NBC Sports network is truly suffering from the NHL lockout. The network known last year as Versus, and Outdoor Life Network previous to that, is really hurting in the ratings department. In fact the only thing drawing viewers at all is hunting and fishing shows. Notre Dame game replays are not helping the network. Although the numbers are obviously not in yet for the New Year’s Day ND marathon on programming. But I’m guessing it won’t be favorable considering it had to compete with live college football bowl games.
As the NHL lockout could be nearing an end, things may turn around soon for the struggling channel.
Sports Media Watch published a list of NBC Sports Network’s most-viewed programs for the four weeks ending Dec. 23, and it’s grim. Aside from a boxing card and a simulcast of Sunday Night Football (because NBC broke in to show Obama’s Newtown speech), no show broke 200,000 viewers.
Other than those two programs, NBCSN’s highest-rated shows are constantly hunting and fishing, with December’s most-viewed regular program a Sunday morning broadcast of Hunt For Big Fish with Larry Dahlberg, which pulled in 177,000 early risers. By comparison, ESPN2 had 85 broadcasts that same week that drew more viewers.
“Onward Notre Dame” a documentary about ND football and their journey to play a neutral site game vs. Miami at Soldier Field was the second most watched program on the network for the last week of November/first week of December. But according to this source the program ranked 51st out of 208 programs on the network, including the product showcases, i.e. the infomercials. But the ND buzz won’t last much longer. There will be a huge media blitz for the national title game on Monday, then it will taper off. The channel really needs hockey to come back soon.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.