Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So, do we have your attention yet?

And the surveys say...

Has the NHL and their fellow non-negotiators at the NHLPA finally crossed the line of fan loyalty?

A resounding yes would be the answer, if the results of a CBC commissioned online poll is to be divined.

A survey pool of around 7,102 respondents offered up their thoughts on ten questions, the results which provide proof that anger, disappointment and a growing sense of indifference to the product at hand may very well be the lasting result of this latest labour disruption from the game.

High on the list of wishes for hockey fans would apparently be that both Gary Bettman and Don Fehr just take a nice long walk into the sunset, never to be heard or seen again. 55 percent of the respondents said that both should step down once the lockout is brought to an end.

Perhaps that anger is responsible for perhaps the most worrying thing for a gate driven league, 78 percent said that they would NOT buy a ticket to an NHL game this season if play resumes, making for the prospect of vistas of empty seats should fans hold firm to their convictions

For those that will forgive the NHL and its players for the mess, the best way to court their return is to lower ticket prices, 58 per cent of those surveyed said that was the first thing the NHL should do upon the resumption of play, should that ever come to pass. 27 per cent feel that a public apology would be a nice gesture as well.

It's all moot at the moment anyways, with the two sides not even discussing anything and Christmas fast approaching, perhaps reflected in the belief that there will not be a season for 2012-13, 68 percent feel the season is lost, 21 per cent are hedging their bets with a maybe while 11 percent clearly believe in Santa Claus with all their heart.

You can review the full ten question survey here.

More extrapolation of the results can be found below.

CBC-- NHL lockout Survey

The lack of hockey is proving to be a gold mine for research companies with a plethora of surveys keeping puck heads busy in lieu of actual product to watch on the ice. And in each and every one of them offer up bad news for Mr. Bettman, Mr. Fehr and the game they seem determined to banish from our memories.

NRG Research Group and Peak Communications found that 58 per cent of those that responded to their survey just don't care if the NHL comes back or not. 25 percent believe that it's now too late to salvage the season.

Vancouver Province-- Hockey's heartland tells the NHL three words Gary Bettman never wanted to hear: 'We don't care'

And things get worse for the NHL when it comes to their brand, another survey, this one conducted by Level 5 marketing for the Globe and Mail shows that the NHL lockout is causing much damage to the brand.

The most startling of their findings is that passion for hockey from Canadians has now slipped to 33 percent, a dangerous drop in emotional attachment for a sport that once commanded over 50 percent of the nation's affections.

For the NHL that should be the final alarm bell that this Armageddon strategy is going to have some nasty repercussions, when you've lost your base, the one part of your geography where the game still (or used to resonate) dangerous times will be yours going forward.

Then again, as we've seen, what four times now? The interests of the fans and protection of the base of support for the game in Canada rarely, if ever, seem to be a discussion topic with the NHL or the NHLPA.

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