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NBA? Nobody watches the NBA. Hockey gets more viewers than hoops

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    So much for everyone's assumptions.


    The National Hockey League is widely perceived to be a sport going nowhere in the United States.

    Hockey? Hardly worthy of a place at the table with football, baseball and basketball.

    But audience results from last Sunday afternoon suggest otherwise.

    The NHL telecast on NBC (Boston Bruins-Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers-New York Islanders regionally) drew a larger national audience than ABC's National Basketball Association telecast (Phoenix Suns-Sacramento Kings).

    I posted it on the hockey thread but I think it deserves a wider audience--since at any given moment there are about 450 basketball threads around here.

    Release the hounds!
  2. We'll see if hockey matches up as well when the Mavs play the Suns. I doubt it.
  3. jagtrader

    jagtrader Active Member

    Is it OK to not watch either of them?
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Simple reason, JR:
    An New York-New York rivalry game with playoff implications or a Phoenix-Scaramento game?
    The New York market share alone probably outstrippped anything the NBA could have done, even if nobody else in the country watched hockey.

    (That is NOT New York arrogance, that is the statistical fact of havng a game between two teams from the largest market in the country)
  5. I'm not sure how things work up in Canuckistan, but that's certainly your right in the good, old U.S. of A., by God.
  6. JR

    JR Well-Known Member


    I think the point is that the assumed huge differential in viewership between hockey & the NBA doesn't exist. It's not like hockey versus the NFL.
  7. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Two things...

    -- Uh, no. It was close, but basketball won, at least according to USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2007-03-26-tv-ratings_N.htm

    -- And the NBA game was on opposite the NCAA tournament basketball games, which drew more than three times the audience of the NBA and NHL games combined. If you're a basketball fan in the US, you're watching the tournament games over a meaningless NBA game.

    For a columnist to look at those numbers and suggest the NHL is close to the NBA is either incredibly naive or incredibly dishonest. Basketball outdrew hockey 8 to 1 in that time slot.
  8. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    I like hockey better live. On TV, I'll take hoops. Enjoyed last night's Bulls-Pistons game, even though it wasn't exactly basketball at its best. And I couldn't stay awake for the weird PHX-GS game. But it was weird. The Warriors wore their throwbacks and scored 45 on Phoenix in the first quarter...ended up winning by five, I think. Just strange to see a team in unfamiliar yellow unis beating the shit out of the Suns.
    Both leagues have more than their share of issues, but I still love both the NHL and the NBA. Can't have too much of either on TV, at least as far as I'm concerned.
  9. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    No, that is New York arrogance. Because I'm guessing Sidney Crosby -- even against the hapless Bruins -- will attract viewers nationally every time. The Rangers-Islanders wouldn't have the same appeal nationally.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I don't hardly watch either -- as with Irish, and, dare I say it, many Canadian fans, to the detriment of the professional league -- I'd rather watch a lower level of hockey live than the NHL on television. And I'm a hockey nut.

    That said, I'll watch 15-20 NHL games this year before the playoffs, and that's roughly 18 more than I watched all of last year. Two things that pique my interest:

    1. The Wild at home. Just a great atmosphere for most games at the X.

    2. The Penguins anywhere. They are a joy to watch.

    So, to restore hockey to it's rightful place in the North American sports pantheon, we really only need to add 29 hockey palaces like the Xcel Center and 29 more players like Sidney Crosby to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

    Simple fix, really.
  11. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I'll add the Sabres to that list. They just bomb away and the puck always seems to find their sticks.
  12. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Not according to the Globe article. NBA got 1.26, NHL 1.31.

    The average viewership of an NBA Sunday game is 1.9, hockey 1.0. so, yes, hoops is generally more popular but if I were Stern, I'd be worried about those numbers.

    You can't factor the NCAA tournament in those figures because 90% of those people wouldn't be watching either the NHL or NBA. March Madness is a blip on the radar screen.

    However, if you looked at total North American viewers for the two sports, the gap would be narrowed considerably.

    For example Hollywood doesn't break out the Canadian box office receipts from American ones. They're north American sales and both determine the success of the movie.
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