Last night the NBA’s wet dream happened. There was a finals showdown between the two biggest TV markets in America, Los Angeles and New York. One of those teams even happened to be going a second straight title opening up conversations for words like “dynasty”.
Even though the team seeking dynastic considerations was up 3-0 in the best of 7 series the game still managed to be incredibly entertaining, going all the way to double OT to decide a victor. This is not only the NBA’s version of a JIM AND NADIA, it’s every professional sports league’s ideal scenario. Unfortunately this happened in the NHL and nobody south of Lake Minnetonka actually gave a damn.
According to Daniel Feinberg, television ratings specialist for Hitfix, viewership was down 29% from last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. What’s so crazy is this hasn’t been a boring playoffs that just peaked at the apex. The entire run has been interesting, with the eventual champions being an 8th seeded LA team that got to the Finals by going on an improbable run of 3 consecutive Game 7 victories on the road.
Hockey has an issue. There are many ways to fix the problems of the NHL and the first one starts with replacing Gary Bettman, as the commissioner he has proven to be much less than competent on every occasion.
The NHL has refused to be innovative in any way that makes a difference or sell its stars the way the NBA has done so masterfully, Bettman and the NHL just seem content with slowly becoming a niche sport in America and going the way of Boxing and Horse Racing.
The biggest travesty of it all is Hockey isn’t a broken sport. I’ve been to a few hockey games in my life and it is without a doubt my favorite live sporting event experience! The physicality, pace, and skill are amazing! I just wish there was a way to get that experience to come through on LED. You’d be surprised at how fast the game is, it’s like football on ice! Actually that would be a perfect way to market it
“Next Monday on NBC, Football on Ice Starring Henrik Lundquist and Sid Crosby. Be. There.”
That would be great! I’d watch that, but again the NHL seems content, so Hockey will never have the wide and varied audience it so richly deserves. – Glass¤