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For Ratings Sake, Go Blackhawks

from Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune,

They won't admit it, but privately NBC will be rooting for the Blackhawks to pull off the comeback against the Kings this weekend.

Having the Hawks in the Stanley Cup Final is huge for NBC. Not as much with the Kings.

With the Rangers and Kings still alive, Chicago technically is the nation's No. 3 TV market in terms of overall viewers during the playoffs. But thanks to the avid following for the Hawks, the town is a clear-cut No. 1 in terms of delivering hockey viewers.

The numbers tell the story. Before Thursday's Rangers-Montreal game, New York was averaging a 4.1 rating for Rangers games during the playoffs; Los Angeles is at 1.7 for Kings games. Meanwhile, Chicago checks in at a robust 13.4 for Hawks playoff games.

While being careful not to play favorites in the Western Conference finals, NBC announcer Mike Emrick knows what the Blackhawks have meant to the NBC in recent years.

"It's a magical time for hockey in Chicago," Emrick said. "There's a passion that is hard to discount. Even Mr. Fix-it on Saturday morning is talking Blackhawks hockey."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Primis's avatar

No.  NBC wants CHI to win because NBC/Comcast owns CSN (Comcast SportsNet) which owns the Hawks’ TV rights.  What you thought Ed Olczyk suddenly out of nowhere landed a national TV gig out of MERIT?!  HAHA no, we was working for CSN.  Merit.  That’s hilarious.  Olczyk is awful and would never be allowed on TV except for Comcast.

The rest is a smokescreen.

The wrong team came out of Cali for Comcast (CSN also has Sharks’ rights).  What, you thought the Sharks were always the late game on NBCSN because they had the most late night interest?  HAHAHAHA again.  Next you’ll tell me you thought Hahn and Remenda (who broadcast Sharks games on CSN) got NBC gigs by merit too or something…

So as far as Comcast is concerned, screw LA, CHI all the way.  LA or NYR winning won’t expand their brand or influence the way CHI winning would.

Posted by Primis on 05/30/14 at 09:45 AM ET

Avatar

But that can’t be true, because ol’ George claims Gary Bettman wants L.A. to win.  So does that mean the commish doesn’t care about ratings? 

It’s obviously better for the league for Chi to win.  Plus Chicago plays a much more friendly for TV style.  LA vs. NYR will be extremely boring.  It will be hard to watch.

Posted by jkm2011 on 05/30/14 at 10:25 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

But that can’t be true, because ol’ George claims Gary Bettman wants L.A. to win.  So does that mean the commish doesn’t care about ratings?

The number of viewers right now doesn’t affect the NHL as much as it affects NBC. It’s perfectly reasonable for the NHL to prefer LA while the television network prefers Chicago because they don’t necessarily want the same thing.

Strong interest in Chicago will survive if the Hawks lose the conference finals. The Kings won a cup two seasons ago and hockey fever still hasn’t grasped as firmly in the 2nd-most highly populated metropolitan area. It’s better for the league if Los Angeles cares as much about hockey as Chicago does.

NBC wants their minds, the NHL wants their hearts.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/30/14 at 10:50 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

Plus Chicago plays a much more friendly for TV style.  LA vs. NYR will be extremely boring.  It will be hard to watch.

Posted by jkm2011 on 05/30/14 at 10:25 AM ET

You make it sound like LA is rolling with NJ’s heavy neutral zone trap from 20 years back. Chicago is admittedly a bit more of a speed team and LA more physical, but as evidenced by the Carter-Pearson-Toffoli line, there’s a lot more speed now than earlier in the season. Plus we’re the highest scoring team in the playoffs.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 05/30/14 at 02:38 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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