Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Much talk has been made about the NHL going back to ESPN soon, and while it's still a possibility, Gary Bettman (on CSN Chicago's "Monsters in the Morning") said that the "Leader" wasn't the place for the league following the strike. The NHL Commish even explained that network television isn't all it's cracked up to be when it comes to Hockey. Via Sports Business Daily....
"There tends to be some criticism of them, probably initiated by some of their competitors. We felt coming out of the work stoppage and the year off, doing the traditional mode, going back to ESPN, where they have everything, wasn’t going to help us bring the game back as strong."I guess that's a strong point in theory (when you consider Hockey ratings are never THAT good), but if you are trying to get people to see a Sport, wouldn't you go to where the most eyes were/are? Seems like it's only a matter of time before ESPN picks Hockey back up, and thank goodness, because Versus is just about the hardest channel to find on cable.
"With the use of digital technology, we can really give our fans as close a connection to the game as they want in a whole variety of ways. We think having come back as strong as we have from the work stoppage, four years of record attendance and record revenues; our ratings are up just about everywhere on television. We’re probably as strong as we’ve ever been."
NHL Commissioner Discusses League's TV Presence (Sports Business Daily)