Timmy B? asked in SportsHockey · 7 years ago

How stupid is the NHL?

I am a huge hockey fan. But.....

NBC has the contract for the NHL playoff games. So what they are doing is they are putting the games on NBCSports, which is a PREMIUM sports channel on almost every cable provider. This is nothing but pure greed on NBC, and pure stupidity on the NHL.

They are trying to force people to pay money to get that premium channel to watch the NHL playoff games. On top of this, they blackout all local stations from showing these games. So the ONLY way you can watch these games is for you to pay up. They had first round games on CNBC, which is owned by NBC and that is a free basic cable channel that everyone gets. But now in the 2nd round, they refuse to put games on that channel, because once again they are trying to force people to pay up. This really pisses me off. The NHL is always crying about how their ratings are poor, and how they are trying to attract new fans. HEY NHL! Your ratings sucks because you are putting your playoff games on premium sports channel and people these days dont have the money to cough up just to watch a few playoff games! And exactly how many new fans are you attracting by doing this? You are punishing long time loyal hockey fans. You're telling them to pay up or else you cant watch the games! Not only does this NOT attract any new fans, it actually turns the few fans they already have away from the sport.

NFL playoffs = On free TV channels

NBA playoofs = On basic Cable channels

MLB playoffs = On basic cable channels

NHL playoffs = On PREMIUM cable channels!

Thats why the ratings suck NHL! Wake up! Im a long time loyal hockey fan and I cant even watch the games because of your ridiculous contracts with greedy NBC!

Direct Quote from Cable Ratins Provider = ""Meanwhile, NHL ratings, which were up a cumulative 38% for the RSNs in the shortened 2012-13 season, are currently down for the playoffs, with only two of the seven RSNs whose home teams made it into the playoffs in consecutive years up in the post-season ratings so far.""

2 out of every 7 people who previously watched NHL games in prior years are NOT watching it this year!

That is about a 70% dropoff in ratings! NHL and NBC need to realize they are killing the sport. The ratings are obviously down because people will NOT spend money for NBCSports!


@A-MAN - Sometimes, usually only weekends I will go out to watch a game. I dont have time during the week to go out to bars just to watch a game. I will try Redditt, thanks.

14 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    How stupid is the NHL you ask? Pretty damn stupid would be the answer. I see some of the experts that replied are clueless. ESPN dumped the NHL following the 2004-05 lockout. This was a lockout, not a player strike. The NHL longed for a contract with a real network and NBC jumped in by paving the way with establishing NBCSportsNetwork. Do we believe that the NHL really did not know NBC was going to screw the fan base? Hard to say? As done by DTV (and most likely others), even if you purchase the NHL Center Ice package, NBCSN is NOT included. NBCSN is the leading NHL network outside of the NHL channel. At what point does it sound feasible that it is not included?

    This is sharp; I can go to the local pub or restaurant and they will have NBCSN only because they are paying for a package that they had no idea has this channel. They DO NOT pay for Center Ice.

    I searched and found an email address for the COO of DTV and wrote to ask him about this. I wound up on the phone with an assistant that explained that they just don't have any solutions at this time. This means, yes, they are double-dipping and charging twice for what should be covered by one plan, the Center Ice package. And the NHL allowed it to happen.

    According to SportsBusiness Journal, 21 of the 22 American-based NHL franchises have posted ratings increases so far this season. The lockout-shortened season meant big games from the second the league dropped the puck on Jan. 19, and also an entirely conference-based schedule, which has meant more marquee games.

    Can you see how the NHL is killing itself? Watch the ratings climb, then do not allow the viewers to see the play-offs. I'd think any new viewers just lost interest in this sport.

    And the NHL allowed it to happen.

    And the NHL allows it to happen.

  • blind
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    I guess the NHL assumes only Canadians will watch the playoffs, so they ripped off the US... Yeah, I never understood why a league wouldn't just want all of the playoff games to be shown on local channels. That way, more people can watch the games and that means more money for the league. Heck, even people switching through channels can run into a playoff game, and become fans of the game if they like it. Business-wise, the decision makes no sense. NBC and the NHL are supposed to get the most money they can, not try to alienate their fanbase and make it harder for new fans to join. Hopefully this experiment doesn't last long, because it's not worth it buying an extra channel or package just for a few playoff games for a month or two.

  • 7 years ago

    Totally get your point and feel your pain.

    I like it where I live because its easy to find the games. I check NBC, NBC sports net, then cnbc. Followed by CBUT (Canadian channel). The past few years I also had a pay hockey channel but NBC show so many games that I cancelled it. In a sense NBC saved hockey and the NHL. Nationally it was a t a pretty low level of broadcasts. NBC stepped up and now its really popular again. They deserve to make some money off taking the chance. I only wish they would televise more games on their main NBC station so everyone could watch.

    I like the CBUT Chanel the best because I enjoy Canadian broadcasts. They are a bit more fun an quirky which adds a little humor to the equation. So there it is two conflicting opinions but I do see your side.

  • Actually, NBCSN ratings are up over 50% over last year and are achieving record highs (they're exceeding what the NHL was getting during its peak year on ESPN); last night's BOS-NYR game won the 18-49 demo.

    RSN's are down because of who they are, and the increased number of Canadian teams in the first round (MTL/TOR took spots from US-based teams in the east...plus you lost NJD who play in a very lucrative NY Metropolitan market).

    NHL ratings on OLN/Versus/NBCSN have grown every year as this channel continues to gain market penetration.

    Are you aware that the league and its business partners (the owners, including Jeremy Jacobs) has a fiduciary duty to accept the offer for the most money (this is how business works)?

    Source(s): puck the media article; email from Steve Lepore who runs the site; historical data from Neil Pilson presentation.
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  • 7 years ago

    The NHL is a business. They don't care how much you have to pay to watch a hockey game, all that matters to them and to all the other major sports leagues is how much the broadcaster will pay them to show the games. Why does the NFL show their games on free TV? Maybe because they can't get cable in the trailer parks. MLB and NBA on regular cable channels because ESPN paid more money to buy the rights.

    Do you want NHL on free TV like it is in Canada (CBC) or on regular cable (TSN)? The answer is simple get your grandmothers and your aunts to demand it from your local broadcasters. I'd bet you that if as many 'mericans (percentage wise) wanted to watch hockey as Canadians do it would be on free TV bumping Dr. Phil into the abyss of premium cable. But you 'mericans would rather watch "Law and Order" or that riveting show "All Star Celebrity Apprentice" than hockey.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    In my opinion Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Washington are the most exciting teams to watch. Detroit won the Stanley Cup this year and added Hossa over the summer. Washington has Ovechkin, and Crosby and Malkin are in Pittsburgh. San Jose and Anaheim are also fun to watch. I also like to watch Dallas, or any of the original six teams. Also depending on who the home team will be that they will be rooting for would make it a little easier to pick a team to watch them play against in my opinion. If you have unlimited resources at getting tickets and a ton of money to spend tickets to the Winter game in Chicago vs. Detroiton New Years Day would make nearly anyone thrilled. At this point they have not gone on sale to the public though but they are being sold on Stub Hub by season ticket holders. Any seats close to the ice are great. I like to sit behind the penalty box, behind the bench, in any of the corners, or behind the goal that my team shoots at twice(in the first and third period).

  • 7 years ago

    In addition to the Reddit thing...

    For every game (playoffs and regular season) someone posts what's called a game day thread. The poster includes a ton of info about the teams and line ups, etc... as well as 3-4 different free live streams. Worth checking out especially since NBC sucks. Check a couple threads out and see if you can find one consistently good site :)


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    6 years ago


    Henrik Lundqvist entered the playoffs with a point to prove, and he is well on his way to doing so. Carcillo suspended 10 games for physically abusing official 12

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