ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

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ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu May 03, 2012 1:16 pm

We all know hockey will never be #1 on ESPN. We all know that NHL Network is better. But still, the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" treats hockey like the bastard step-cousin of sports. This goes to further that perception...

http://shermanreport.com/espn-doesnt-ha ... it-claims/

The question was direct.

“Why does ESPN hate hockey?” I asked Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior vice-president and director of news.

Doria tried to suppress a frustrated laugh. He protested, “We don’t hate hockey.”

Hockey fans, though, know ESPN definitely doesn’t love their sport. There’s a limited presence on SportsCenter since its networks no longer carry games. You won’t find the First Take guys talking much about the Phoenix Coyotes.

According to Deadspin’s Bristolmetrics, which tracks SportsCenter’s dedicated time to a particular sport, hockey accounted for 4.7 percent of its coverage from Jan. 7-April 26. The NBA, meanwhile, had 23.4 percent. Hockey couldn’t even beat “other,” which had 8.8. percent.

Now to be fair, ESPN has raised its hockey allotment during the playoffs. Last week, hockey rose to 15 percent. However, a big part of that might have been due to the New York Rangers winning their series in seven games. Nothing like an iconic New York team to get ESPN excited.

Doria admits ESPN won’t ever get too pumped up about hockey. In a recent Q/A with Doria, he explains why hockey doesn’t move the meter in Bristol.

Why does ESPN hate hockey?

Doria: We don’t hate hockey. When I worked in Boston (as sports editor of the Boston Globe), I probably went to more Bruins games than Celtics. There’s probably not a better in-the-house sport than hockey. Watching it live. My own personal feeling is that it never transferred well to television. I’m not exactly sure why that is.

Why does hockey get a limited presence on SportsCenter?

Doria: It’s a sport that engenders a very passionate local following. If you’re a Blackhawks fan in Chicago, you’re a hardcore fan. But it doesn’t translate to television, and where it really doesn’t transfer much to is a national discussion, which is something that typifies what we do.

Baseball fans are interested where Albert Pujols is going. NBA fans are interested in the Miami Heat. For whatever reason, and this is my unsubstantiated research on it, hockey doesn’t generate that same kind of interest nationwide. You look at national talk shows. Hockey rarely is a topic. People in Boston aren’t that interested with what’s going on with the Blackhawks.

Would it be different if you were a rights holder?

Doria: Well, we were at one time. It wasn’t that different. Listen, I guess if we were rights holder, there probably would be a little more attention paid to it. It’s typical that would happen. We might throw it to commentators who were inside the building. Now we’re not inside the building.

Even though ESPN doesn’t have hockey, you decided to keep Barry Melrose. Why?

Doria: When we lost it, we wanted to keep a hockey presence. We wanted to keep Barry, the best there is in my mind. But now the only place to put Barry is on SportsCenter. If you look at the first few years, after we lost hockey, Barry probably was on SportsCenter more after we lost it than when we had hockey.

Before, he would appear on NHL Tonight. Sometimes, we’d put him on SportsCenter. But there was no real demand to put him on SportsCenter. NHL Tonight was his job, and they’d do all the highlights.

NBC Sports Network has locked up hockey for a long time. What’s going to be ESPN’s approach to the sports going forward?

Doria: We’ll be out at the Stanley Cup. If you watch our show, we do highlights and report scores.

But if you go to our radio and television shows, there’s not a lot of hockey talk. It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of yammer out there to give us hockey talk.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby abc789987 » Thu May 03, 2012 3:19 pm

So they don't talk about hockey because no one pays attention to hockey because they don't talk about hockey?
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby gaijin » Thu May 03, 2012 4:40 pm

"Because people are interested in the Miami Heat or where Albert Pujols is going."

In other words, people want sensationalism, not substance. Therefore, hockey has no place on our network.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby dmiles2186 » Thu May 03, 2012 5:17 pm

abc789987 wrote:So they don't talk about hockey because no one pays attention to hockey because they don't talk about hockey?


Exactly. It's all cyclical. I like when I hear national radio talking about hockey because I don't have the money to spend to get XM Home Ice. On the flip side, when national radio usually talks about hockey, they have no idea what they're talking about. For instance, one of the biggest sports talk shows around is Mike and Mike In the Morning on ESPN Radio. I don't like the show, I never have. They never mention hockey and if they do, it's usually such an uneducated opinion, it makes me angry they even started talking about it.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby cardsfan04 » Fri May 04, 2012 7:09 am

It annoys me that they don't talk about hockey more (and more competently) on ESPN. But, I really can't blame them. They air NFL/NBA/MLB, so it makes sense to promote those more.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby DaDitka » Sat May 05, 2012 2:46 pm

It's not just nationally. Even locally....101, KFNS, KMOX, the Post Dispatch they will all tell you the hockey audience is by far the smallest segment.

There just simply are not as many Hockey fans as the other sports (at least not in the states).

If I owned a restaurant and 95% of my customers always ordered hamburgers, I wouldn't have a chicken only menu one night a week.

Especially with new outlets like the NHL network, there is even less demand for coverage on ESPN.

Besides, no real sports fans waste their time watching that crappy network anymore.You want NFL....watch NFL Network...you want MLB...watch that network...you want NHL...watch that network.

If you don't that that channel, why the hell don't you have direct TV already.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby STLADOGG » Sat May 05, 2012 2:52 pm

I can't remember the last time I've watched ESPN, I haven't even seen Pujols in a Angels uniform. I'm sure they talk about how much the Cardinals suck because of it. What drew me away from it was that its directed towards kids. There was this dumb show i think call sportnation or something like that, they had stupid shit about justin biber and other dumb stuff directed towards ignorant people and kids. I am honored that my sport doesn't meet the criteria of that joke of a network.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby WaukeeBlues » Sat May 05, 2012 11:07 pm

cardsfan04 wrote:It annoys me that they don't talk about hockey more (and more competently) on ESPN. But, I really can't blame them. They air NFL/NBA/MLB, so it makes sense to promote those more.


Exactly, they're in the business to make money, not be fair to everyone.

And just in general hockey has seemingly always been a very tight-knit fraternity of fans. The ones that love our sport LOVE it and the ones that don't, well they don't. There are very few "casual" fans, and they are mostly those that the bandwagon picked up somewhere along the line. That's part of my theory why Atlanta failed: they never got successful enough to snatch the casual fan, all they had were their hard-core fans and those can't float a franchise by itself.

It doesn't bother me much any more. Feels like it's the way it is and always will be and being a fan of a "niche" sport isn't something I'm ashamed I think it separates me from most which is kind of cool in a way :lol:
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby cardsfan04 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:22 am

DaDitka wrote:If you don't that that channel, why the hell don't you have direct TV already.


I was so pumped to be getting DirectTV for this reason. They came here on Monday to install it, but weren't able to. I'm thinking of having them try again though because there has to be a way to make this work.

3 years ago, they renovated my apartment complex (new decks, siding, wiring etc.). Charter bought the right to do the wiring with the stipulation that no other company could use their work. Conveniently, they sided over our existing cable input to the apartment w/o putting a jack outside.

So, if we're to believe the installer, we pretty much are stuck with UVerse or have to switch to Charter. I'm thinking of having them back out here though because that doesn't make sense. There has to be a way to make it work.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby theohall » Sun May 06, 2012 3:06 pm

cardsfan04 wrote:
DaDitka wrote:If you don't that that channel, why the hell don't you have direct TV already.


I was so pumped to be getting DirectTV for this reason. They came here on Monday to install it, but weren't able to. I'm thinking of having them try again though because there has to be a way to make this work.

3 years ago, they renovated my apartment complex (new decks, siding, wiring etc.). Charter bought the right to do the wiring with the stipulation that no other company could use their work. Conveniently, they sided over our existing cable input to the apartment w/o putting a jack outside.

So, if we're to believe the installer, we pretty much are stuck with UVerse or have to switch to Charter. I'm thinking of having them back out here though because that doesn't make sense. There has to be a way to make it work.


Isn't that a predatory practice by Charter and supposedly completely illegal??? They are not supposed to be allowed to do things which prevent competition.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby cardsfan04 » Mon May 07, 2012 6:26 am

theohall wrote:
cardsfan04 wrote:
DaDitka wrote:If you don't that that channel, why the hell don't you have direct TV already.


I was so pumped to be getting DirectTV for this reason. They came here on Monday to install it, but weren't able to. I'm thinking of having them try again though because there has to be a way to make this work.

3 years ago, they renovated my apartment complex (new decks, siding, wiring etc.). Charter bought the right to do the wiring with the stipulation that no other company could use their work. Conveniently, they sided over our existing cable input to the apartment w/o putting a jack outside.

So, if we're to believe the installer, we pretty much are stuck with UVerse or have to switch to Charter. I'm thinking of having them back out here though because that doesn't make sense. There has to be a way to make it work.


Isn't that a predatory practice by Charter and supposedly completely illegal??? They are not supposed to be allowed to do things which prevent competition.


I would think so. My guess on how they get away with it is that they can argue that they aren't preventing a competitor from putting their own wires in. It's the apartment complex preventing them from drilling into the walls. Just taking a stab though, because something seems amiss.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby KC Express » Mon May 07, 2012 6:44 am

I agree that pro hockey is definitely in the fourth spot amongst the four major sports, but I disagree that there is a tremendous gap between the third and fourth spots. I don't know a single person who watches the NBA. Not one. I know they exist, but I'm not running into people who just can't wait to talk about the Miami Heat, as the exchange suggests. They promote the crap out of that sport (and cross promote it for ABC), and do everything they can to promote a market for the product. And locally, hockey is king in several major markets. For example, the Flyers game 3 on NBC sports network drew a 12.6 in Philly, while the 76ers game on TNT drew a 3.8. ESPN is totally disingenuous on this subject.

To use the restaurant analogy, people who come to your restaurant and order burgers 95% of the time will predictably do so when you don't tell anyone you serve chicken, but devote 100% of your advertising to how great your burgers are.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby cprice12 » Mon May 07, 2012 8:48 am

theohall wrote:
cardsfan04 wrote:
DaDitka wrote:If you don't that that channel, why the hell don't you have direct TV already.


I was so pumped to be getting DirectTV for this reason. They came here on Monday to install it, but weren't able to. I'm thinking of having them try again though because there has to be a way to make this work.

3 years ago, they renovated my apartment complex (new decks, siding, wiring etc.). Charter bought the right to do the wiring with the stipulation that no other company could use their work. Conveniently, they sided over our existing cable input to the apartment w/o putting a jack outside.

So, if we're to believe the installer, we pretty much are stuck with UVerse or have to switch to Charter. I'm thinking of having them back out here though because that doesn't make sense. There has to be a way to make it work.


Isn't that a predatory practice by Charter and supposedly completely illegal??? They are not supposed to be allowed to do things which prevent competition.


Charter signs contracts with cities all of the time that don't allow competition.
Charter has a contract with Edwardsville which says U-Verse can't come into town. But DirecTV & DishNetwork are allowed in...maybe it's a wired thing.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby abc789987 » Mon May 07, 2012 10:10 am

KC Express wrote:I agree that pro hockey is definitely in the fourth spot amongst the four major sports, but I disagree that there is a tremendous gap between the third and fourth spots. I don't know a single person who watches the NBA. Not one. I know they exist, but I'm not running into people who just can't wait to talk about the Miami Heat, as the exchange suggests. They promote the crap out of that sport (and cross promote it for ABC), and do everything they can to promote a market for the product. And locally, hockey is king in several major markets. For example, the Flyers game 3 on NBC sports network drew a 12.6 in Philly, while the 76ers game on TNT drew a 3.8. ESPN is totally disingenuous on this subject.

To use the restaurant analogy, people who come to your restaurant and order burgers 95% of the time will predictably do so when you don't tell anyone you serve chicken, but devote 100% of your advertising to how great your burgers are.

The NBA fans exist. There are many of them in Indiana for some reason...
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby STLADOGG » Mon May 07, 2012 8:57 pm

abc789987 wrote:The NBA fans exist. There are many of them in Indiana for some reason...

Really? What a bunch of Hoosiers.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby cprice12 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:26 pm

STLADOGG wrote:
abc789987 wrote:The NBA fans exist. There are many of them in Indiana for some reason...

Really? What a bunch of Hoosiers.


It's funny that the term "Hoosier" anywhere outside of Indiana, is pretty much an insult.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby sseagle » Tue May 15, 2012 8:24 am

Most places I've been when you call someone a hoosier they tell you they aren't from Indiana.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby theohall » Tue May 15, 2012 1:49 pm

cprice12 wrote:
STLADOGG wrote:
abc789987 wrote:The NBA fans exist. There are many of them in Indiana for some reason...

Really? What a bunch of Hoosiers.


It's funny that the term "Hoosier" anywhere outside of Indiana, is pretty much an insult.


What cracks me up is most St Louisans use hoosier in place of the word redneck. Almost every place else in the US people just say redneck.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby DaDitka » Tue May 15, 2012 9:25 pm

theohall wrote:
cprice12 wrote:
STLADOGG wrote:
abc789987 wrote:The NBA fans exist. There are many of them in Indiana for some reason...

Really? What a bunch of Hoosiers.


It's funny that the term "Hoosier" anywhere outside of Indiana, is pretty much an insult.


What cracks me up is most St Louisans use hoosier in place of the word redneck. Almost every place else in the US people just say redneck.



That because only people from St. Louis are informed enough to differentiate between a hoosier and a redneck. Hoosier's have cars without wheels, houses with wheels and sport a 'rat tail', Rednecks have confederate flags painted on the hood of their trucks, more guns then teeth, and prefer the mullet.

It's is true that they are easily confused do to their affinity for (partially white) wife beaters and jean shorts.
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Re: ESPN Exec Interview on Hockey

Postby WaukeeBlues » Fri May 18, 2012 10:35 pm

abc789987 wrote:
KC Express wrote:I agree that pro hockey is definitely in the fourth spot amongst the four major sports, but I disagree that there is a tremendous gap between the third and fourth spots. I don't know a single person who watches the NBA. Not one. I know they exist, but I'm not running into people who just can't wait to talk about the Miami Heat, as the exchange suggests. They promote the crap out of that sport (and cross promote it for ABC), and do everything they can to promote a market for the product. And locally, hockey is king in several major markets. For example, the Flyers game 3 on NBC sports network drew a 12.6 in Philly, while the 76ers game on TNT drew a 3.8. ESPN is totally disingenuous on this subject.

To use the restaurant analogy, people who come to your restaurant and order burgers 95% of the time will predictably do so when you don't tell anyone you serve chicken, but devote 100% of your advertising to how great your burgers are.

The NBA fans exist. There are many of them in Indiana for some reason...


Minnesota is the state of hockey and Indiana is the state of basketball. The high school finals here are a ridiculously big deal: on TV, the whole bit. I think a lot of it is because of the actual Indiana Hoosiers.
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