If the Ducks win the Stanley Cup, and nobody was watching, did it really happen?
The ratings for this year's Stanley Cup Finals hit an all-time low. Not just for hockey, for prime-time programing. The amount of people who actually watched the Ducks-Senators series equaled the amount of viewers who watch reruns of "West Wing" on NBC. I would bet if you walked the streets of downtown Colorado Springs or Pueblo and asked random people, "who won this year's Stanley Cup?", you couldn't get 3 out of 10 people to answer "Anaheim."
This is truly sad. Hockey is a great game. In person, it can't be beat. Speed, grace and power all wrapped up into a 60-minute package. The problem is: Television does not do the game justice. The speed, grace and power does not translate onto the screen. Which is obviously reflected in the TV ratings.
I recently exchanged emails with a viewer who was disappointed in our coverage of the Stanley Cup (I appreciate any viewer taking the time to write. Praise or Criticism). He claimed we basically ignored the series. He was exactly right. We did show highlights of the games, but didn't go the "extra mile" in our coverage. And that was by design. Unfortunately our job is to give the people what they want. To cover the sports they are interested in. The people have spoken. Hockey is not what they want. The TV ratings prove it.
I would love to see hockey make a comeback in America. I am a huge fan of the NHL (and NCAA hockey). But until that day comes, as an objective journalist and working in the interest of the people, hockey will take a back seat.
By the way, do you know who won this year's Stanley Cup?
Until next time, keep living the dream!
Jesse Kurtz, KKTV Sports Anchor/Reporter