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NHL lockout is making NFL fans out of Canadians

Chicago Bears corner back D.J. Moore (L) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (R) after intercepting a pass in the second half of their NFL football game in Arlington, Texas October 1, 2012.

TIM SHARP/REUTERS

The NHL lockout is making NFL fans out of Canadians.

Based on the number of searches Canadians conducted on Google since the NHL owners locked out the players on Sept. 16, disappointed hockey fans are turning to football. For the first time, there were more NFL-related searches on Google.ca than ones for the NHL by a margin of more than two to one.

Normally, Google.ca sees a surge in NHL interest every September as Canadians turn their attention to hockey. As shown by the 2011 numbers, the searches for the NHL quickly outpace those for the NFL. Google compresses the search numbers into a scale of zero to 100 and by Oct. 1, 2011, there were 52 NHL searches for every 37 on the NFL.

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Once NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the lockout on Sept. 16, that trend was reversed. The NFL began outpacing the NHL in August as it became clear there would be a lockout and the day it was announced the leagues moved in different directions. The NFL continued to climb and the NHL fell off. By Oct. 2, there were 76 NFL searches on a scale of 100 compared to 35 for the NHL.

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