The Lockout Files | Seven Things the NHL Can Improve While Locked Out. By @PuckSage
Lockout Files: Seven Things the NHL Can Improve While Locked Out
- 7: Jersey availability. Like a lot of American fans, the jersey of my favorite player is as much a statement about me as it is my love of the player and the game. People’s favorite players aren’t always the highest paid, the biggest hitter or the best goal scorer. The Boston crowd for years has shouted the name of a certain Finnish goaltender, even though he’s spent most of that time as the backup. Paul Bissonnette is the most popular NHL related tweeter dwarfing Taylor Hall, Patrick Kane and Henrique Lundqvist, not to mention the leagues Commissioner and Disciplinarians.
- 6: Mobile Apps. The NHL’s mobile apps are pretty crappy. Frequently they are limited to one service provider, or one operating system. That’s leaving money on the table. If someone is willing to fork over the cash to pay for Gamecenter it shouldn’t matter if they want to watch it on their Symbian, Blackberry, Windows Phone or other operating system. Take the money, serve the customer, grow. That is the simplest recipe for generating revenue and building ties to customers in existence. It is also the most effective.
- 5: More Gamecenter options. The full season package is expensive for people who will only use it when they are traveling. Or maybe, like most fans, they are only interested in their team. A ten game pass, one to four week options, are great ways to get people unwilling or unable to cough up the cash for a year package, in the door, and in the habit of opening their wallet.
- 4: Can we please, please, please get better commercials than the offensively bad stuff that we were subjected to last year? Honestly, each and every man and woman responsible for allowing the “because in hockey there are two half times” ad on the air needs to get their heads checked. You don’t insult your fanbase, ever. You don’t insult potential fans. Those ads were insulting.
- 3: National coverage. More games, more places. There are seven nights a week, if people can’t watch their own team, they should at least have the choice to watch other teams. Why in the world does the NHL own a network and have a huge multichannel broadcast deal with the NBC conglomerate if you aren’t going to use them?
- 2: More camera angles. One of the many things the NFL does better with their broadcasts than the NHL is position cameras everywhere. Yes the game grows on getting butts in seats, but the lifeblood of any professional league is the TV revenue. Improve the broadcast for the viewers and you’ll get those people who are new to the game into the arenas. This isn’t rocket science, it is having a simple understanding of human behavior. Hockey is hard for people unfamiliar with the game to understand by watching it on TV in ways that no other major league sport is. That has to be fixed.
- 1: More interesting commentary. Jeremy Roenick isn’t polished, he doesn’t speak in a boring upper Midwest flat accent. What he does do, is lay it all out every time he’s put on camera. You know what he thinks. Same goes (usually) for Mike Milbury. You can love or hate either or both, but you get raw, strong opinions instead of wishy-washy patronization like certain other people in the studio.
@PuckSage is a hockey writer. He’s annoyed at the lockout and will keep kicking the league, the mouthpieces, and the players between the uprights as needed. You can follow him on Twitter and elsewhere.