NHL Playoff TV Ratings Dismal!

Back to politics Monday … but for your weekend amusement, here are a few articles about how BAD the TV ratings were for the NHL Playoffs.

https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/stanley-cup-final-tv-ratings-nbc-tampa-bay-lightning-dallas-stars

Also ….

Lord Stanley must be spinning in his grave!

This is a really interesting story/dilemma the NHL is facing. Yet these all seem to be US -based reports.

Too bad the Canadian media networks especially the sports “reporters” don’t cover it much … if at all. Too busy lapping up the “free” NHL corporate Koolaid?

Clearly, the NHL MUST change its schedules/playoff setup … to ALWAYS end up with a Final series pitting a CANADIAN team against an AMERICAN team!

That’s the ONLY way to save the NHL.

Or step aside NHL …. for an All Canada Hockey League … coast to coast to coast, featuring top teams in CANADA ONLY … all of them vying for … you guessed it, the Harvey Cup!!

A terrific idea I wrote about weeks ago …before the dismal TV ratings came out:

http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/nhl-r-i-p-canada-needs-an-all-canada-hockey-league/

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7 Responses to NHL Playoff TV Ratings Dismal!

  1. G. Barry Stewart says:

    As with most professional sports playoffs: the finals are often the least compelling to watch. If your team, or favourite players are already eliminated: why bother?

    This one at least had a few overtime games — but rarely do the NHL finals get to the seventh game (as the Canucks have done twice, though the ’94 final was by far more exciting.)

    The NHL can be commended for keeping the bubble safe for players and staff… but a “far off” arena with no fans — at an odd time of the year — with small-market finalist teams: it all added up to blah.

    I watched every one of the Canucks games, most of which were entertaining. Next round: I watched a few. Last round: I watched parts of a few. Most of it was on PVR, mind you, so the advertisers didn’t get any value out of me.

    I like the idea of a Canadian city vs. U.S. city final… but I don’t see the ownership going for it. Money talks, though. They know THIS idea was a bomb.

    (Response: International hockey tournaments …pitting country against country … seem to always draw great ratings, even the juniors. So a revised NHL playoff system … that ends up with the BEST Canadians team playing the BEST US team (even if lots of players on each time are from either .. . or Europe) will restore ratings! And i they adopt MY idea, I will be happy and available to present the CUP to the winner, unlike Lord Stanley. h.o)

  2. nvg says:

    Surely you’re not suggesting that we should put you on a pedestal, equal billing, with Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley?

    Combative Julie Payette …. would be more appropriate.

    (Response: Why not? I fought more to protect and preserve both the NHL AND Stanley Park this year than he has! h.o)

  3. Liam Maguire says:

    Hello Harv!

    thanks for sending me the link to your latest blurb on the NHL. Interesting that the ratings were the worst since 2007 when in fact one of the teams in the final that year was Canadian. That said, all sports numbers are at historic lows. MLB, NBA and the vaunted NFL. All down. So are tennis, golf, everything. Thing is Harv, there’s a few other things in the world going on that have people’s attention. Additionally there’s never been a glut of games from multi-sports available on the same night as there was numerous times through the hockey playoffs.

    I’ll reiterate what I said last note. Take last years numbers as a better gauge or wait until we have normalcy back and you’ll see the hockey numbers bounce back. These numbers for hockey and the other sports are simply a reflection of the pandemic. There never will be a Canadian league or a ‘Harv’ Cup but you are to be commended for waving the flag my friend. Take care, be well.

    (Response: Appreciate your input to our discussion. If, as you believe, an all-Canadian professional league is not feasible, then I think the NHL should do two things: rethink its playoff setup to end up with a Canada-US Final; and add more Canadian teams … like Quebec City and Hamilton. h.o)

  4. DBW says:

    I don’t know Harvey. You seem pretty accepting of Liam’s opinion that there will be no Canadian League or Harvey Cup. How come he doesn’t get the “what a losing country we would have if everyone had your negative defeatest attitude!” like I got a couple of weeks ago when I said something similar. LOL

    I don’t disagree that the NHL could at least consider adding a couple of Canadian teams. And Quebec City and Hamilton are probably the most likely choices. I don’t really see any further expansion for a while (the nba and mlb have 30 teams and the nfl 32 like the nhl will once Seattle joins), so some weaker teams (Florida, Buffalo, Arizona, but also Ottawa) will have to move. That would increase a Canadian city’s chances of winning the Cup to 28% instead of the current 22%.

    But the idea of a cross border final isn’t feasible Harvey. Forget about the artificial country vs country final when NHL teams are made up of players from several countries. How will the playoffs work to get to your ideal final. 16 teams make the playoffs. 8 Canadian teams no matter how bad or even average they were would would play amongst themselves so one of them would be guaranteed a place in the finals. This year Edmonton had the best record of the 7 Canadian teams when the season was paused. About 10 American teams had better records.

    Shouldn’t the Stanley Cup be about the two most deserving teams getting to the final regardless of where they are located?

    (Response: No, I’m not yielding: an ACHL is still my dream and what I believe is BEST for Canada and Canadian hockey, coast to coast to coast. But HE … unlike you or I, is a true knowledgeable recognized hockey expert, so what I was trying to do was argue that, IF the NHL is to continue and survive, and hope to prosper again, it should at least change its playoff setup to be truly international …so fans are not bored to death and turn away from watching two irrelevant US teams vie in a meaningless competition h.o)

  5. Gilbert says:

    I suggest that we call the trophy in the CHL the Banting Cup. Frederick Banting is of course one of the great scientists who discovered insulin. Surely we can name our cup after a Nobel Prize winner, eh?

    (Response: Perfect! I yield … to a much more deserved true north winner; honourable cost to coast; and, I bet he was even able to skate!! h.o)

  6. Liam Maguire says:

    Just a further thought to the discussion; in a back-handed necessity your wish may come true, Harv. The likelihood of hockey starting on the suggested date of New Year’s Day 2021 might only be possible with a realignment featuring your exact wish! A Canadian division or at the least two of the divisions featuring the seven Canadian teams. That all remains to be seen of course but they can’t do a bubble scenario with 31 teams so they have to figure something out that this thought is being floated already. You may get your wish my friend!

    As for further expansion it of course is inevitable and Quebec is all but assured to be considered as the next team in the East. The league needed to balance the conferences hence the two latest teams being west coast entries. Rest assured that new arena in Quebec was not built for junior hockey. They will get an NHL team sooner rather than later. Of course this will all have to be post-pandemic.

    Lastly, just to reiterate, there is no concern of the ratings or the viewing numbers of the 65 days of hockey we were privy to. Please don’t be the typical Canadian who wakes up in the morning with the black lining in your silver cloud saying what negative comment can I make today. Understand the reason. Do a little homework, see where the recent numbers ( and reflecting TV contracts) have been in the last half dozen years and with your half full glass ( not half empty!) pour another beer and love the fact most of the Canadian teams did extremely well in the recent free agency extravaganza. Cheers Harv!

    (Response: I have no doubt a Finals playoff between the best Canadian team and the best US team would be VERY popular on both sides of the border. It CAN be done …where there’s a will, there is a way. And here’s hoping the lousy viewing numbers will lead to that …and no doubt, millions more viewers! h.o)

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