2015 NHL Draft had dismal TV ratings

Did you watch the 2015 NHL Draft? The answer to that question is probably “no” based on the ratings which have been released from the event’s first round. A total of 252,000 viewers turned on NBCSN to watch coverage of the draft’s first round. That number represents a 25% drop from last year’s 337,000 viewers and the lowest total since 2012’s draft brought in 207,000 viewers.

Via Awful Announcing, the tiny TV audience was pretty noteworthy, though explainable:

That puts it behind not just ratings hits like the NFL and NBA drafts, but also the MLB draft (306,000) and the WNBA draft (278,000). However, there are a few unusual factors around this year’s draft that might suggest this is an anomaly rather than a trend that will continue into the future.

First and foremost is competition. A late-June draft rarely faces anything significant on the sports calendar, but it sure did Friday night; the Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match between the U.S. and China, which drew 5.7 million viewers to Fox (a soccer record for the network). That’s more than the average of 5.55 million viewers that watched the Stanley Cup Final this year.

It’s also worth noting that the first two picks of the draft were decided well in advance. That may be true in other years and other leagues as well, but the total lack of drama and complete lack of significant player movement throughout the first round led to a snoozefest. Even the most dedicated of hockey fans had a difficult time following along after Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel were officially selected.

If numbers for the first round were this poor, it’s safe to say that NHL Network had a minuscule audience for rounds two through seven, but that’s not exactly surprising.

Realistically, NBC and the league won’t pay too much attention to the low ratings. The draft may have resulted in some pathetic totals, but games on the network – including the Stanley Cup Final – delivered numbers that should have made anyone at NBC or the league proud.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.

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