A word on TV ratings
In general, I don't get in a snit over low television ratings in the U.S. If more people want to watch According to Jim than Red Wings-Penguins, that's fine by me (and indicative of a problem with the audience rather than the sport).
In any event, here's a very quick comparison of the Game 3 ratings for the Stanley Cup finals. First, the numbers in hockey's homeland:
In Canada, the CBC drew 2.042 million. RDS's audience was 684,000.Let's call that 2.7 even. Not bad, but then again, nowhere near the figures Canadian television was pulling in when the Canadiens were still involved (some games there had more than three million viewers in Quebec alone).
Here's Game 3's American figures:
NBC was barely on the map with game three of the NHL Stanley Cups Finals at an estimated (and fourth place) 4.46 million viewers and a 1.9/5 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m.It's certainly possible that I'm a cretin when it comes to this stuff, but is it not fair to say that there are actually, in fact, a great deal more people watching the finals on NBC in the U.S. than Canadians on CBC and RDS?
4.46 > 2.7
Yes, the U.S. is a far larger country (304 million to 33 million, more than nine times bigger), but there are huge swaths of the nation that have zero interest in the sport. The numbers so far are a home run in Pittsburgh and the NHL is beating out the NBA's own title chase in Detroit, where the Pistons have won six division titles in seven years.
Ten million people watch So You Think You Can Dance a week in the United States. These are "potential viewers" I believe hockey can live without.