Is the League Losing its Appeal?


We’re a season removed from ESPN and TNT taking over as the NHL’s primary national television providers and things aren’t all smooth sailing in year two.

The 2022-23 NHL season is now more than halfway done. On Tuesday, it was revealed that national hockey ratings in the United States are down by 22%. According to Morning Consult’s Mark J. Burns, the NHL’s average viewership has dropped from 478,000 to 373,000 this season, which is undoubtedly something Gary Bettman does not want to see on his 30th anniversary as league commissioner.

Though the return to ESPN after 17 years should have reignited interest in hockey, it appears that it is waning this season.

The NHL has received some good news, as Disney has reportedly sold out ad space for the upcoming All-Star Weekend in Florida on February 3 and 4. Still, it’s clear that things aren’t going as planned for the NHL in terms of raw ratings.

Fans of the NHL, on the other hand, have been extremely vocal in their dissatisfaction with how the league has marketed itself this season. From vexing local blackouts to perplexing scheduling decisions, NHL fans have not held back in their criticism.

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