T Dog Think Tank: NHL blows it again

This is becoming a common theme here at the T Dog Media Blog Think Tank: _____ blows it again. Fill in the blank. Two weeks ago, it was radio. Again. This week, the NHL. Again. It’s like we’re playing The Match Game. Only this time, we’re dealing with people much dumber than Dora.

This year’s NHL All-star Game, which was televised in prime-time on Versus last Wednesday, plunged a whopping 76 percent from the 2004 contest held on a Sunday afternoon on ABC, the last time an All-Star game was held.

The article states that the game drew only a 0.7 Nielsen rating, about the same ratings MyNetworkTV gets on an average weeknight (speaking of failures.) If fact, it drew more viewers in Canada on CBC than it did in the U.S. on Versus.

While it drew more viewers in hockey-crazy cities like Buffalo and Pittsburgh, it completely tanked in the nation’s largest markets, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

But I’ll bet you one thing. The NHL will use any dumbass excuse to say the All-Star Game was a success. What are they going to say? At least we beat MyNetworkTV? Perhaps they should’ve read my first Think Tank article: NHL, Hawks, Broadcasters need to get with the program.

But they make the same stupid mistakes. Holding the NHL All-Star game on a Wednesday night in the middle of winter airing on an obscure network against American Idol ? Airing exclusive NHL games on the same night as Monday Night Football on some weeks? Moving Saturday afternoon NHL games to Sunday against the NBA and college hoops? The NHL is basically telling viewers you have a choice: It’s either us or the popular shows. People are picking the popular shows. A chance to sell Sidney Crosby to America and you do it against American Idol? Idiots.

In Dallas, where the game was held, the event didn’t even crack the Top 15 cable programs, averaging only a 0.5 rating. What was No.1 in its time period? You guessed it. American Idol.

And don’t even get me started about the game itself. On The Sporting News website, I posted that I forgot all about the game, and that’s what you get when you live in a city with NO NHL TEAM. Plus, even if I remembered, I wouldn’t have watched it anyway.

But as along as people like commissioner Gary Bettman, Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, and their little munchskins (a.k.a the other owners and clueless advertisers) think that the hockey world only evolves around them and everything is fine, the league and the ratings will continue to suck. Those assholes are the real reason that the NHL is in the messed up state it’s in.

So this week, It’s the NHL that blows it. Again. But I am positive that the radio industry will do something stupid soon and fill in the blank for next week.


It has nothing to do with the subject matter, but it is worth mentioning: The NBA blew it. Again. They suspended Lakers star Kobe Bryant for tonight’s Knicks game for an unintentional elbow to a Spurs player in a game Sunday, which means he couldn’t play in Madison Square Garden – the only time the Lakers play there this season, which also means that New Yorkers won’t see him play at all.

Haven’t Knicks fans suffered enough? I guess you should ask NHL fans and radio listeners the same question.