Hockey in America and Newspapers & Local Search

At reader request ;) , I will now expand on my Random Thought about American Hockey, Newspapers & Local Search.

It goes like this.  While in Philly, I had two separate conversations about why professional hockey can’t seem to gain any TV audience traction in America.  I had previously had theories about American viewers being unaccustomed to the pace of the game. The NBA, unfortunately, kills that theory – just as fast – big TV money. What it boiled down to over those two conversations was that people will only watch those sports on TV that they really care about.  So why do they care about football, baseball and basketball, and not hockey? Easy. Their fathers watched those first three, but not the fourth.  Similarly, in this country, hockey has an unshakable TV audience because our fathers (and their fathers) watched hockey on TV, and listened on the radio before that. So, the conclusion is two-fold: people will only watch sports in which they have an emotional investment, and that investment is growing up watching those sports with their fathers (and in some cases mothers).

What does this have to do with newspapers? Well, their print properties have been hurt by the web and their web properties are, generally, not well done. Yet, I believe that newspapers will thrive in the coming decade, both online & off. Why? Because we all have an emotional investment in newspapers because we grew up watching our parents read them.

Similarly, my generation is the first to have a real emotional investment in watching TV, so YouTube, for example, will not be a threat to traditional TV until a generation grows up watching their parents watch YouTube.

I think. But I’m not sure. ;)


One Response to “Hockey in America and Newspapers & Local Search”

  1. carmidale says:

    interesting theory…

    how do you explain the fact that I watch football and basketball, but not hockey?

    I think that a watcher has to connect to the sport and feel emotionally invested, as you say. they need to care who wins, or they won’t watch.

    i don’t think most people watch hockey for the sake of hockey; they watch it ’cause they feel they have a stake in it.

    there are those who do watch for the sake of the game – I think those people are more invested in the game than the teams – ie: they’ve played it and they understand the intricacies of penalties and calls, etc.

    so basically i agree that people in the States don’t watch hockey ’cause they aren’t invested in it, but I’m not sure that ‘investment’ comes from their parents’ preference in sports… get me?