Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Olympic Hockey - No Halo Effect for the NHL

I’m not a fan of the Olympics.

It’s not that the IOC is a litigious, corrupt, and venal organization, nor is it the fact that so many of the events aren’t even sports (why aren't darts, shuffle board or ballroom dance IOC sanctioned?).

Who am I kidding? It’s all of these things.

I thoroughly enjoyed the men’s hockey. I watched just about every match and sincerely hope the pros are back in the winter games in 2014 (nice that the NHL is holding back on that decision in what I can only presume is a bargaining chip for the next round of the CBA).

But I can’t say I’m even remotely surprised that the Olympics didn’t have a halo effect on NHL ratings. And now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that NHL ticket prices, which surged immediately after the gold medal game, are leveling off:

The Olympic bump in NHL ticket prices was short-lived. After the U.S. beat Canada in the preliminaries, above, resale NHL tickets were selling at an average of about 170% of face value, according to resale-ticket price aggregator SeatGeek. Tickets are now selling for less than 130% of face value, on average, which is below where they were in the week the Games started. The NHL declined to comment.
If anyone out there thought the Olympics might be a turning point in terms of increased interest in hockey, I have a few questions for you: how much of the World Cup Super G did you follow this week? What about the recent Ski Cross events at Norefjell, Norway? Who won the 30 kilometer men’s pursuit and women’s 15 kilometer women’s pursuit in Lahti, Finland last Sunday?


Millions didn’t tune in because it was hockey, they tuned in because it was the Olympics.

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