no name wrote:Take your choice.
Be a small dog on a big network (ESPN)
Be the top dog on a small network (NBCSN)
I don't know which is better??
Being the top dog on a small network has been paying the bills. I highly doubt the NHL would be getting the same $200-million per year from ESPN that they're getting from NBC. As I mentioned earlier, it's a similar situation here with TSN vs Sportsnet. Sportsnet's hockey broadcasts are beyond bad (but hopefully improving?)
, their viewership is much lower than TSN's, but they've got the NHL's rights starting next season because they were willing to spend to the tune of $5.2-billion over 12 years ($433-million per year)
. As nice as it'd be to rival others for ratings, they really mean very little to the NHL as long as broadcasters like NBC and Sportsnet are willing to shell out big bucks for their rights. That said, I don't think having the NHL on ESPN would have any real affect on ratings. They recently had a poll asking whether the NBA or NHL playoffs were more exciting, and the NHL won in a landslide - so clearly ESPN's viewers are already plenty aware of hockey's existence.