Originally Posted by SteelersCanada
The NHL has been growing in popularity for a decade. The MLB has been steadily decreasing now for a long time.
Right, but 'popularity' does not equate or translate to 'revenue' or 'operating income'.
Behold the 2013 breakdown
Compare it with the NBA
The bottom half of the NHL is scraping by (relatively speaking). Comparatively, the NBA's worst franchises are still worth more than 1/2 of the NHL's (and only a few are even losing money). You don't have to imagine very hard how a comparison to the NFL
skates by thanks to 'revenue sharing' and sweetheart TV deals).
The NHL has the weakest TV deal(s) and least amount of popularity in the states. In terms of 'sustainable business models', theirs is almost certainly the weakest. Their fundamentals are fairly sound, they just can't operate on the same level as the more popular sports and the stats support it.