Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/22/06 at 10:18 PM ET
"We need to grow the ratings. The NHL knows that, and we know that," OLN president Gavin Harvey said. "We think that's something that needs to be judged over a couple of years." To put those numbers in perspective, more people watched the 13 WNBA broadcasts on ESPN2 last year than the NHL on OLN this year. And NBC's poker series, which preceded the network's NHL playoff coverage two weeks ago, easily outdrew the hockey by more than 200,000 viewers. Still, the playoffs have been and are expected to continue to be very competitive, so the NHL is staying optimistic about the remaining Stanley Cup matchups. "We don't think having small market teams necessarily equates to bad ratings," league spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur said. "Viewership is also about the quality of the game, and the game is in great shape." One of the issues, though, for the ratings is the star power, or lack of it, on the teams still alive.read on
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