Since buying the NHL’s TV rights just a few years in the past, ESPN has carried out a subpar job of selling the league. Though the community has obtained criticism from many followers, its most up-to-date viewership figures are simply embarrassing.
The figures in comparison with final yr’s Stanley Cup Closing viewership for the primary two video games, in keeping with ESPN, are downright humiliating.
That’s correct, there have been 1.6 million much less viewers for the primary two video games this yr. Actually terrible for ESPN and the NHL.
4 million folks watched the primary two Stanley Cup Closing video games final yr, or a median of two million per evening. This yr, the primary two video games solely attracted 2.6 million viewers, or a median of 1.3 million folks per evening.
What precipitated the league’s largest occasion of the yr to lose 700,000 viewers per evening? One widespread speculation is that the competition itself is the rationale why folks aren’t watching.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ success has infuriated many NHL supporters, who see the franchise because the league’s orphan that they’re keen to advertise. The Florida workforce, alternatively, performs in a small space and has a reasonably small fan base, so it appears affordable that they wouldn’t draw many viewers.
How can the NHL deal with this apparent downside?