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The Panthers Are On TV? More Viewers Tune into Informercial than Local Hockey Team

Info2 The Florida Panthers television broadcasts sometime sound like an infomercial what with all the drop ins for upcoming concerts, ticket discounts and the like.

Turns out, some real infomercials on local television channels in South Florida actually draw more viewers than the Panthers games on Fox Sports.

We knew the ratings were bad for the Panthers -- about 3,000 households tune in on average.

But Barry Jackson's column in today's Miami Herald is shocking in how bad the ratings are.

Says Barry:

Info3 At the opposite extreme are the Panthers, who are drawing a slightly smaller average local rating than last weekend’s infomercial hawking an ice-crushing blender.

Apparently, more viewers prefer to watch ice being crushed than the Panthers being crushed on ice.

Ouch. Low blow there Mr. Jackson.

But wait, THERE'S MORE!

To give you some perspective on how few people watch the Panthers, consider this: Their .19 local rating was the worst in the NHL among the 22 teams studied by Sports Business Daily (numbers for Carolina, Nashville and Canadian teams were not available).

That’s lower than the rating for a kid’s show named Doodlebops at 7 a.m. Sunday on WFOR-4, lower than an AbCoaster exercise equipment infomercial on WFOR last Sunday, and lower than the Ninja Professional Blender, Chopper and Ice Crusher infomercial on WPLG-10.

So far this season, 82,191 homes have tuned in to Heat games on Sun Sports, on average, compared with 3,000 for Panthers games on FSNF. Pittsburgh averages the most per-game cable households in the NHL (105,000 per telecast).

Part of the problem may be that almost 30 percent of homes in Dade and Broward don't have cable. And all of the Panthers games are on cable.

That doesn't seem to be hurting the Miami Heat or Marlins, however, as FSN and Sun broadcast them as well and their numbers are just fine.

Heat (An aside: The Panthers may be helping the Heat numbers as Miami's basketball games broadcast by Sun Sports are advertised on the video billboards that front the Sawgrass Expressway and 136th Ave. Yes, before just about every game, the sight of LeBron, Dwyane and Bosh can be seen larger-than-life on the giant video screens out front of the Panthers arena.)

According to Sports Business Daily, the Panthers have lost 27 percent of their viewership this year. That means they went from about 4,000 households to 3,000.
Here are the five lowest watched NHL teams (Carolina not included in this report, although you have to think they have more than the 14K watching the Lightning on SunSports.)

Info4 For some odd reason, the Miami Heat is drawing record numbers these days.

Tampa Bay: 14K
Columbus: 10K
Phoenix: 9K
Atlanta: 6K
Florida: 3K

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and neither newspaper sent a reporter to the Ottawa game

the panthers advertise in the northeast and Canada soon, that will be the complete budget.

On the NHL radio channel they stated the panthers trade philosophy is to get to the cap floor

Why should we be surprised that SSE would be promoting the heat they aren't interested in putting a winning hockey team on the ice

how much of this is lack of interest in the team versus lack of interest in watching a pretty terrible production? many teams, particularly the ones with fox sports deals, have similarly awful coverage but the panthers, with goldie, are the worst. and while they've actually improved a little bit in terms of hockey content, compare to what you get in a real hockey market, where you have great play by play, great color and interesting and enlightening coverage between periods and it's pretty embarrassing.

Well, you can count our household among those that would be watching if the games were on broadcast instead of cable. We're season ticket holders, but we'd watch away games on TV if we could. We even have NHL Gamecenter Live, but Panthers games are blacked out for us (even though we don't have cable & thus can't watch the games). We end up finding pirate feeds, or making-do with Mollervision on the radio. Or just ignoring the fact that there's a game going on, which can't be a result that anyone wants.

in response to GR's tweet, which seemed to be in response to my post - how the heck can you know the ratings aren't a reflection on the broadcast/ers??? i understand sticking up for those guys and i'm sure they're good guys but this fact remains - the panthers broadcasts are pretty poor. i watch the Bs in boston consistently (say what you want about jack edwards' style but brick is great and all the rest of the production is top notch). many of the other top market teams have similar productions and they share a common theme: they are all about hockey, not about what the panthers PR department is shilling, etc., etc.

certainly, losing and irrelevance are contributors, maybe even key contributors. i just don't see how you can discount the actual quality of the broadcasts.

all this goes hand in hand with the panthers in-game production, which, though a tad better than it was a couple of years ago, is still embarrassing. it's about everything *but* the hockey game. it's about this sponsor, that sponsor, this story, that story, this gimmick...

These ratings are lowest in pro sports...sorry, that's news...and it should have been reported earlier and more often...one good thing about being so far under the radar is the panthers get a free pass on a lot of this stuff most of the time...and we didn't go to Ottawa because a one-game trip into Canada (by way of NY and into ATL) was ridiculously expensive. Crazy expensive. We hired a known Canadian hockey writer to cover the team in my absence. Only second time in my five seasons we hired an outside writer to cover the team.

Make that six seasons (seven if u count the lockout year).

Any news on McCabe to NYR?

Nothing worse then a troll like "zerog" posting here. Stick to Boston, son. There is nothing wrong with the panther production that winning wouldn't cure. Goldie isnt the problem ......10 years of missing the playoffs is. Im sure the ratings in boston were as pathetic as the attendance was up till the B's turned it around recently.

Hard for you to understand 1500 miles away ....Geez stick to the neighborhood you know...

Billy Lindsay makes me turn off the TV early many times....Of course an infomercial gets more ratings, it is brodcast over the air, not as many people have cable/sat as people think. FSN is not included in my DirecTv package, it is in the higher premium packages. I pay extra for the sports package to get FSN but I also get college hockey and the local rsn hockey shows.... That said Panthers are boring to watch and when they are losing many times I turn to Showtime to watch a good movie or watch better game on NHL Center Ice

Losing is a major problem for the ratings, but Goldie and Lindsay are abysmal. Lindsay is like a Connecticut School of Broadcasting dropout, and Goldie must have five handkerchiefs in his pocket for wiping his nose. Goldie has to be the worst man in sports announcing in the history of South Florida. Dennis Miller did a better job on Monday Night Football, and that was atrocious if you didn't know what he was talkin about. I find myself watching the away game feeds or listening to NHL radio while watching the FSN feed, just so I don't have to be irritated by these two.

George- do they include households in Palm Beach County watching the Panthers? Betcha more viewers are in PBC than Dade.

Being a Panther fan from 1100 miles away, I feel I know a little about this team out of my neighborhood. And I'm not in the habit of calling out a troll. Who could the new Catscratch be?

That's what happens when you have owners committed to losing.

That's what happens when you change the coach every 3 years.

That's what happens when you change the GM every 3 years.

That's what happens when you draft like shyt.

Hockey was great in Florida once, too bad this organization didn't get the pleasure out of winning the Easter Conference Championship and making it to the Stanley Cup as much as the fans. Too bad they are the worst organization in the NHL.

any word on why Wideman was a healthy scratch?? what was the logic in doing that????

I'm a transported Flyers fan living in Naples. Trust me there are worse broadcasters and worse teams. I Watch Panthers games and they aren't that bad and when we go to a game we can cross the Alley in just over one hour. To go to a Flyers game would take twice as long to cover half the distance.
I can not believe anyone wants to watch basketball it is just so boring, not a fluid game at all. that's why Lacross doesn't play well no speed or grace.

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