiority complex. He's just upset because, although he wants to offer intellegent responses, he doesn't have the reading or writing skills to do so. Pity.

Jibblescribbits said...

Sauce, your comments remind me of what my father used to (jokingly) say to me:

"don't try to be smart with me... you don't have the proper tools"

 
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