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Center Ice - US Digital Cable customers.

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Old
09-17-2007, 04:16 PM
  #1
guyincognito
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Center Ice - US Digital Cable customers.

Has anyone been able to purchase it yet, see an ad for it, or get the
cable company in question to acknowledge its' existance? In my case,
"No", "the Puckheads' van has apparently driven off a cliff somewhere in
BC" and '"GUH?" was the reaction.'

I don't know that there's any one solid link on this, other than running
NHL Center Ice in Wikipedia, but it appears that only Direct TV has
signed off on CI thus far, for this season. Dish Network and In-Demand
are "still negotiating".

Alright, no I can't go all crazy conspiracy here, but does this not sound
familiar?

Obviously, MLB took some bad PR for their "exclusive, but not quite" with
Direct TV. Could the NHL be doing the same thing, on the down low?
If the other two sign off, no mention of it, but if we're dragging on two weeks
into the season, suddenly the "Direct TV... THE EXCLUSIVE HOME OF NHL
CI!" commericals start?

And of course, there's the NHL Network, which correct me if I'm wrong, only
Direct TV, and Comcast (they have no choice in the matter, right?) have
signed off on.

Hmmmm. I guess I just did go all crazy conspiracy here. But, it really looks
like stuff Bettman is capable of. Let's hope not.

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Old
09-17-2007, 04:27 PM
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The NHL is not going to go to Directv exclusive considering both Comcast and Cablevision own franchises.

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09-17-2007, 04:27 PM
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I haven't even bothered calling about it yet, personally, since the season doesn't start for a few weeks. Never had a problem before, not sure why you think there'd be one now.

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Old
09-17-2007, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotnos View Post
I haven't even bothered calling about it yet, personally, since the season doesn't start for a few weeks. Never had a problem before, not sure why you think there'd be one now.
Paranoid hunch going back a couple of months. I'm normally pretty good
at them.

The "Eklund-like" report that only Direct TV has signed up thus far set off
the alarm bells, so I was wondering if anyone had heard anything to that effect.
IMO, it wouldn't seem like difficult negotiations, since the viewership is low,
unless the NHL was pushing someone the other parties weren't buying.

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Old
09-17-2007, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
The "Eklund-like" report that only Direct TV has signed up thus far set off the alarm bells, so I was wondering if anyone had heard anything to that effect.
Nope, and wikipedia is not exactly the best source in the world either. Now that I think about it, someone mentioned in some thread around here that he signed up already with Bright House for this season.

Bright House inexplicably ended my subscription early one year, and when I called to complain asked me if the season was over or if they were in the playoffs or something. This was in Feb. or March. Don't expect intelligent answers from the cable company.

The NFL can afford to piss off hundreds of thousands of fans by going solely with satellite for their package, the NHL cannot, not to mention the fact of what jkrdevil brought up.

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09-17-2007, 05:05 PM
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Early bird special in Canada is like Sept. 30th so pre-order if you guys get the package.

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Old
09-17-2007, 05:09 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotnos View Post
Nope, and wikipedia is not exactly the best source in the world either. Now that I think about it, someone mentioned in some thread around here that he signed up already with Bright House for this season.

Bright House inexplicably ended my subscription early one year, and when I called to complain asked me if the season was over or if they were in the playoffs or something. This was in Feb. or March. Don't expect intelligent answers from the cable company.

The NFL can afford to piss off hundreds of thousands of fans by going solely with satellite for their package, the NHL cannot, not to mention the fact of what jkrdevil brought up.
It appears the hold-up is over the NHL Network, at least it seems that way in the
Boston version of this thread. I guess they're shoving the channel down the cable companies' throats and are not packaging it in with CI. Don't know exactly how the
negotiations work... can one entity that carries In Demand opt out of showing certain In Demand product, or hold up the negotiations? I think it'll be a cold day in hell before TWC puts the NHL Network on anything other that a stand-alone tier.

But honestly, would Flyers and Rangers ownership really care if the NHL did go exclusive? Wouldn't the increased sum of money for say, a Direct TV contract,
offset whatever they'd lose in proceeds from In Demand? It's not as if CI has millions opon millions of subscribers, they probably wouldn't even feel the dent
in individual markets.

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Old
09-17-2007, 07:21 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
It appears the hold-up is over the NHL Network, at least it seems that way in the
Boston version of this thread. I guess they're shoving the channel down the cable companies' throats and are not packaging it in with CI.
Once I figured out what you meant by "Boston version", it seems they're talking about Comcast. Since they seem to be the first trying to get NHL Network set up they might be delaying signups, who knows. The early bird deal is usually valid until the season starts, so I don't get the bizarre conspiracy theories. Again, I hadn't even thought about ordering yet, especially since there's no price posted yet on their site. Is it really that unusual for a cable company to not know what the heck you're talking about when you call them? Happened to me more than once.

Quote:
But honestly, would Flyers and Rangers ownership really care if the NHL did go exclusive? Wouldn't the increased sum of money for say, a Direct TV contract,
offset whatever they'd lose in proceeds from In Demand? It's not as if CI has millions opon millions of subscribers, they probably wouldn't even feel the dent
in individual markets.
They're owned by cable companies, yet you think they'd be thrilled to help push satellite on people? Really? I'd also imagine at least part of the money from these deals comes from # of subscribers many of which they'd lose if they went exclusively to satellite. There's no way I'd switch, and I doubt I'm the only one. What is the MLB deal you're talking about? I know we can get the MLB package with my cable because it uses the same channels as the NHL.

Again, they're not the NFL which is picking from a much larger fanbase and can still make money hand over fist even if they piss off a big portion of that fanbase. I think the NHL has at least half a clue of what the market will bear, though sometimes you wonder.

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Old
09-17-2007, 07:29 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
Has anyone been able to purchase it yet, see an ad for it, or get the
cable company in question to acknowledge its' existance? In my case,
"No", "the Puckheads' van has apparently driven off a cliff somewhere in
BC" and '"GUH?" was the reaction.'

I don't know that there's any one solid link on this, other than running
NHL Center Ice in Wikipedia, but it appears that only Direct TV has
signed off on CI thus far, for this season. Dish Network and In-Demand
are "still negotiating".

Alright, no I can't go all crazy conspiracy here, but does this not sound
familiar?

Obviously, MLB took some bad PR for their "exclusive, but not quite" with
Direct TV. Could the NHL be doing the same thing, on the down low?
If the other two sign off, no mention of it, but if we're dragging on two weeks
into the season, suddenly the "Direct TV... THE EXCLUSIVE HOME OF NHL
CI!" commericals start?

And of course, there's the NHL Network, which correct me if I'm wrong, only
Direct TV, and Comcast (they have no choice in the matter, right?) have
signed off on.

Hmmmm. I guess I just did go all crazy conspiracy here. But, it really looks
like stuff Bettman is capable of. Let's hope not.
It'll be on Dish Network this season. In fact EchoStar is looking to have more HD games available. There are adding more RSNs in HD.

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Old
09-17-2007, 08:39 PM
  #10
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Last year I wasn't able to order it on my digital cable until the first week of the season. The person I talked to said it was "scheduled" to be availabe the last week of September.

So I wouldn't worry yet.

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Old
09-17-2007, 08:45 PM
  #11
guyincognito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotnos View Post
Once I figured out what you meant by "Boston version", it seems they're talking about Comcast. Since they seem to be the first trying to get NHL Network set up they might be delaying signups, who knows. The early bird deal is usually valid until the season starts, so I don't get the bizarre conspiracy theories. Again, I hadn't even thought about ordering yet, especially since there's no price posted yet on their site. Is it really that unusual for a cable company to not know what the heck you're talking about when you call them? Happened to me more than once.


They're owned by cable companies, yet you think they'd be thrilled to help push satellite on people? Really? I'd also imagine at least part of the money from these deals comes from # of subscribers many of which they'd lose if they went exclusively to satellite. There's no way I'd switch, and I doubt I'm the only one. What is the MLB deal you're talking about? I know we can get the MLB package with my cable because it uses the same channels as the NHL.

Again, they're not the NFL which is picking from a much larger fanbase and can still make money hand over fist even if they piss off a big portion of that fanbase. I think the NHL has at least half a clue of what the market will bear, though sometimes you wonder.

No, in the Boston forum thread, I was talking about a comment that negotiations
w/ InDemand and Dish were behind because of them having to work the NHL Network in. SO, that would mean the NHL wants its' network as a stand-alone network and
not part of CI, and there are some differences between them and the services. If there weren't any, they would have announced a deal and the InDemand website would have info and that damn Puckhead commerical would be out and about. Being in the NY area, I know if there is any dispute between a network and a provider, it is *not* a little problem that will be sorted out quickly. It can be a debacle.

There's been alot of noise around various forums that there is no deal with those
two services. Thus, you could not order it at this moment, and would not be able
to until they came to a deal.

The MLB comparison (which probably isn't apt here, since it doesn't seem to be about this) is that they signed an "exclusive" contract with Direct TV to carry Extra Innings, before this season. "Exclusive" in the sense that if Dish and InDemand didn't want to match certain terms, they wouldn't get to carry the product. This leaked out, there was much hissyness, and then eventually MLB did come to an agreement w/ Dish and InDemand, and Direct TV's deal was no longer "exclusive" (therefore they did not have to pay the insane sum they did to get "exclusive" rights). I don't think it was intended to get out, but there was alot of noise going
on about it, they couldn't reach an agreement with the other two parties before the baseball season started, and therefore they *had* to announce it.

If this happened with CI, I really could see cable walking away. And if they're pushing NHL Network on cable, I could see them walking away as well. (Other than those that are beholden to it.)

I also really don't think the teams care because they are not promoting the dish. Their average customer wouldn't know or care about CI, they don't need it. It's a niche. The people that have it will seek it out if they want it, the NHL would make more money with an exclusive deal, and those two teams in question would make more money off of it than they would if they actually broadcasted it.

They did it with radio, why wouldn't they do it with TV? Again, doesn't seem to be
the case here, but to reject it on sight seems a little silly.

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Old
09-18-2007, 08:25 AM
  #12
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Wow, mindless Bettman bashing in a thread about Center (or Centre) Ice...who would have figured.

Anyway, before you get your panties in a bunch..my Comcast rep said Center Ice will be available to order over digi-cable starting September 29th.

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09-18-2007, 09:10 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotnos View Post
They're owned by cable companies, yet you think they'd be thrilled to help push satellite on people? Really? I'd also imagine at least part of the money from these deals comes from # of subscribers many of which they'd lose if they went exclusively to satellite. There's no way I'd switch, and I doubt I'm the only one. What is the MLB deal you're talking about? I know we can get the MLB package with my cable because it uses the same channels as the NHL.
MLB Extra Innings (baseball premium package) was very close to being DirectTV exclusive, to the extent that it was not available on Comcast/digital cable until the season had already started. This ruffled a lot of feathers in the MLB community, and while some did switch to DirectTV, I think most turned to other means (online radio, MLBTV, etc.) to enjoy baseball. The package ultimately was made available to cable customers, but I suspect many subscriptions were lost as a result of people seeking other means prior to the start of the season.

It's a situation where if the subscriber count on digitial cable is low enough, it might be profitable for DirectTV to pay big bucks for an exclusive deal. Those hockey fans on digital cable that are left in the dark would be justifiably upset, but from a business perspective, it's an opportunity for the NHL to make more money by going exclusive, as well as an opportunity for DirectTV to increase subscriber numbers as a result of those switching over for the now exclusive package.

Of the sports packages, I think NHL Center Ice is the most worthwhile, primarily due to hockey coverage being quite lacking in America (though VS has helped lately), as well as there being games daily, making it a valid opportunity to watch hockey every single night.

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Old
09-18-2007, 05:21 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiavsfan View Post
Wow, mindless Bettman bashing in a thread about Center (or Centre) Ice...who would have figured.
Yeah, I just kinda gave up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimellow View Post
MLB Extra Innings (baseball premium package) was very close to being DirectTV exclusive, to the extent that it was not available on Comcast/digital cable until the season had already started. This ruffled a lot of feathers in the MLB community, and while some did switch to DirectTV, I think most turned to other means (online radio, MLBTV, etc.) to enjoy baseball. The package ultimately was made available to cable customers, but I suspect many subscriptions were lost as a result of people seeking other means prior to the start of the season.
Thanks, I don't follow baseball and hadn't heard about this at all.

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09-18-2007, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiavsfan View Post
Wow, mindless Bettman bashing in a thread about Center (or Centre) Ice...who would have figured.

Anyway, before you get your panties in a bunch..my Comcast rep said Center Ice will be available to order over digi-cable starting September 29th.
How is it mindless? The NHL under Bettman, looks out for #1. Just like RBK EDGE.

If they can make money on it, they will, no matter what their relatively small fanbase in the US might think about it.

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09-18-2007, 10:01 PM
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Talked to Comcast today. Ordering should be available around 9/26-9/28, and the first week will be a 'free preview'.

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09-18-2007, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
How is it mindless? The NHL under Bettman, looks out for #1.
And that itself should tell you it's going to be available on digital cable. Large cable companies own influential teams in the league including Comcast which has a substantial stake in indemand. They are not going to let the league to go satellite exclusive.

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09-19-2007, 06:06 AM
  #18
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Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
How is it mindless? The NHL under Bettman, looks out for #1. Just like RBK EDGE.

If they can make money on it, they will, no matter what their relatively small fanbase in the US might think about it.

Any criticism aimed at Bettman is mindless.


Last edited by Fugu: 09-19-2007 at 06:38 AM. Reason: brain fart
 
Old
09-19-2007, 06:20 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyincognito View Post
How is it mindless? The NHL under Bettman, looks out for #1. Just like RBK EDGE.

If they can make money on it, they will, no matter what their relatively small fanbase in the US might think about it.
Give me a business that doesn't look out for number 1. Can't name any? Exactly...

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09-19-2007, 12:27 PM
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comcast

Just got off the phone with comcast today and they said that CI along with most sports packages don't become available until the week of the season begining.

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Old
09-19-2007, 01:24 PM
  #21
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Again, I talked to Comcast last week, and they said September 29th, NHL Center Ice would be available for order

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09-19-2007, 01:29 PM
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Available to order. But you don't actually get a center ice channel til Oct 1st. This is because they carry MLB on the same channel as CI and they can't switch til then.

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09-19-2007, 01:41 PM
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Of course...

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Old
09-19-2007, 01:47 PM
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I spoke to a Comcast rep earlier this week (Denver market), and she told me it's available for purchase 9/24. Called again earlier today, and was told the same thing.

It must vary by market, because now I've seen three different release dates. As for channel availability, have to see what happens between MLB Extra Innings and Center Ice.

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09-19-2007, 01:53 PM
  #25
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My Time Warner rep said they are yet to sign a contract with the NHL to get permission to use and broadcast center ice.

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