Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter Classic Skates past Breeders Cup

In a case of "build it and they will come" the National Hockey League's regular season New Years Day game dubbed the "Winter Classic" between Chicago and Detroit on NBC drew a overnight rating of 2.9 according to Nielsen Media Research. This was up from last years 2.6 rating.

By Comparison the ABC broadcast portion of Saturday's 2008 Breeders Cup did a 1.3. The much ballyhooed Filly Friday or Ladies Day or whatever it was called did a 0.3 on ESPN2.

The NHL Winter Classic endeavor shows that if you put out a good product that people want and promote it properly, people will watch. Are you listening Breeders Cup?


David said...

And in fairness, the Winter Classic is a NOVELTY - an outdoor hockey game played in an iconic baseball stadium so certainly a curiosity factor comes into play in the ratings.

Also, the WC ratings were nowhere near the Derby ratings or Belmont ratings when there is a TC on the line.

Amateurcapper said...

The more I think of the Breeders' Cup on TV, it's an impossible task to keep up with sports that have only TV timeouts and intermissions/halftimes.
There's too much time between races which causes the casual fan to get bored. Very few one- or two-day-a-year fans are into watching the "feel good" stories that don't necessarily lead into the upcoming race. They've got to get creative or selective.
IDEA #1: Since the Cup is already on two days, could it be feasible to hold the Breeders' Cup at two different sites like the Sunshine Millions...instead of 30 minutes or so between races there would be 15 minutes. Of course the on-track and simulcast site parimutual windows would have to be organized, better than checkout stands at the grocery for multi-race bets, windows for vertical wagers (separate exacta, tri, super windows), and "express" windows for only W-P-S wagers.
IDEA #2: Hold the races as already scheduled but feature only selected ones to be televised live. Show the other BC races as a sort of "pre-race" coverage to give casual fans a glimpse of the weekend event. The obvious "feature" races: Classic, Juvenile, Distaff, Juvenile Fillies. These would tie in the "old" and "new" faces in the glamour divisions that could be connected to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

Winston...not really said...

Must you rub my nose in it? Detroit won. I get it. My Blackhawks played poorly after the first period. I am almost able to sleep through the night and now this...

The BC should pay particular attention to the NHL. Here is a league that took whatever momentum it had in the 90's and flushed it down the toilet. Relegated to the VS channel and trying to scrape out a fan base for winter sports in the deep south.

Their push back into public awareness is not the worst recipe. I wouldn't hold my breath though.

SaratogaSpa said...

David-Fair point.
I am comparing specifically a once year event of the Winter Classic against a once year event of the Breeders Cup. I just think the BC can do a much better job in presentation and promotion of the product.

The K. Derby is different. It has its place in the American memory bank and does a respectable 8.0 rating every year. The Belmont does well only if a TC is on the line.

Amateurcapper-Good suggestions.

Winston-Chi-town can't get a break-the cubbies, the winter classic and that governor thingy!

thanks all for reading