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Silky N’ Filthy podcast: Is the NHL ready to surpass the MLB in popularity?

Baseball’s popularity at it’s lowest point since 1937, according to Gallup Polls.

Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings
Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his hat trick goal to take a 4-2 lead over the Los Angeles Kings during the third period in a 5-3 Canucks win at Staples Center on October 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The World Series wrapped up last night as the Washington Nationa — wait, you don’t care, do you?

In the MLB this season, there have been stories about declining viewership and engagement from fans. One poll suggested that baseball’s popularity hasn’t been this low since prior to World War II.

Then, games three and four of the World Series also drew in record-lows for viewership. On the show co-host Kyle Bhawan posed the question, is the NHL ready to overtake baseball as the third-most popular sport in North America?

Look, the NHL still has a lot of ground to cover, but there are a lot of positives with the way the game is trending right now. Goal scoring and entertainment is at an all-time high, and the rise in goal scoring has coincided with higher ratings in the Stanley Cup Finals over the past three years.

Stanley Cup Final viewership numbers from NHL on NBC.
Stanley Cup Final viewership numbers from NHL on NBC.

There’s still a big hill for the NHL to climb, even with viewership on the rise. A good draw for a Stanley Cup Final game is 5 million, whereas baseball is still hitting 10 million viewers on a bad game.

The NHL might not be quite ready, but the opportunity presents itself in the years to come, especially after the NHL strikes a new deal with NBC.

Other than ripping on the MLB, we also ended overreaction season on Silky N’ Filthy by analyzing which teams are in trouble after a mediocre month of October. We examine four teams there, and then discuss three teams on the rise: The Arizona Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres. Which team would you buy stock in?


Which team are you buying stock in?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Arizona Coyotes
    (2 votes)
  • 15%
    Buffalo Sabres
    (13 votes)
  • 81%
    Vancouver Canucks
    (67 votes)
82 votes total Vote Now

Here’s a rundown of the episode:

Overreaction SZN wraps up with the question, are these teams actually in trouble?

  • San Jose Sharks (6:00)
  • New Jersey Devils (10:45)
  • Tampa Bay Lightning (15:00)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs (18:00)
  • Which team are you buying stock in, the Nucks, Yotes or Sabres? (22:30)
  • Beauty of the Week: Andrei Svechnikov (29:30)
  • Is the NHL ready to take over MLB for #3 in North American Sports? (32:45)
  • Wrapping up overreaction SZN and previewing the “Beauty Power Rankings” (38:45)

Stay tuned tomorrow for a special monthly episode we’re going to do called the “Beauty Power Rankings.” We’re going to run this at the beginning of every month as we go over the top ten players of the month in the NHL, along with a top 10 bullsh*t list as well.

More puck talk and bullsh*t coming your way shortly!