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SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 8: The Florida Panthers mascot in the stands during the game against the St. Louis Blues on February 8, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Blues defeated the Panthers 2-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
This morning Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald compared local television ratings for the South Florida sports teams in his weekly sports media column.
As you might expect, we South Floridians love to watch the Dolphins and Heat, but have little time to fit Panthers games into our busy lives.
The Panthers average a 0.19 local rating, averaging 3,000 households a game. That is among the worst in the NHL. The Heat draw a 5.2 local rating, while the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins average 105,000 households a game, by comparison.
To add insult to injury, Jackson noted the Panthers' local ratings trail a kid’s show named Doodlebops that airs at 7 a.m. on Sundays, as well as informercials for the AbCoaster and Ninja Professional Blender that aired last week.
Of course, it is hard for fans to get excited about a hockey team that hasn't made the playoffs since the 1999-2000 season, the longest current drought in the NHL.
Jackson blames previous ownership and management for the poor ratings, both because of the subpar teams they put on the ice and their ineffective marketing.
But considering the fact that many South Florida residents have never seen ice outside of their freezers, perhaps the decision to put a hockey team in the area was doomed from the start.
David Hill is a Miami native who has not watched a Panthers game in at least ten years (and almost feels guilty about it).