Matchups make U.S. TV happy
"If there is a national hockey team, it would be the Red Wings," NBC spokesman Brian Walker said. "They are the NHL version of the Dallas Cowboys. While we don't root, we are very pleased with all four markets left in the playoffs."I think, overall, the U.S. fanbases have been very, very good in these playoffs. Part of that is certainly the teams that are in play, but it also feels like part of a cycle for hockey that finally seems to be on the upswing.
Philadelphia is the fourth-largest TV market in the United States, Dallas-Fort Worth is fifth, Detroit is 11th and Pittsburgh is No. 22. These will be the first conference finals without a Canadian team since 2001.
I talked a bit earlier about which markets are driving internet traffic, and some of what we'd call non-traditional markets, like Dallas, have surpassed the traditional ones.
If Chicago and Boston can get their fanbases back for next season, things are looking up for the NHL.