Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Welcome to my first (of what will most likely be many) hockey post that will illustrate just how much NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sucks. Hot on the heels of the NHL's "let's make the jerseys a little more gay", here's another brilliant marketing ploy: NHL's trip to England about selling the game.

This weekend, the NHL is forcing the Ducks and Kings to play two games in England in order to "sell the game" to people in the UK who can't even watch the regular season. Fantastic. What's the reason? "We have to extend our brand." How about "extending your brand visibility" right here in your biggest market, where 24 of the 30 teams are located, you may have heard of it--the United States of America! You know, where the vast majority of the public doesn't even know the NHL exists?

If you think that's stupid, I just found out that the Saturday game won't be televised nationally in the US. It's on CBC in Canada and HDNet on DirecTV (and I don't get either channel). That's right! The game that officially kicks off the NHL season WILL NOT BE TELEVISED NATIONALLY IN THE US (except maybe in notorious hockey hotbed California); NBC has golf, and Versus is showing the pivotal Baylor/Texas A&M football game. However, they will begrudgingly show the 2nd game on Sunday at noon, where I'm sure it will do well in the ratings against NFL football and Tiger Woods. While the NFL manages to turn most games into a must-watch event (for better or worse: see "NFL Kickoff"), the NHL routinely sabotages any chance of increasing its viewership. Why not choose a Friday night, when nothing else is on? Even a Saturday night game has more of a chance than this one.

Once again, the NHL is completely clueless on how to market their sport. Bettman, you fucking suck. But please, enjoy the games across the pond, mates! Cheerio!

(BTW, how did England get an NFL game AND an NHL game in the space of one month? Did we lose a bet with them or something?)

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