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SBD/June 24, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NHL Reportedly Projecting $1B Revenue Spike Over Next Three Seasons
Published June 24, 2013
HEALTHY IN A HURRY: In N.Y., Klein & Hackel noted NHL fans following the lockout "came back immediately and in droves." Average attendance for 25 of 30 teams was "up or equal to" last season. There also were "healthy leaps" in regular-season TV audiences "on both sides of the border." Stanley Cup Final viewership also is up in both the U.S. and Canada. It is "all quite a contrast" to the '94-95 lockout-shortened season, in which "attendance was flat and American viewership decreased." Not only has this year's lockout "become a nonissue, its results have been seamlessly incorporated into the game’s landscape, something that would have been hard to fathom during the contentious months of negotiation." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the league's owners "shut the league down, achieved their goal of sharply reducing the players' share of revenues, and came out the other side with no lasting damage to the league’s image" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/23). MACLEANS' Jonathon Gatehouse wrote, "What happened to all the anger? Confronted with a third lockout in 18 years and deprived of hockey for 113 days, many fans vowed to take it out on both the owners and the players by staying home, turning off their sets and even boycotting sponsors. Yet as soon as the puck dropped, they returned in droves." SME Branding Senior Partner & Chief Creative Officer Ed O'Hara said, "It's uncanny how well the NHL has bounced back" (MACLEANS.ca, 6/24).