Sunday, July 17, 2005

The NHL and the U.S. Media

The Ottawa Sun has an article in today's paper about how negative the American media has been toward hockey this week.

The NHL needs to stop groveling for the respect of the American sports media, and it needs to do it now. In this battle of popularity, the media is the lost cause. How soon we forget that NASCAR started as a group that lacked respect from sportswriters (and practically everyone else), but through grassroots ingenuity became a force to contend with.

I was so excited on Wednesday when word began to leak out about a deal that I watched ESPNews and made sure to hear what the guys on Around the Horn and PTI had to say. What I encountered was basically what the Sun writes: negativity, negativity, negativity. "Hockey is no longer one of the four major sports." It was not that long ago when hockey was doing fine and had ratings not far from the NBA. I think the Sun does not understand the importance of ESPN on the American sports fan, but at the same time, it seems there is no hope in bringing the media back anytime soon. Get the games on the ice, have a couple years of great hockey, and things will be fine.