What a surprise. After the NHL bends over backwards to accommodate NBC who doesn't even pay the league to broadcast games we find out that U.S. television ratings for Game 1 of the Red Wings-Penguins Stanley Cup final rematch were down from last year's levels.
The NBC telecast drew a 2.6 rating and a 5 share. That's compared with a four-game NBC average of a 3.2 rating and a 6 share one year ago. That means that less than 3 million households in the U.S. were watching the game which is likely just barely above the CBC's numbers. So obviously the NHL's strategy to build their U.S. base is...ummm..well needs some work.
Speaking of the NHL strategy. How about the league office overriding Malkin's automatic suspension last night? Or as I like to describe it, the NHL suspended the instigator penalty so no suspension applied which means Malkin wasn't an instigator. Do you follow? Meanwhile Sean Avery gets a suspension if anyone falls within 10 feet of where he is skating. And you wonder why the NHL has problems ...and no viewers.