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Switzerland, the Next Great Hockey Market?

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Sure, the Swiss lost in the World Championship final, but back home the fans were going coo-coo.
Sure, the Swiss lost in the World Championship final, but back home the fans were going coo-coo.
Martin Rose

So check out what Roman Josi re-tweeted this morning...

This refers to an article stating about Swiss TV ratings for the 2013 IIHF World Championship gold medal game between Sweden & Switzerland. It drew almost 1.2 million viewers, in a country of just under 8 million people! More than 1 in 7 tuned in to watch Josi lead the way for his country, which fell in that final game 5-1. Josi took home MVP honors, however, so it wasn't all bad for the Swiss that day.

Snagging 1 in 7 viewers in the US would be the equivalent of 45 million viewers, a pretty phenomenal number.

By comparison, this year's NBA Finals drew around 16 million for Games 4 & 5, and the 2010 Gold Medal game at the Vancouver Olympics (remember Suter vs. Weber for gold?) attracted 27 million. This year's Super Bowl drew 108 million viewers.

So what do you think, is Switzerland the next great untapped market for the NHL? Who knows, if they don't move quickly enough, perhaps the KHL will expand again, and add another country to its already-gigantic footprint...