The NHL Wants You to Acknowledge The Existence of the 29 Teams You Don’t Love

From John Ourand and Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal (Reg. required):

NHL executives are hoping to use NHL Network-produced highlight packages to better promote out-of-market games on regional sports networks.

Expanding on last year’s effort to push real-time highlight packages to arenas, the NHL hopes to persuade RSNs to run the game clips during intermissions.

“There are some great story lines and plays happening all around the league and we want to be able to expose the stars and those plays and those stories to as many fans around the NHL as possible,” said NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins.

NHL fans are considered the most tribal of all major sports leagues, with fans typically following their local teams to the exclusion of other teams. By providing highlights from across the league, the NHL hopes to enable local fans to keep up with out-of-town games and become more familiar with players on other teams.

The report also states that no deal has been reached between the NHL and Comcast or Fox.  Do you, the readers think anything would get you more into other markets?  As a hockey diehard, I love watching the playoffs no matter what, but it’s hard to get me to watch a regular season game with teams I don’t like if I’m not covering it for a specific reason.  The in-arena highlight packages are great, though.  However, it’d be great if they could find a way to produce highlight packages that don’t feature highlights of your own game.  I know the NFL does this for it’s in-stadium show.

For more SBJ this week, check out this story from Tripp Mickle on NHL employees’ new pay scale.

2 Responses to The NHL Wants You to Acknowledge The Existence of the 29 Teams You Don’t Love

  1. john says:

    i think this is a good idea. sure beats video of people dancing the stands. i think one thing that’ll help people care more about other teams, mainly in nontraditional markets, is bringing back the division playoffs. It’d give people in atlanta a reason to care about a tuesday night game against tampa bay. because of how good the atlantic and to a lesser extent the Northeast is in the Eastern Conference, the se division teams never get a chance to get a playoff run nor a chance to have meaningful games against divisional foes.

  2. lookatitright says:

    I’m all for it, especially since in Columbus most people, unless they are real fanatics, don’t get much information about the western conference teams and SURPRISE! that’s the Jackets conference. More hockey, less silliness. Of course, I was surprised while watching the Jackets-Habs game on Tuesday night to see a shot of a dancing fan on the board in Montreal.

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