Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 01/11/08 at 11:53 PM ET
William Houston at the Globe & Mail notes that Canadian hockey viewership, while still stronger than in the pre-lockout season, are drastically down this year. And the most notable downturn is the Vancouver Canucks audience.
Despite leading the Northwest Division, Canucks regional audiences are down 20 per cent. Rogers Sportsnet is averaging 242,000 viewers a game compared with 303,000 at this point last season.
Networks pay closer attention to long-term trends than year-to-year measurements, but the Canucks numbers also have declined 29 per cent from the prelockout season of 2003-04.
What’s gone wrong?
“You can drive yourself nuts trying to analyze ratings,” Sportsnet president Doug Beeforth said. “It’s like the stock market. It is the long term that counts.”
The Canucks’ weak audiences may be an example of a winning record failing to mitigate the tedium of dull hockey. Goalie Roberto Luongo, not the goal scorers, is the team’s star.
Any other theories? The ratings for the other 5 Canadian teams are noted below.
Flames: Averaging 117,000 viewers, down 3 per cent from last year at this point, up 3 per cent from 2003-04.
Oilers: Averaging 116,000, down 30 per cent from last year, up 22 per cent from 2003-04.
Leafs: Averaging 411,000, down 3 per cent from last year at this time, up 7 per cent from 2003-04.
Ottawa Senators: Averaging 102,000, up 17 per cent from last year, up 38 per cent from 2003-04.
Montreal Canadiens: Averaging 643,000 on Reseau des Sports, down 9 per cent from last season, but up 65 per cent from 2003-04.
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About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]