Saturday, June 09, 2012

TV ratings stars knocked out of alignment for NHL's Stanley Cup Finals

In New York today, there is but one person feeling worse about his sports prospects than NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, that being the guy that works the betting window at Belmont, currently working overtime refunding all that "I'll Have Another" action for today's Triple Crown.

Now, there's a guy that's going to have a bad day

But the Commish must be a close second in the New York misery index, tonight's Game 5 in New Jersey, a potential Stanley Cup awarding night is basically going to be hit by avalanche of attention awarded to the rival NBA, a head to head battle that most likely will see the Heat/Celtics Game 7 ECF match up blow the NHL's  American overnight ratings into the deep pits of media despair.

Sure Hockey Night in Canada will probably do OK, if not spectacular with a potential Stanley Cup celebration on ice tonight, but in America, the ratings it would seem are destined for dismal.

For Gary Bettman's blue print to conquer America, the stars this playoff year clearly have not aligned.

Denied his dream match up of the Ranger and Kings in a cross continent battle for the hearts and minds and eyeballs of America, the Devils/Kings showdown seemingly hasn't resonated much beyond New Jersey and those parts of LA than can find the NBC Sportsnetwork on their cable systems.

You know your media strategy has been blow up rather nicely when TV sports columnists in LA start to refer to the main broadcaster of the NHL's American media strategy as the Witness Protection Program for television.

Add on the head to head match up with LeBron and the Celtics and the NHL is sinking further and further down the media scale of importance.

NBC has seemingly run up the white flag to its affiliates across America, shifted the Stanley Cup from the main NBC feed to the digital backwaters of NBC Sportsnet, partly we imagine to quell rebellion at the local levels when NHL hockey didn't quite deliver the audience that the local stations want.

Not that it seems to matter anyways, as even members of the LA media seem to be unaware as to who are actually on the Kings roster, as helpfully pointed out by Deadspin and when the Kings do get attention in LA, as Puck Daddy explains things get a little complicated.

With a little luck for the NHL, but perhaps not New Jersey fans, the Kings will win in five, removing the burden of coverage from all involved until the league next takes to the ice, whenever that may be.

Toronto Star-- TV ratings take a dip, but NHL remains positive
Globe and Mail-- Star power hasn't been enough to ignite NHL TV ratings in the US
Yahoo Sports-- Five reasons why 2012 Stanley Cup Final has been a ratings disappointment
Yahoo Sports-- Why aren't US fans watching Stanley Cup Final? ...
NESN-- LeBron James, NBA Ratings Juggernaut may be one foe...

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