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NHL Hockey is Actually More Popular than NBA Basketball


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The NHL is a peer of the NBA and their main television night outdraws NBA basketball on its main television night.

The NBA on TNT, the league's Thursday night national broadcast, averaged a 1.1 rating last season, or about one million households in the United States. Meanwhile, Hockey Night in Canada's marquee Saturday night matchup is averaging about 1.27 million viewers in the northland. If you combine that with the typical rating for a national U.S. broadcast of an NHL game on the obscure Versus network ? even if it's a pittance of about 160,000 households ? it represents an impressive North American audience.

"People might not realize it, but when you put out a movie, the opening weekend isn't just U.S. It's not just Canada. They combine the two numbers," he said. "I would be doing the same thing if I was the NHL. And suddenly your numbers are bigger than basketball's."

...

"The perception among regular sports fans is going to be, `Wow. I didn't realize hockey was that big.' Nobody's going to do the division and say, `Well, that's in Canada so that doesn't count.' It's just like a box office. They don't say, `Well, it was stronger in Canada.' We've had movies stronger in Canada per screen than they were in the U.S. No one cares. It's just total box office. Advertisers don't care. You guys drink beer. We drink beer. You guys play video games. We play video games. You guys wear stupid sneakers and pay too much money for 'em. We do the same."

from:

Cuban's message to NHL

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Hopefully Cuban gets the NHL Franchise he so desperately wants, if not the Penguins then Nashville would be a good bet as they are trying to get out of their lease and relocate, a owner like him would only help the NHL

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I would have thought the viewing figures for those sports would have been higher considering the population size, what sport events usually have the highest viewing figures for the year? I know in the UK that for big football games such as in the World Cup, viewing figures can be around 11-12million or 20% of the population.

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I would have thought the viewing figures for those sports would have been higher considering the population size, what sport events usually have the highest viewing figures for the year? I know in the UK that for big football games such as in the World Cup, viewing figures can be around 11-12million or 20% of the population.

Population of Canada is 32million

Population of USA is 300million

Popluation of UK is 60 million

so 1million viewers for a regular season hockey game isn't too shabby considering the population of Canada. In the states though the rating are clearly bad. Also the biggest audiences tune into the NFL and their viewing audience is huge. Plus you can't really compare the biggest sporting event in the world (World Cup) to a regular season game lol.

Super Bowl audience last year was an estimated 90.7 million or 30% of the population of the US (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/06/superbowl/main1288104.shtml)

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Also keep in mind there are 82 games per team, so it is reasonable that not everyone is watching a game every night. Although I bought Riseau Des Sports so I could watch all of the Canadians games, which I watch about 80% so far.

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Both NHL and the NBA are fairly unpopular right now in the US. In Canada, obviously the NHL is very popular. I have a very difficult time with the fact that the NHL is more popular than the NBA in the US at least.

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Both NHL and the NBA are fairly unpopular right now in the US. In Canada, obviously the NHL is very popular. I have a very difficult time with the fact that the NHL is more popular than the NBA in the US at least.

The NHL is more popular than the NBA in the North American market (the terminology is important).

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Ratings for one nights viewing is all you're basing this on? Some people actually work nights, may have had other obligations, and missed their game.

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this suprises me a little BUT....

Hockey is a better game . . . alot more skill involved.

Being a Rugby fanatic and player, i like "contact" sports.. Hockey fits this bill nicely , esp when some rabid canadian checks some preppy yank across the back of the head with his stick..:laugh:

As a friend of mine in America said to me once, "basketball is no longer interesting, it should be called Dunk Ball"..

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Ratings for one nights viewing is all you're basing this on? Some people actually work nights, may have had other obligations, and missed their game.

We were talking about nightly regular season averages and not any one particular night or any one particular game.

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Hockey is often considered to be "too fast" for American audiences. Fox tries to add the blue halo to the puck so they could better keep up with the plays. Some people think that the presence of a goaltender is un-American (remember that Americans don't like Soccer or Lacrosse either). A goaltender is a dedicated defender that can never (generally) ever contribute a goal. That seems to go against the concept that everyone in America is equal regardless of income or upbringing.

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It's dull. Scoring is non existant, the season is worthless since 80% of the teams make it to the postseason, and then it's a season long postseason. The game has little excitement whatsoever.

Interesting. I pretty much disagree with all of that. Blue halo with a tail or not, most Americans didn't care for hockey. It's simply a winter sport...sandwiched between sports taht Americans love. NFL and NCAA basketball (tournament, essentially).

Not sure why a pot shot at America was necessary, though.

There was no pot shot. That is why Fox added the blue halo. Only slightly more than half the teams (16 of 30) make the postseason but the final order is important to determine matchups and home ice advantage.

I can't imagine how football is more exciting than hockey. It's slow and predictable (1st down, 3 yard run). Hockey is faster, rougher and tougher. There usually about 6 goals scored per game and a lot of near misses. This isn't soccer. Hockey has eliminated the clutching and grabbing that was slowing down the game. At one point, a few years ago, scoring was under 5 goals per game. It has gone back up to traditional levels since then.

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That's the potshot, and was really not necessary to the topic at hand.

Interesting. Wrong, but interesting nonetheless. I don't feign knowledge about hockey, I'd suspect you should do the same about football.

It has been suggested before that the presence of a goaltender/goalkeeper is somehow unnatural to Americans. No American sports use goaltenders although they are common outside of America. Perhaps a coincidence but some people have spent time studying it.

Come on though, what percentage of 1st down plays are short runs up the middle in the NFL. It tends to be rather predictable. Generally you need to wait for the second or third down for a more exciting passing play.

Soccer doesn't average 6 goals per game. It can happen occasionally but that isn't typical. While it is true that you can have the odd 1-0 hockey game, you do also get some big scores. In the end, it averages out to around 6 goals per game. Soccer goals per game averages out to under 3 (i.e. EPL).

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I wonder if the limited coverage of the NBA has anything to do with this. TNT has many of the games and, after trying it a few times, I got sick of the announcing and between half commentators (Barkley is unbearable to listen to). Compare that to the wider coverage of the NHL in Canada and you have an obvious tilt of the scales.

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Soccer and hockey both, much more exciting and offer more action than football. To me football is like watching two snail paced tanks colliding over and over and over, with long pauses in between that "action."

This made me laugh:

"There are about 120 plays in a game of football, and each of them is an average of 6 seconds. That?s a total of 12 minutes of play. Yet a professional game on TV lasts longer than 3 hours. That?s more than 2 hours and 48 minutes watching commercials, replays, cheerleaders (OK, that?s not boring!) and morbidly overweight people huddling around on the field. The play-by-play of a football game goes something like this: huddle for 30 seconds, line up, pile up, and repeat!"

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I wonder if the limited coverage of the NBA has anything to do with this. TNT has many of the games and, after trying it a few times, I got sick of the announcing and between half commentators (Barkley is unbearable to listen to). Compare that to the wider coverage of the NHL in Canada and you have an obvious tilt of the scales.

That's a valid comparison. CBC does a really professional job on hockey coverage and Saturday night but a better night than Thursday.

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Soccer and hockey both, much more exciting and offer more action than football. To me football is like watching two snail paced tanks colliding over and over and over, with long pauses in between that "action."

This made me laugh:

"There are about 120 plays in a game of football, and each of them is an average of 6 seconds. That’s a total of 12 minutes of play. Yet a professional game on TV lasts longer than 3 hours. That’s more than 2 hours and 48 minutes watching commercials, replays, cheerleaders (OK, that’s not boring!) and morbidly overweight people huddling around on the field. The play-by-play of a football game goes something like this: huddle for 30 seconds, line up, pile up, and repeat!"

lol (Y)(Y)

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Soccer and hockey both, much more exciting and offer more action than football. To me football is like watching two snail paced tanks colliding over and over and over, with long pauses in between that "action."

This made me laugh:

"There are about 120 plays in a game of football, and each of them is an average of 6 seconds. That?s a total of 12 minutes of play. Yet a professional game on TV lasts longer than 3 hours. That?s more than 2 hours and 48 minutes watching commercials, replays, cheerleaders (OK, that?s not boring!) and morbidly overweight people huddling around on the field. The play-by-play of a football game goes something like this: huddle for 30 seconds, line up, pile up, and repeat!"

It's great when you change the channel, and then get a touchdown pass just as you get there. Of course, you have to change the channel, because it may be a while before anything worthwhile occurs.

Hockey? I love the speed. I love the hitting, which is better than any other sport, even football. While soccer may score six times in a game on a rare occasion, hockey scores six goals a game on average, but can get as many as fifteen goals in one game. Regardless, it is exciting even in a low scoring game. I'd rather watch a 1-0 hockey game, on the brink of the score being changed, than a football game that's a blowout. Even a close football game gets annoying. They waste the clock, run the ball every time, kick a lot of field goals, and is generally a boring end. Twelve minutes of play does ring true about the game.

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How about football (soccer)? Will MLS ever be successful (Assuming trades such as the one of David Beckham, or rumored trades (Ronaldo)) occur?

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How about football (soccer)? Will MLS ever be successful (Assuming trades such as the one of David Beckham, or rumored trades (Ronaldo)) occur?

No

and that thing about the halo, that was like 10 years ago.

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No

and that thing about the halo, that was like 10 years ago.

Yeah, it really was. That pretty much shows that you haven't even bothered to watch in ages, which if you don't like it, is fine. Being that I'm a hockey and football fan, I can assure that hockey is MUCH more exciting that football. Now I love my Sooner football and you better not bother me when it's on, but when hockey is on you probably couldn't mess with me because you have to pay closer attention because things change in a split second. It's easy for someone who doesn't watch it to just see it as a disorganized sport of people going back and forth non-stop and shooting a puck and not scoring much, but if you know what you're watching then it's much more exciting.

Football and Hockey are the only sports I really get into though. Basketball is a bunch of panseys out there seeing who can get more fouls called, baseball is slower and more boring than watching grass grow, and soccer I don't mind, but being that it's so small around here I've never really gotten into it that much.

It just depends on what you like. Football is a much easier sport to just pick up and know what's going on easily, so people tend to latch onto it faster, but hockey I would definitely consider more exciting when you know what's going on because you never know what's going to happen and it's never over until it's over.

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