According to the Sports Business Daily Global Journal, The Bruins still manage to stay in the Top 5 in terms of ratings through NESN. Which is good! The local network is in most cable and satellite packages in the area and fans who can afford it are still tuning in droves. And for a team that might still be good enough to get into the playoffs it's easy to see why fans, however beleaguered by some ugly games, can still be excited.
But this year it's also down. WAAAY down. 19 percent down. Which is bad enough to put them in the Bottom 6 of average rating changes, with Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Arizona, and the Islanders (who might as well not be on this list due to the amount of competing teams and networks built entirely around the teams not wearing Blue and Orange in NY).
Why? Well, the Herald thinks it's Lucic:
One reason for the ratings drop could be the departure of Milan Lucic. The power forward was dealt to the Kings at last summer's NHL draft. Lucic wasn't without his warts, but the rugged winger's ability to score goals coupled with his willingness to drop the gloves made him a fan favorite.
Which isn't a bad theory. Fans like fan favorites obviously, and it takes time for a new one to pop up and take their place. There are some other contributing factors, however.
One major concern that could be part of the equation is that many Boston fans don't just live in Boston. Many are displaced from the New England area, and thus must use either a league provided stream, a TOTALLY LEGAL I ASSURE YOU stream, or follow along through social media platforms. These do tap into NESN lines, but like most streams, they are not counted by the Nielsen Ratings. A growing trend for fans who aren't immediately in front of their TVs or for those who probably don't want to purchase 600,000 channels to watch NESN.
Another reason that could contribute to this is that the Bruins put most of their interesting programming on at strange times and don't often replay them. And so you get stuff like Charlie Moore Outdoors. Which I have watched a whole episode of and let me tell you something...it is a wild ride of unbearable and boring.
Whatever the reason, one can assume NESN will eventually be doing something to garner fan interest back into watching on their TV sets. Hopefully it involves firing the camera up on level 9 into the sun in a public display...