Over at ESPN.com, Sports Biz guy Darren Rovell is taking a look at the hockey playoffs. If he can find them, that is:
Edmonton is already up 2-0 on the Mighty Ducks in the Western Conference finals, which hurts appeal in American markets. Even north of the border, Edmonton is the smallest Canadian city that has an NHL franchise. The Raleigh-Durham area, home to the Hurricanes, is only the 29th-rated television market in the United States. Buffalo ranks 49th on that list.
And in Anaheim, which is part of the greater Los Angeles population base, 51 percent of the market doesn't have access to the Outdoor Life Network, one of the league's two current television partners, on its cable system.
There's nothing really new here, but it makes for a read that brings home (again) how daunting a sell hockey on TV has become in the U.S. All this is cyclical, of course, but outside of the arenas, it's hard to imagine its American profile being lower.
Another way of looking at this comes courtesy of emailer Alex Hirbod, who was watching Wheel of Fortune last night and notes this moment:
There was a puzzle with the subject being "Event". The contestants had found enough letters to spell "VISITING THE HO_ _ E_ HALL OF FAME". You could clearly hear one of the contestants ask his partner what that other word was. Then they promptly asked for a "D".
As I was laughing out loud, the next contestants asked for a "P". The third pair of contestants finally asked for a "C" and solved the puzzle, winning a trip for two to Toronto, in addition to their prize money.