Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/19/12 at 12:35 AM ET
from SIimon Houpt, Steve Ladurantaye and Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
In the United States, TV ratings for hockey are up 50 per cent for the NBC group of channels over this time last year. Viewership is strong in Canada, with some in the broadcasting industry suggesting the very controversy over the spike in cheap-shots and thuggery may be pushing the ratings higher.
On Wednesday, only hours after Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was carried off the ice on a stretcher following an ugly blindside hit, the NHL’s chief operating officer admitted the league is hearing from its business partners over the rash of suspensions and fines arising out of the on-ice antics, and the ensuing media coverage.
“They’re paying us a lot of money to associate with our brand,” said John Collins, who came to the NHL from the NFL. “So when our brand is under attack in the press on issues as serious as player safety, they want to know that the league is on top of it, and has a plan for dealing with it and hear the league articulate it.”
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