NHL to Expand 2 teams in Canada - THN
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11-15-2012, 11:56 AM
No Fun Shogun
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chicagoland, IL
Originally Posted by
The Florida Panthers have by far the smallest fanbase in the NHL. Last year they averaged 3,000 TV homes for televised games.
TV deals make or break an NHL franchise today.
A team in Quebec will have a strong French TV cable contract and most likely an English presence on Sportsnet from Montreal to Newfoundland.
The Leafs most likely would love a team in Markham as they would get the TV rights to the new team. ( This is not unlike the Rangers controlling the TV rights of the Devils and Islanders )
Markham is a lock because it will NOT hurt Buffalo. Hamilton would hurt the Sabres because it would be a less hassle option for fans in Niagara Township on the QEW corridor. ( border crossings are a pain in this post 911 world )
Nothing else in Canada will work in this cable TV world. Winnipeg is the same size as Buffalo and Providence. TSN can sell it to Manitoba and Saskatchewan but viewer numbers are limited.
Except it doesn't break the Panthers, though. They're used as a loss leader by their ownership's local development plans, which are making money for them overall. They're willing to be in the red with the Panthers if it helps them make greater profits elsewhere, so their smaller TV audience is a moot point. Plus, depending on how the CBA negotiations go, they might cover up a significant amount of the red ink from the Panthers with a greater piece of the pie and possibly even more revenue sharing dollars, so doubt that they'd give 'em up now.
And Markham's far from a lock. There's still no evidence that the Leafs are interested in giving up their monopoly of the GTA/southern Ontario market even if they get an indemnity and TV rights out of it from a new team. Plus, isn't their arena deal kind of falling apart?
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