Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The Terrible Dichotomy of the NHL
As I was still warming up from being out at the Winter Classic, the huge television ratings were released today. The 2.6 overnight rating and 5 share on NBC were the most the NHL had gotten for a regular season game since 1996. Impressive, right?
Now try getting any of those people to watch the NHL All Star game on January 28th in Atlanta. First off, it is in Atlanta (not a hockey market like Buffalo). Secondly, its on a Sunday afternoon at 6 p.m. (not New Years Day at 1 p.m.). Thirdly, its on Versus (not NBC). The NHL does something so great with the Winter Classic, then absolutely shoots itself in the foot with the All Star Game.
The Winter Classic had one, maybe two top of the talents in the league - Cindy Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (Vanek and Miller are borderline). The NHL All Star Game will have all of the top NHL players. And yet it is quite likely that very few people will tune in to watch them. See something wrong here??
I mentioned it earlier today but really feel the need to reiterate that the NHL should make the All Star weekend the/an annual outdoor affair. Then it will combine the novelty of open-air hockey with the best players the league has to offer, with nothing on the line. It allows for the regular season to remain uncompromised and would showcase the stars to more people, something the league desperately needs.