This seems like a bad trend:
“Sports Business Daily published a report this week looking at the television audiences for 25 major sports, and it turns out the NHL has some of the world’s most rapidly aging fans. The median age for an NHL fan in 2016 was 49. In 2000, it was 33, which means the average NHL fan aged 16 years over those 16 years, which means there aren’t any new fans coming through the turnstiles.”
The NHL has a problem. Look, I love hockey, but I’m 48, I’ll actually be that median age in less than a month. I don’t know anyone under 30 who watches hockey. I know there are some kids out there playing hockey in the US, but aside from them, and maybe even including them, how many set aside an evening to watch a game? Why would they? I’m right in the NHL’s wheelhouse and even I get sick and tired of hockey announcers and analysts.
Seriously, how many 20-30 year olds are just dying to hear Pierre Mcguire tell us about a “good Western Canada kid who played at Kamloops” for some a coach who played hockey before they were born?
The article talks specifically about P.K. Subban, and that;s an interesting thought as well. What better way to interest young fans than a minority with a engaging personality who actually has fun playing the game? Oh wait, that’s not old-school hockey, forget it! And don’t think the old-school hockey argument doesn’t come with a hint of racism. (See also, MLB and “the right way to play the game”.)
Old school hockey is white. Old school hockey is North American. Old school hockey is old.
And that’s a problem for the NHL in 2017, at least in terms of TV contracts.