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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

JHikka Jan 14, 2020 5:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8798966)
In terms of attracting free agents this would likely be true, but for the rest?

Teams like Winnipeg and Edmonton already have a tremendously difficult time attracting free agents because of a number of factors - combine that with a city that is very Francophone and you end up with an even more dire situation than what we currently have in other markets. Nobody of any reasonable quality would want to sign in QC as a free agent.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8798966)
If the hypothetical Nordiques 2.0 limited themselves to simply repeating what the Nordiques 1.0 did in terms of market impact, they'll become the go-to team for between a quarter and a third of hockey fans in the province. They certainly wouldn't be limited to the Greater Quebec City metro.

Why would the Molsons and Canadiens ok their expansion under these circumstances?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8798966)
Another thing they'd have that the Jets don't is for all intents and purposes their "own" sports network. The Jets compete for coverage in higher order sports media with the Leafs, Oilers, Flames, Canucks and Habs.

Again, why do the Canadiens support the Nordiques taking a very large piece of their current pie?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8798966)
If the Nords ever came back, one network out of RDS or TVA Sports would put the Habs front and centre, and the other would put the Nords front and centre.

Or one would just carry both because I would never assume anything with the state of Canada's sports networks. :haha:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8798966)
They'll also do well in terms of corporate sponsorships. As it stands now there can only be one official beer associated with an NHL team in Quebec, one official bank, one official restaurant chain, one official dépanneur chain, one official snack food, one official insurer, etc.

All the more reason for the Canadiens to turn down this idea as it would be siphoning from their current corporate support base.

This is only one hurdle but I see it as a pretty big one honestly. That, combined with the lack of potential growth in the fanbase in QC as opposed to other markets, simply makes it less tenable moving forward. The league will continue to use QC and Quebecor as a bargaining chip to raise expansion fees on other hopeful cities.

Other issues with Quebec include its poor growth and the fact that its median age is quite a bit higher than the other NHL cities in Canada, on top of the fact that the NHL does not need another franchise pinned to the weaker Canadian dollar.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 5:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799100)
Teams like Winnipeg and Edmonton already have a tremendously difficult time attracting free agents because of a number of factors - combine that with a city that is very Francophone and you end up with an even more dire situation than what we currently have in other markets. Nobody of any reasonable quality would want to sign in QC as a free agent.


Why would the Molsons and Canadiens ok their expansion under these circumstances?


Again, why do the Canadiens support the Nordiques taking a very large piece of their current pie?


Or one would just carry both because I would never assume anything with the state of Canada's sports networks. :haha:


All the more reason for the Canadiens to turn down this idea as it would be siphoning from their current corporate support base.

This is only one hurdle but I see it as a pretty big one honestly. That, combined with the lack of potential growth in the fanbase in QC as opposed to other markets, simply makes it less tenable moving forward. The league will continue to use QC and Quebecor as a bargaining chip to raise expansion fees on other hopeful cities.

Other issues with Quebec include its poor growth and the fact that its median age is quite a bit higher than the other NHL cities in Canada, on top of the fact that the NHL does not need another franchise pinned to the weaker Canadian dollar.

It's certainly plausible that there are some backroom tactics being played by Geoff Molson with his NHL buddies and that this is one of the main reasons the plan to bring the Nordiques back is spinning its wheels. Though some rumblings about his opposition have filtered out, Geoff Molson is also very cautious about portraying himself as a "good guy" in public on this one as he knows it's a dangerous game for him to play if people perceive him as the one who's actually torpedoing Quebec City's expansion bid.

Habs fans are virtually unanimous in their desire to see the Nords return to the league. If only to have a rival that they will hate even more than the Bruins.

As for interest in hockey in Quebec overall I have to say it remains higher than any other sport by far though it has nonetheless clearly declined quite a bit from its heyday in the 80s and early 90s where it seemed most everyone (certainly all young males) took a side in the Battle of Quebec and was paying attention.

Not saying it's dead among young males but I know a lot of them and the percentage who don't follow hockey at all is higher than I ever thought possible. And I am not just talking about immigrant origin kids BTW.

So at this point in 2020 hockey in Quebec is definitely not maxed out in terms of its fan base and support. It could be on the level of the NFL in the US or European soccer but it isn't. And it's moving slowly downward away from that. Not upwards.

Passion for the NHL in Quebec (especially Habs-Nords) was once on the level of soccer in some of the big European countries or the NFL in the US, and the return of the Nordiques would probably pave the way for a return to that level of interest, all of which would actually greatly benefit the Habs financially as well. Though it's unclear if that team's braintrust actually realizes that.

JHikka Jan 14, 2020 5:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799130)
Habs fans are virtually unanimous in their desire to see the Nords return to the league. If only to have a rival that they will hate even more than the Bruins.

I'll need some sourcing on that one. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799130)
As for interest in hockey in Quebec overall I have to say it remains higher than any other sport though it has nonetheless clearly declined quite a bit from its heyday in the 80s and early 90s where it seemed most everyone (certainly all young males) took a side in the Battle of Quebec and was paying attention.

Hockey in Quebec has definitely declined, both in terms of the number of NHLers Quebec produces and the number of players currently registered to play hockey in the province. Do we think hockey has any sort of growth trajectory in the province or will it continue to secede space to basketball and soccer, because my next note is below...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799130)
Not saying it's dead among young males but I know a lot of them and the percentage who don't follow hockey at all is higher than I ever thought possible. And I am not just talking about immigrant origin kids BTW.

Younger people in general are less likely to follow sports these days, not just in Quebec but everywhere.

https://media.limelight.com/images/SOOV2017_fig18.jpg
Figure 18: How much of your online video viewing time is spent watching the following types of content?(Scale 0-4) Males

https://www.limelight.com/resources/...ne-video-2017/

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799130)
Passion for the NHL in Quebec (especially Habs-Nords) was once on the level of soccer in some of the big European countries, and the return of the Nordiques would probably pave the way for a return to that level of interest, all of which would actually greatly benefit the Habs financially as well. Though it's unclear if that team's braintrust actually realizes that.

Nostalgia is a very powerful tool and I don't think it's enough to get Quebec another NHL team.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 5:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799137)
I'll need some sourcing on that one. :)


Hockey in Quebec has definitely declined, both in terms of the number of NHLers Quebec produces and the number of players currently registered to play hockey in the province. Do we think hockey has any sort of growth trajectory in the province or will it continue to secede space to basketball and soccer, because my next note is below...


Younger people in general are less likely to follow sports these days, not just in Quebec but everywhere.

https://media.limelight.com/images/SOOV2017_fig18.jpg
Figure 18: How much of your online video viewing time is spent watching the following types of content?(Scale 0-4) Males

https://www.limelight.com/resources/...ne-video-2017/



Nostalgia is a very powerful tool and I don't think it's enough to get Quebec another NHL team.

My hypothesis that a Nordiques 2.0 club would almost certainly be a business success is not just a nostalgic hunch, but I can't disagree with you that the NHL braintrust wants no part of adding another club in Canada.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799137)
I'll need some sourcing on that one. :)

.

You're just gonna have to trust me.

JHikka Jan 14, 2020 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799162)
My hypothesis that a Nordiques 2.0 club would almost certainly be a business success is not just a nostalgic hunch, but I can't disagree with you that the NHL braintrust wants no part of adding another club in Canada.

Another team in Toronto could make some sense if done under the right circumstances but there are expansion options in the US that are more appealing at the moment. I've seen theories that imply the best case for an 8th Canadian NHL team is to simply give MLSE another team to run as a counter brand against the Leafs, to basically be everything the Leafs aren't. It's an interesting idea, and one that i'm sure everyone west of Ontario will absolutely loathe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799165)
You're just gonna have to trust me.

:hmmm:

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799169)


:hmmm:

Why wouldn't Hab fans want the Nordiques back? For all of us old enough to remember the 80s and early 90s were where our best sports fan memories were made. And for those Hab fans too young to remember they've been hearing forever from older people how great it was - and have had little glory and passion to savour since the mid 90s.

Fans don't care about the team's relative bottom line - at least not if the team isn't having any financial difficulty and is not threatening to fold or move. Which the Habs aren't at all.

esquire Jan 14, 2020 7:29 PM

^ You mean the predominant concern of Habs fans isn't evangelizing the game in Utah and Puerto Rico? :hmmm:

To me, Montreal/Quebec was a regional rivalry on par with Edmonton/Calgary. Even in seasons where the latter teams are so bad as to be irrelevant (clearly not the case this season for Edmonton/Calgary, but still), those rivalry games are still special to fans and players. We certainly saw that this past Saturday.

FWIW there are probably a good many people in Quebec who are tuned out of the NHL right now. I can tell you I was pretty well worthless to the NHL as a fan from 1996-2011... I'm not sure I watched one entire NHL game on television from start to finish during that period, and attended maybe half a dozen games in person while on vacation. These days I have half-season tickets for the Jets and I regularly watch games on TV or listen on the radio if I'm in the car while they're playing, and I have a pile of team merchandise. I'm certainly not alone in that regard. So even with a team in Winnipeg, the game has grown.

JHikka Jan 14, 2020 8:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799259)
Why wouldn't Hab fans want the Nordiques back?

I have no difficulty with this point but I did have difficulty with your assertion that it was virtual unanimity amongst the fanbase. I'm going to assume a big chunk of the fanbase don't care one way or the other.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799297)
^ You mean the predominant concern of Habs fans isn't evangelizing the game in Utah and Puerto Rico? :hmmm:

:hmmm:

elly63 Jan 14, 2020 9:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799421)
I have no difficulty with this point but I did have difficulty with your assertion that it was virtual unanimity amongst the fanbase. I'm going to assume a big chunk of the fanbase don't care one way or the other.

Like Canada Russia 72, I find it difficult to accept proclamations from those who weren't even alive to know what they missed.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:05 PM

I've talked hockey a gazillion times with countless people since 1995, and most of those people were Hab fans. From this area but also all over Quebec, Ontario (east and north) and the Maritimes.

I can say with confidence I've never heard a Montreal Canadiens fan say they're glad the Nordiques are gone.

In my current office environment there are about a half-dozen men, all of them Habs fans. Ages 28 to about 55.

Since earlier today I've asked them all if they'd like the Nordiques to come back. All of them answered a resounding yes.

I don't know how people could doubt what the answer would be. It's like asking an Italian if he eats pasta.

esquire Jan 14, 2020 9:15 PM

Not that it's the same as the Habs fans scenario since we're obviously a long way away, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people here in Winnipeg opposed to the idea of Quebec getting a team. Now, people might be opposed to certain scenarios... obviously if you framed it as 'would you be OK with the Jets moving to Quebec' then obviously that wouldn't go over well. Some people also might not want more expansion teams.

But if it came down to a scenario like "imagine the Arizona Coyotes were failing, where would you want them to relocate to? Houston, Atlanta or Quebec?" I would imagine Quebec would poll well into the 90 percent + range.

Even though the NHL is a North American league, the reality is that Canadians tend to pay way more attention to the other Canadian teams. Teams like the Flames or Leafs register way more prominently in Winnipeg than divisional rivals like the Blackhawks or Wild. If the Tkachuk/Kassian thing had happened in a game between the Golden Knights and Sharks or whoever, it wouldn't have been that big a deal. But when two Canadian teams are involved, it becomes water cooler conversation fodder clear across the country.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8799438)
Like Canada Russia 72, I find it difficult to accept proclamations from those who weren't even alive to know what they missed.

Not sure if I am grasping the right angle for what you're saying but I was barely more than a toddler in 72 but I've seen many documentaries and read books about it over the decades, and heard about it from my dad and other men in my family. So I know it was a big deal.

As for the Habs-Nords rivalry I lived it live and in colour during my teenage and young adult years. I suppose that for younger fans who did not that there is a sufficient amount of hockey, sports and cultural lore about it in Quebec that they're aware it was a huge deal and that something was lost.

I mean, the last installment of the classic dramatic franchise (TV series and movies) about the rivalry (Lance et Compte) was produced and broadcast in... 2015!

A couple years ago there was also a hockey-based reality show where two teams (one representing Montreal, the other representing Quebec City) were created and pitted against each other, with the coaches being former members of the Habs and Nords of course.

These are just two examples. Another one is a couple of years ago the Labatt brewery had an ad campaign where they plastered billboards all over the place for "Blue", and which said "Bonne comme le but d'Alain Côté" (As good as Alain Côté's goal), in reference to this critical goal that was (in)famously disallowed by the ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV0i2UN3iqs

I don't think there are many hockey fans in Quebec, even under the age of 30, who aren't aware that something pretty cool was lost in 1995 and that it would be great to get it back.

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799463)
Not that it's the same as the Habs fans scenario since we're obviously a long way away, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people here in Winnipeg opposed to the idea of Quebec getting a team. Now, people might be opposed to certain scenarios... obviously if you framed it as 'would you be OK with the Jets moving to Quebec' then obviously that wouldn't go over well. Some people also might not want more expansion teams.

But if it came down to a scenario like "imagine the Arizona Coyotes were failing, where would you want them to relocate to? Houston, Atlanta or Quebec?" I would imagine Quebec would poll well into the 90 percent + range.

.

Likewise, I think hockey fans in Quebec were happy to see Winnipeg get back in the league, with the hope that Quebec City could get back in soon after...

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799463)

Even though the NHL is a North American league, the reality is that Canadians tend to pay way more attention to the other Canadian teams. Teams like the Flames or Leafs register way more prominently in Winnipeg than divisional rivals like the Blackhawks or Wild. If the Tkachuk/Kassian thing had happened in a game between the Golden Knights and Sharks or whoever, it wouldn't have been that big a deal. But when two Canadian teams are involved, it becomes water cooler conversation fodder clear across the country.

This is a bit less the case in Toronto and Montreal. (Though for Senators fans their main rivals are Canadian: Montreal and Toronto.)

But for the Habs the main rivals are of course the Bruins. Then it's the Leafs and Senators.

The Leafs main rivals are the Habs, and also the Sens to some degree, though historically they've also had rivalries with the Red Wings, Sabres due to proximity and playing them often, and with other Canadian teams.

In the West you're kinda fortunate to have four teams over 3-4 provinces, for 10-12 million people. Ontario only has two teams for 14 million people. And Quebec has one team for 8.5 million people. Your situation is good for in-Canada rivalries. Plus most of the U.S. teams in the West are quite far away from you guys.

esquire Jan 14, 2020 9:38 PM

^ Yeah, fair enough. A bit of a different animal here since we don't really have (in Wpg) longstanding histories with most US teams. The first couple of years in the league we were in the old southeast division too, before getting moved which kind of disrupted things. The Jets have had some spirited games with the likes of Nashville, St. Louis and Minnesota but there is nothing remotely on the same level as the history between the Habs and Bruins. And Minnesota is the only US team that is somewhat easy to get to... everything else means a long and somewhat pricy flight. No $99 specials to Dallas or St. Louis...

Acajack Jan 14, 2020 9:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8799492)
^ Yeah, fair enough. A bit of a different animal here since we don't really have (in Wpg) longstanding histories with most US teams. The first couple of years in the league we were in the old southeast division too, before getting moved which kind of disrupted things. The Jets have had some spirited games with the likes of Nashville, St. Louis and Minnesota but there is nothing remotely on the same level as the history between the Habs and Bruins. And Minnesota is the only US team that is somewhat easy to get to... everything else means a long and somewhat pricy flight. No $99 specials to Dallas or St. Louis...

It seems like most fans of Western Canadian NHL teams have "lopsided" rivalries with the Leafs (and to some degree the Habs). That's probably due to the fact these are legacy clubs that were the only two in Canadian for generations, and in the case of the Leafs they get most of the national media attention, which generates some resentment as we know. Plus when the Leafs and Habs are in town in any of the Western cities there is always a large contingent of visiting team fans which is good for atmosphere and also rivalry-building.

You have the same thing going on with the Sens-Leafs rivalry which while it does exist for Leaf fans too, is a far bigger deal in Ottawa than it is in Toronto.

The Leafs are easily the most hated sports team of any kind in Ottawa.

JHikka Jan 14, 2020 10:11 PM

Since i'm sure this will create some spirited discussion:

"Back to the business of media. I'm told that the regional tv rights for your @NHLFlames + @EdmontonOilers both expire after this season. Those in the know believe @Sportsnet will walk away from @NHLFlames and stick with @EdmontonOilers. More as season progresses.

By all accounts, and don't shoot the messenger...flames ratings have next to no upside - they are what they are. Oilers have room to grow. Which is why Rogers would drop flames and keep oilers"


via Jonah (@yyzsportsmedia) on Twitter.

Djeffery Jan 14, 2020 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8799527)
Since i'm sure this will create some spirited discussion:

"Back to the business of media. I'm told that the regional tv rights for your @NHLFlames + @EdmontonOilers both expire after this season. Those in the know believe @Sportsnet will walk away from @NHLFlames and stick with @EdmontonOilers. More as season progresses.

By all accounts, and don't shoot the messenger...flames ratings have next to no upside - they are what they are. Oilers have room to grow. Which is why Rogers would drop flames and keep oilers"


via Jonah (@yyzsportsmedia) on Twitter.

Considering the name of the arena the Oilers play in, this isn't really a surprise either.

Djeffery Jan 14, 2020 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8799501)

You have the same thing going on with the Sens-Leafs rivalry which while it does exist for Leaf fans too, is a far bigger deal in Ottawa than it is in Toronto.

The Leafs are easily the most hated sports team of any kind in Ottawa.

I remember when there was Calgary, then Edmonton, then Ottawa in 3 successive Stanley Cup Finals 15 years or so ago. Everyone around here was on board with Calgary and Edmonton. Ottawa made it and nobody cared. Most people I know actually cheered for Anaheim because they had a London player. I recall a lot of negativity in the media coming from Ottawa how the rest of Ontario, particularly Toronto, weren't cheering for them.


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