May
30
2012

NHL dominant in Canada, popularity on the rise in the U.S.

For the first time in 16 years, no Canadian-based NHL team has advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. As a result, NHL-related searches in Canada (the top search terms that drive traffic to the Sports – Hockey category) have declined 10% year-over-year.


Source: Experian Hitwise

Specifically, when the last Canadian-based NHL team was eliminated from the playoffs (the Ottawa Senators on April 26th), NHL-related searches within Canada decreased 7% when compared with the most recent week. Up until that point, Canadian NHL searches continually increased since the beginning of the playoffs.


Source: Experian Hitwise

Against all categories, share of visits to the Sports – Hockey category have declined 56% since the elimination of Senators (highlighted in red) and 21% year-over-year.


Source: Experian Hitwise

In the US, however, NHL-related searches are up 35% year-over-year. This is a substantial increase and suggests the sport’s increasing popularity in the States.


Source: Experian Hitwise

Is it possible that the NHL is more popular in the US than Canada? Not so fast. As a percentage of total searches in each respective market, NHL-related searches in Canada were 12.8 times more popular than in the US during the 12 weeks ending May 19th, 2012. While there is much debate in the US about which professional sport is the most popular, there is no doubt that in Canada the NHL reigns supreme.

For the most recent 12 weeks, NBA-related searches were the most popular in the US, followed closely by NFL-related searches. Keep in mind that this likely attributable to the NBA playoffs. NHL-related searches ranked last in the US among top professional sports.


Source: Experian Hitwise

For more information about Experian Hitwise, click here.


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