Thursday, May 26, 2022

Quality content

NBC’s Stanley Cup Finals Strategy is Dumb

Share This Post

The Stanley Cup Finals are now in the books and the Washington Capitals finally got their hands on Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time in franchise history, defeating the surprise package Las Vegas Golden Knights in five games.  The ratings for these games were all up over their corresponding game from last year so in one sense this is a big win for NBC.

But despite the games all being up from the previous Stanley Cup Finals, NBC’s strategy in regards to what station to air these games on ended up costing them what could have been so much more.  NBC’s decision to put two of the five games on NBC Sports instead of regular, over the air NBC, is dumb.

Stanley Cup channel swapping is silly

When it comes to TV ratings, it’s a total viewership kind of game.  The number of people that you can get to watch your product on your channel is the most important thing.  The NBA has it figured out (though they have a whole host of other issues): every single NBA Finals game airs on ABC.  This is good for two reasons.  First, ABC is an over the air station so it is available in many more homes across the country than ESPN or ESPN2.

Second, it also helps that nobody has to try to remember what station the game is on.  It’s the NBA Finals, it’s going to be on ABC.  No two ways about.  But the NHL and NBC can’t figure that out for some reason.  It would make all the sense in the world for every single game of the Stanley Cup Finals to air on NBC for the same reason it makes sense for the NBA to put all of their finals games on ABC: it’s available in more homes and you don’t have to think about where the game is.

But, for some reason NBC and the NHL decide to put at least two games on NBCSN every year and it’s so appallingly stupid.  The theory behind it is that it while it may hurt overall viewership it helps the viewership for NBCSN programming.  That may certainly be the case but as we discussed earlier, TV viewership is a total sum game and to willingly knock viewership down roughly 2 million viewers per game is sheer insanity.  Let’s look at the numbers from the series between the Caps and the Knights.

 

2018 Stanley Cup Finals

Game 1 – NBC – 5,200,000

Game 2 – NBCSN – 3,648,000

Game 3 – NBCSN – 3,439,000

Game 4 – NBC – 5,100,000

Game 5 – NBC – 6,600,000

 

And for comparison here are the numbers from last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.

 

2017 Stanley Cup Finals

Game 1 – NBC – 4,900,000

Game 2 – NBCSN – 3,200,000

Game 3 – NBCSN – 3,000,000

Game 4 – NBC – 5,700,000

Game 5 – NBC – 4,400,000

Game 6 – NBC – 7,000,000

 

What do these numbers show?  They show that the games that air on NBC consistently put up better numbers than the games that air on NBCSN.  In 2018, every NBC game outdrew every NBCSN game which was also the case in 2017.  So why does the NHL and NBC continue to put Stanley Cup Finals games on a station that draws a smaller viewing audience every single time?

An excellent question.  But the fact remains that when games air on NBC, the viewing audience is larger by roughly 2 million more viewers.  So this year and last year NBC basically just threw away an extra 4 million viewers for no apparent reason.  It’s a dumb strategy that’s bad for the league, it’s bad for the network and it’s bad for the fans.  Let’s hope this is something they decide to change in the future.

For more like this, visit our dedicated NHL page here. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook for more opinions and analysis right to your timeline.

Share This Post

Want to stay up to date with the latest sports news and analysis?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!

Related Posts

Do the Atlanta Falcons have a plan at QB1?

The Atlanta Falcons have added Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder after trading Matt Ryan to the Colts.

But do they have a plan, or are they on a wing and a prayer?

The curious world of the Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are just one season removed from a divisional playoff game. But so much has changed.

NHL and Origins Of Ice Hockey

Today's NHL is a slick polished game of speed and power.

But where did it all begin?

Can you Bet on Sports in Pennsylvania?

Betting on sports is now fully legal in PA. Since 2019, the state has allowed all forms of sports betting, including retail and online....

Joe Burrow And The 6 Best Players Ranked On The Cincinnati Bengals

One of the biggest surprises that came out of the NFL this year is the boom in talent among the Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL...

10 Best Sacks During The 2021 Regular NFL Season

2021 has been a gold mine for sacks, but who was the best of the best?  A sack is when an offensive player acting as...

Hill, Saints find themselves at crossroads

With the Saints still in the playoff hunt, they are also looking to their future.

Is that Taysom Hill at QB?
- Advertisement -
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x