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NHL could lose viewers to NBA

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to see the showcase of skillthis year’s Stanley Cup final seems poised to produce. But you have toanyway. <br />


If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to see the showcase of skill this year’s Stanley Cup final seems poised to produce. But you have to anyway.

The league and many of its stakeholders argue the length is fine. But, five days is simply too long between the end of the third round and the start of the Cup final.

Yes, the true puck nut will still tune in, but the NHL loses any momentum it has created with the casual sports fan as a result of the lengthy break between games.

Contrast that with the NBA, which began the next round of its playoffs just two days after the last round ended. The NBA’s consistent approach with the schedule could directly affect the viewing habits of the casual sports fan south of the border. Games 3, 4 and 5 of the Celtics/Pistons series will be played head-to-head with the first three games of the Stanley Cup between the Red Wings and Penguins.

>> Senator Larry Campbell’s initiative to prevent the NFL from setting up shop in Canada has once again sparked an interesting debate among football fans in this country. A number of people within the football fraternity believe an NFL team in Toronto would initiate the death of the CFL and its corporate support.

Campbell argues that the CFL is part of the cultural fabric of this country and that it should be protected the same way that Canadian television is preventing American channels like ESPN and HBO from entering our airspace.

He also argues that “the NFL already has Canada” since millions of Canadians religiously tune in to the sport every Sunday.

Obviously, the best-case scenario is for the two leagues to harmoniously co-exist in Canada. This would send the strongest message about the strength of the CFL in this country. The problem is nobody trusts Toronto. Most believe that our nation’s largest market would have no issue turning its back on the Canadian Football League if it was economically advantageous for the city.

Fortunately, the NFL has a vested interest in keeping the CFL strong and vibrant, and I don’t believe the league would move north without guaranteed stability for the Canadian brand of football.

The notion that an American institution is more concerned with protecting a truly Canadian sport than this country’s largest city is a very interesting commentary on Toronto’s relationship with the rest of Canada.

>> Want to weigh in? E-mail me at scott.rintoul@metronews.ca


How to make a Scott Rintoul: Mix equal parts college athlete, sports fan and broadcaster. Shake vigorously. Serve chilled Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. or online at thetoulbox.blogspot.com.


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