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John Collins, NHL COO Working On Canada

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

Now Collins has turned his marketing eye to the brooding, chauvinistic beast of Canadian hockey, where Hockey Night in Canada is the No. 1 brand and the NHL logo is fifth or sixth on the list. “We feel like the NHL was undervalued in Canada, there’s more here,” he says. “We have to respect what HNIC means, the way Monday Night Football means in America. But now there’s Football Night in America on Sundays, and it’s the best-rated program on national TV. Beats American Idol, The Voice, everything.”

If Canadian networks hoping to keep the NHL TV contract are listening, Collins is saying that things change.

“I see a lot of parallels between Americans and football and Canadians with hockey,” he says. “CBC wants as many Leafs games on Saturday night, because people watch them. Just the way ABC would have taken Dallas-Washington every week on Monday Night Football.” But this concentration has a downside come playoff time. “If the Leafs aren’t there for CBC, the Canadiens aren’t there for RDS, we can’t have Canadian fans turning off the lights, going to the cottage.

“How we change that is tell more stories, give more balanced coverage of the other teams around the league so people who are interested in that can have it. It’s not a criticism of our current partners. TSN does hockey as well or better than anybody. But you’re watching trade deadline day and they say, ‘Let’s talk about how the seven Canadian clubs are in the Rick Nash sweepstakes.’ I understand it, but as somebody responsible for the shield, it should be a unifying force in Canada, not a bureaucracy in a New York office.”

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+collins

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OH COME ON, WHY IS A CANADIAN PAPER DOING PIECES ON HOCKEY IN CANADA?!?!!?!??

Posted by Garth on 04/19/12 at 10:34 PM ET

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Now Collins has turned his marketing eye to the brooding, chauvinistic beast of Canadian hockey, where Hockey Night in Canada is the No. 1 brand and the NHL logo is fifth or sixth on the list. “We feel like the NHL was undervalued in Canada, there’s more here,”

This is a great article, finally the NHL is seizing upon the fact that hockey is sold in Canada solely as a Canadian thing. Canadians are not so much hockey fans as they are fans of Canada itself. Hockey has been used by TSN (World Juniors) CBC, Cherry, politicians (Harper) and Labbatts and Molson as a nationalistic thing first and foremost.  The NHL’s idea is to make more Canadians hockey fans regardless of who or where it is played. My guess is the first shoe to fall will be CBC losing the main contract to TSN and Rogers. Money is being lost in Canada because of the focus on 7 teams.

Those of us who love hockey, not just nationality, should support this effort.

Posted by timbits on 04/19/12 at 11:56 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.

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