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02-24-2013, 10:15 AM
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I think people spend too much time talking about fairness and not enough time looking at finances. At the end of the day, the NHL is a business and this realignment makes sense from a financial perspective as a business decision.

Considering the economic environment in most places, it's hard to increase ticket prices much more to grow gate revenue which has traditionally been more important to the NHL than other major sports leagues. Having maximized that area for growth, they need to look at how to increase the value of their media exposure to raise income.

I think this realignment does this because more games in time zone means more eyes to screens and more money from advertising. Sports, in general, are becoming a greater focus for advertisers as other programs are often recorded and watched later, whereas people stay tuned to these contests.

So, while travel and other considerations are there, I think all the franchises would consider those reasonable costs of business if this leads to larger media contracts. And from that perspective, it's not surprising that the Flyers, and NBC, would be major contributors in pushing this, which I think they are.

That said, I think it might be very good for the league, because they are making the NHL more highly profiled, and I think the alignment will help a few markets and create more tv friendly matchups, especially as the Wings have always been a great draw as are some of the EC teams.

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