After my last post, I was reminded by some that I should stop complaining about Leafs TV’s access restrictions because Leafs fans are the only fans that are guaranteed a nationally televised game at least once a week (Hockey Night in Canada).
Well, I’ve been doing some thinking and I think Leafs should be the only fans given such a guarantee.
Plain and simple, there are more Leafs fans out there in this crazy world we live in than any other hockey team. I’m not just talking about in Canada either. When the Leafs travel to any U.S. city there are always dozens of blue and white jerseys in the crowd. In Buffalo, the crowd is nearly 50% Leafs supporters. In Tampa Bay or Florida it’s about 20%.
When I travelled to Europe, and mentioned to locals that I was from Toronto (because saying I was from London was all too confusing), invariably I would hear “Ohhh. Mats Sundin. Ya.” Yes, they have HNIC in Europe, too.
Now, I’m not going to get in the chicken and the egg argument here. It doesn’t matter if there are more Leafs fans because there are more Leafs games on TV or if there are more Leafs games on TV because there are more Leafs fans. The fact remains that CBC is presumably run by intelligent people. There is currently more of a market for televised Maple Leaf hockey than any other brand of hockey.
Yes, the Canadians have a storied history and the Canucks have green and blue uniforms, but until they give CBC any reason to believe that they can pull in the same kind of numbers that the Leafs are currently pulling in, I will be happily watching Leaf Night in Canada.