Blog Entry

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 8:06 pm

By: Adam Gretz

On Thursday night the NHL held its second All-Star fantasy draft, and the league saw a drop in its television ratings as a little over 2 million viewers tuned in across North America, according to TV Sports Ratings, via Steve Lepore at Puck The Media.

Over 1.6 million of those viewers came from Canada, while a little over 400,000 watched it in the United States. The number for the states is down from the 600,000 that tuned in last year on a Friday night (again, this year's draft was held on a Thursday).

The draft is definitely a unique thing for the NHL, and it's unlike anything else any of the other major sports leagues do for their All-Star games, so I give the NHL credit for trying something different to spice up an event that generally draws a collective yawn from the fan base.

The problem is it just doesn't seem to translate all that well to television with some awkward moments and way too much empty space. Actually, the most entertaining part of Thursday's festivities was the Senators fans treating it like a battle of Ontario game and heckling Joffrey Lupul (and his Leafs teammates) at every opportunity.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

NHL All-Star Rosters
Couture Last Man Standing

All-Star Skills Challenge Lineups
More NHL All-Star Game Coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Since: Mar 17, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:11 pm

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Of Course it did , last year was a novelty Not many people care about the all star game , i  never miss a bruins game and watch many others game during the year but i havent watched the lame all star game  since wayne gretzky played , the this version is just too stupid to watch , besides there hasn't been  any good all star games since the challenge cup in the late 70's

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:29 am

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

No kidding!  Ratings dropped, you say.  Did the NHL ever consider advertising the event outside of its arenas and its own channel?  I'm tired of people defending Gary Bettman's governance of the NHL.

First of all, the NHL Network is the consummate niche channel on your cable system-- if you can even get it.  The fact that the cast majority of the world missed the "draft" should be no surprise to the rest of the civilized sports world.  Since they probably can't get ads places on broadcasts on ESPN or Fox Sports channels, they should have been bombarding sports websites on a daily basis for the last two weeks.  Otherwise, the low ratings were all but set in stone.

Second, the NHL needs to take a page from the NBA and it's all-star extravaganza.  Beyond advertising the hell out of things weeks ahead of time, turn it into a weekend where everything is packaged together.  Plan the game for Sunday afternoon the day of the Super Bowl when everyone is looking for something to watch.  Plan it for 1 or 2 p.m. when the sports world has audience to spare -- you just might hook them into your game for the long term.  Stage the draft on Friday night before the skills competition.  Make it so the players don't know who they're playing with until that weekend.  Then they participate in the skills challenge with their new "teammates."  Then on Saturday afternoon, broadcast the 1st practices of the all star teams live on the NHL Network.

Finally, stop acting like the NHL is part of the top tier of North American sports.  I read an article a few weeks ago that English Premier League football is getting higher ratings and viewing audiences than hockey.  The NHL is losing ground and will continue to slide until it accepts its place as a niche sports league, or looks to advertise the hell out of itself to try and get into the top tier.  You can't have it both ways. 

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 8:44 am

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Does anyone actually care about the All-Star game? I haven't watched one in many years. Just skip it and carry on with the regular season, because the one-week break probably messes up a lot of teams' momentum, not to mention individual players. I'm sure the Habs, for example, would have liked to play again two days after they beat Detroit; now all that enthusiasm will evaporate.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:11 am

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Is this surprising? It was on NHL Network, which I wouldn't be getting as part of my cable package if it wasn't for the fact MSG and Time Warner still haven't reached a deal. Time Warner gave customers the channel in lieu of MSG. Big Bang Theory ranks higher. <br />

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2012 12:08 am

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Yah think thought it was on tonight like last year on a Friday not a Thursday. NHL dropped the ball or should i say puck on that one.

Since: Mar 11, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:57 pm

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Doesnt surprise me.  It was on a thursday for one.  The other thing is i have Fios and it was hell trying to find where it was.  It was hidden on an NBC auxilary channel not even with the sports.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:50 pm

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Honestly one of, if not the crappiest All-Star Lineups on both sides ever. Datsyuk deservidly went first as he is the most under-rated player in the NHL. Sure fans talk about him, but for some reason not in the same light as Crosby or Ovie. Which is absolutly wrong considering Pav's is the best 2 way player in the NHL and has the hardware to prove it by winning 3 the Selke straight times and should have last year had he not broken his wrist deeking out everyone, lol. No, he landed on it .

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:13 pm

TV Ratings drop for All-Star draft

Not surprised. Pretty boring. And the half-hour lead up had all the hype of the Super Bowl. Dumb. I miss the old Wales Conference Vs. Campbell Conference. Bring back tradition. Patrick, Norris, Smythe & Adams Divisions. Not this Bettman Butthead stuff.

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