Thread: News Article: NBC-VS. likely to keep NHL
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02-09-2011, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514 View Post
Wouldn't it behoove the NHL to be in as many homes as they possibly can for as much money as they can possible make? I'm not convinced the NHL is in a good enough position as a national brand that they'd truly reap many benefits from being the so-called only game in town (I don't think the NFL is dumping a whole season either). They got almost nothing from when the NBA was last in a lockout.

I do like the prospects of an NBC brand sports network gaining more traction. On the other hand, if the other 29 owners and commissioner get an offer they can't refuse from ESPN, what's Ed Snider going to do about it?

I would love nothing more than to someone be a legitimate competitor for ESPN, but where is the line between the NHL making a good business decision and making a statement?
Sure it's in the NHL's interest to be in the most homes for the most money it can get. Doesn't mean that is in Comcast-NBC's interest. The entire reason VS came into existence was because Comcast has been in a blood feud with ESPN for years. They attempted a hostile takeover of ABC-Disney (or whatever it's called) to get their hands on ESPN. When that failed, they decided their next best plan would involve creating a competitor network that could potentially compete with ESPN... to that end they signed on the NHL and tried to sign on the NFL (a bid that failed).

So, the NHL is in a situation where NBC-Comcast are offering up NBC-VS with the NHL as the centerpiece (right now with exclusive negotiation rights)... a deal which may disappear the moment the NHL starts talking about getting in bed with ESPN. And, frankly, if there is NFL/NBA next year, you're not looking at a lot of great time slots with ESPN necessarily.

I agree, the NHL would be better off with some connection to ESPN; however, I don't see Comcast/NBC signing on for that... they've simply shown way too much antipathy for ESPN for that to happen.

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