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Babcock: 'We could end up like bowling'

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08:22 AM ET 12.19 | According to Mike Babcock, the forecast for the NHL may be a very cloudy one. The Detroit Red Wings head coach is fearful the league -- when and if it comes back -- will return to a dark place. "Hate to say it," Babcock told Sportsnet.ca, "but we could end up like bowling." Or, uh, poker. One of the league's elite head coaches replayed visions of the last NHL lockout Tuesday, voicing his concern over what awaits the league and its players once they settle the score. Looking back, TV numbers following the 2004-05 lockout plummeted. According to ESPN, an average of just 117,000 U.S. households watched NHL games on the Outdoor Life Network during the 2005-2006 season.

Toronto Sun

Mike Babcock, Icon Sports Mike Babcock, Icon Sports
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December 19, 2012  09:01 AM ET

Unfortunately, bowling and poker probably have better TV ratings!

December 19, 2012  09:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Unfortunately, bowling and poker probably have better TV ratings!

I will never understand how poker became a spectator sport

December 19, 2012  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Seems to me that ESPN would rather air a poker tournament than hockey anyway.

.... and bowling.

December 19, 2012  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I will never understand how poker became a spectator sport ....

or ..... how it became a sport?

December 19, 2012  09:17 AM ET

"Hate to say it," Babcock told Sportsnet.ca, "but we could end up like bowling." Or, uh, poker.

Right now, both of those "sports" have better ratings than hockey.

December 19, 2012  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Big reason for that number was the foolish decision to sign a TV contract with a network that wasn't part of most people's basic cable/satellite package.

+1

December 19, 2012  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

or ..... how it became a sport?

Exactly, how is it a sport?

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December 19, 2012  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I think a large part of why just 117,000 households watched games on OLN was because the games were on OLN.However, Babcock's right.

Apart from Hockey there was nothing on OLN but hunting and cycling.... and now since then it's changed twice to Versus (Vs.) and now NBC Sports. Either way without the NHL they can only do so much programming, just like the NHL Network.... you can only look back so much before you need to look forward, and when you do, it's just disgusting.

December 19, 2012  09:34 AM ET

hockey is all the rage on espn the past few years...im pretty sure they air at least 1-2 replays a year

December 19, 2012  09:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

hockey is all the rage on espn the past few years...im pretty sure they air at least 1-2 replays a year

but only if there's a fight involved

December 19, 2012  10:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Big reason for that number was the foolish decision to sign a TV contract with a network that wasn't part of most people's basic cable/satellite package.

Very true. If they really want to make it up to the fans, I suggest the NHL and PA cover a free year of NHL Centre Ice as an apology for what they have put us through.

December 19, 2012  10:10 AM ET

an average of just 117,000 U.S. households watched NHL games on the Outdoor Life Network

WTH is the Outdoor Life Network?

December 19, 2012  10:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Very true. If they really want to make it up to the fans, I suggest the NHL and PA cover a free year of NHL Centre Ice as an apology for what they have put us through.

I would accept a year without pictures of, or quotes from, either the Dwarf or the Fehrless Leader.

December 19, 2012  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

an average of just 117,000 U.S. households watched NHL games on the Outdoor Life Network WTH is the Outdoor Life Network?

Outdoor Life Network became Versus which became NBC sports Network.

 
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