March Madness

Is it just me? Am I the only one that does not care one iota about American University and College sports? According to The Score I am.

If I want to know the score of the latest Oiler game I have to watch their ticker which after about 5 minutes while NCAA basketball games and in the fall football games are displayed. As well, lately, instead of leading off each and every hour of highlights with some relevant Canadian content (ie hockey and the playoff races (Toronto and Montreal in the East and how Calgary is going to be ousted by the Avalanche (yes it is going to happen))) they find it important to tell me who has won in the latest round of the NCAA tournament. Which to me and about 30 million other Canadians it is not. Now, if The Score was an American station would I have a problem with it? No, because people in America care less about the NHL then they do about NCAA.

If you look at the NCAA attendance figures available at http://www.ncaasports.com/basketball/mens/stats/stats the average attendance at the NCAA games in the March Madness tournament have been 19,150. This includes a game in Chicago on March 16 where Georgia Tech (10) played UNLV (7). This game was in the first round of the tournament and drew a crowd of 18,130 people.

Now you might say wait a minute Atlanta (where Georgia Tech is) is at least 11 hours away from Chicago (according to google maps) and Las Vegas is about a day and 2 hours away. This means that probably 15,000 or more of those who paid attendance would be from the Chicago area.

Ok, so why is it important the 15,000 people paid an average of 28 dollars a ticket to watch an NCAA game?

Well, 10 days earlier when the Chicago Blackhawks played the Los Angles Kings only 9,118 people decided to show up. Now you might say that is because the price will be so much higher, but in fact it is actually only 10 dollars higher at 38 dollars. So, roughly 6,000 more people wanted to watch a College sports over a professional hockey team.

However, to get back to my point, I think that stations like The Score, Sportsnet or TSN should not be bumping NHL hockey out of the prime time spots for March Madness even on highlight shows. The NHL has a tough enough time getting airplay in the US, so why cut it off from its largest market in the Canada. At least that is my two cents. Love it or leave it


Josh Coates said...

God I hate college sports, and I hate it more because people actually like it. But you are right about it getting overplayed on Canadian sports television, but do you notice that The Score is so so much worse for NCAA than the other stations (odd with TSN being owned by ESPN/Disney)? Rigoddamndiculous if you ask me. I love the score for many things, this is not one of them.....and horse racing, someone should make horses extinct....no good devil beasts

Rory said...

It's all about the betting here though, so much money to be had in March Madness, especially since underdogs win all the time.