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Can NHL's Dream Playoff Match-ups Boost NBC's Ratings?

Jon Friedmans Media Matrix By Jon Friedman | Jon Friedmans Media Matrix June 1, 2013 at 5:00PM

The National Hockey League should be all smiles as the semi-finals are about to begin, pitting the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings in the west and the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins in the east.
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Sidney Crosby

The National Hockey League should be all smiles as the semi-finals are about to begin, pitting the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings in the west and the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins in the east.

Granted, there is no sign of the No. 1 media market's New York Rangers, who were knocked out in the last round by Boston. But you can't always get what you want.

Still, the semis boast teams from LA and Chicago, two of the biggest TV markets.Boston is no slouch in sports. And Pittsburgh only boasts the best player in the world Sidney Crosby. 

The NHL has it all -- the big-market teams, the supreme attraction in the sport and dream match-ups. If NBC Sports, which is airing the games,and the NHL can't promote these games and draw big ratings, it's their own fault.

It's a mystery to me why more people don't watch the NHL playoffs on TV. There is no better sports spectacle, especially in a playoff overtime game. Even on the tube, a viewer can feel the drama, where one shot can make or break a team's season.

Pundits can point to a matchup between, say the Kings and the San Jose Sharks and say, Who cares? But that series was positively thrilling. The Blackhawks from a three-games-to-one deficit to upend Detroit in a wild series. The final game went into sudden-death OT -- wish you had seen it.

If you want to watch world-class athletes doing their best to make history, check out the NHL playoffs.

There is simply no better sports spectacle than playoff hockey.

Game on.


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