And what if the Leafs say screw you HNIC and CBC. They pull out when the next contract runs out and put all 82 games on LeafsTV?
This is my point exactly. If the Leafs were to do this, Hamilton would just insist that Leafs TV be banned from their area (just like the Sens do now). Then no one in the Hamilton region (which presumably extends from some line between Toronto & Hamilton westward until it runs into the Flames/Oilers region) would see any Leafs games.
Even if Hamilton didn't insist on blocking Leafs TV, all Leaf fans would be forced to pay for Leafs TV. This would probably sound great to the Teachers' Pension Fund and to Balsillie.
All, I am saying is that a new team in Hamilton could very likely affect who gets to watch the Leafs, how much it costs to watch the Leafs, and how many Leaf games are available on CBC.
Call it fear mongering if you like. But why do people assume that Leaf fans west of Toronto are going to be treated differently from all other fans in the league when a new team moves into Hamilton.
Assuming a team in Hamilton won't affect who gets to watch the Leafs is just sticking your head in the sand. Who says they are "competing" in the same market. This is just what some fans want. Maybe Balsillie feels the best way for him to grow his market is to prevent people from watching the Leafs and force them to watch his team. This is the Senators position.
Many assume that it would be crazy to prevent Leaf fans from watching the Leafs. I agree but as I pointed out this is already happening. Your attitude seems to be that what happens in Kingston isn't really important or going to have any bearing on what happens in say, Kitchener. This is just navel gazing. Why should Kitchener be any different than Kingston? Why would you assume that the Leaf games will shown in London? I assure you that even though we are forced to watch them, there are very few Senator fans in Kingston.
Here's another question. Even if Balsillie agrees to let the Leafs broadcast in his area, the CBC will have some decisions to make. Every Saturday night they will have to make choices. Some people west of Toronto will be Hamilton fans and they will want the CBC to show Hamilton games. There was a lot of whining around this board when the CBC arranged a few weeks with no Saturday night Leaf game. How will people feel when the CBC doesn't show the Leafs every Saturday (or even every other week).
Finally, I do think if the courts give Balsillie a team in Hamilton, then most likely people who are west of Toronto will still have access to most Leaf games. But I think they will have to pay for that privilege. Having two teams competing for fans' dollars means those teams will be thinking of ways to generate more revenue.
We'll have to agree to disagree, because I don't see southwestern Ontario really being an issue here. Ottawa is a completely different area of the country, despite being in the same province. Hamilton and Toronto are within visual sight of one another. That right there puts them in the same market, as far as I'm concerned. There will probably be plenty of posturing on both sides with regards to showing games, but I really don't think we'll see too much of an issue with watching games outside of Toronto or Hamilton.
Despite all that, I still really don't give a ****. Hamilton and Toronto will have to compete with eachother for the fanbase, and that right there will improve competition. I wouldn't bet on them raising prices elsewhere if there's a team next door offering a cheaper alternative.