Hockey Sports Business

What HBO Means for the NHL

We’ve all heard of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” and perhaps seen some of Rex Ryan’s tirades during the New York Jets’ most recent pre-season.  The Jets received substantial publicity from being featured on HBO.

For several months now, HBO has been advertising the next show to feature a look “inside” a professional sports team.

Starting on December 15, 2010, HBO will feature a sneak peak into the preparation for the Winter Classic matchup between Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals.  As part of its award winning “24/7” feature, HBO will showcase the days leading up to this year’s Winter Classic.

Just as the NFL received all sorts of press for its presence on Hard Knocks in recent years, the NHL will likely look to capitalize on the same notoriety with 24/7.

Will this be the boost the NHL needs after the hype of the Olympics?

By Mitchell Bragg

Despite the struggles the teams from his hometown face on a yearly basis, Mitch still roots for all teams Buffalo. Outside of SAB Mitch is an attorney in Massachusetts & New York. You can follow him on Twitter via @mitch_bragg.

One reply on “What HBO Means for the NHL”

As an avid hockey fan, while I would like to hope the NHL can generate new fans, I have my doubts. No question the popularity of “Hard Knocks” may lead to the general sports public viewing “24/7”- and maybe watching the Winter Classic.

My question is how many of those who will watch “24/7” will tune into watch their local team on a regional sports channel or a national game on Versus on a Wednesday evening in March?

The NHL is a large niche product – and that is okay. Gary Bettman has repeatedly squashed any talk of relocation, but I think it is time. His experiments have had enough time to be tested and most of them have failed.

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