It doesn't help that the channel that broadcasts most NHL playoff games (NBC Sports Network) recently changed names (formerly Versus) because Comcast owns NBC now and realized they want some of what ESPN has. Strangely enough though, the announcers that call these playoff games are on average much better than the broadcast teams for other major sports.Deacon wrote:These playoff games are mostly relegated to 3rd (4th?) tier cable channels I had never even been aware existed before having to hunt for them.
True, but the European season ended over the weekend, so that's one less competitor. Also, short attention spans might be hurting the NHL now, but hockey being so nonstop makes it the ideal sport for a person with a short attention span.Deacon wrote:It turns out Americans don't have a particularly long attention span anyway, especially with great things happening in the NBA and MLB at the same time, with a little bit of European and even American pitch football bleeding into the periphery.
Really, the NHL only gets a wide American audience during the playoffs anyway. Fortunately, playoff hockey is some of the most thrilling television sports have to offer. More good news comes in the form of who (and where) the remaining teams are--popular teams in big markets are everywhere. Chicago, Boston, LA, and Detroit being alive so late in the playoffs helps ratings a great deal. Pittsburgh is also a very popular team, at least at the moment. (Translation: Not a lot of people are rooting for San Jose in the NHL offices...)