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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

NHL lockout: Fehr unafraid of long fight

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Old
12-20-2012, 03:51 PM
  #51
HabsByTheBay
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Generated by how many clubs? How relevant will MLB be in places other than New York, Boston, and Los Angeles?
lmfao, you are asking that question when hockey is bankrupt without the Habs, Leafs and Blueshirts?

Texas, San Francisco, Toronto, St. Louis, Philly, Chicago (can you imagine if Theo turns around the Cubs? Oh boy), and DC? The future's bright and the future's baseball.

But hey, maybe the Bruins, the oldest franchise in American hockey, will return more than a 5% profit margin sometime soon.

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12-20-2012, 03:52 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Yes.

You know what might change it, but certainly not to NHL levels? If the cable TV pay structure is legally forced to change. Bundling channels and forcing everyone to pay for ESPN, for example, when may be a third of subscribers actually watch it. The other factor is digital media rights and how that plays out on new platforms over the next decade.
Guess which league laps the field on this front...

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12-20-2012, 03:53 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
And you don't think the owner of a private, for-profit business should be in it for their own gain?

I think no such thing. I'm arguing against the tar/feather brigades that vilify [namely] Fehr, but some owners too for looking out for their own constituents' interests; or their own in case of the owners. Fair is fair. Or is it Fehr is fair? Fair is Fehr?

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12-20-2012, 03:54 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Stix and Stones View Post
I know, I just come here to laugh now. Bettman has 90% of the people here fooled.
Bettman doesn't represent the fans.

Fehr doesn't represent the fans either.

Bettman's job is to represent the owners, Fehr represents the players.

Neither one is hockey's "steward."

The teams are the ones who need to pay attention to the fans. They all have entire marketing and PR departments as well as PR firms to do that.

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12-20-2012, 03:54 PM
  #55
tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by HabsByTheBay View Post
Show any businessman the fundamentals of the economy of baseball in 1988 and 2012 and ask him which one he'd choose.

- 30,000 a game paying premium prices in cash cow ballparks funded by the public, regional TV networks paying billions to show every game and huge national TV contracts

- 20,000 a game paying cheap prices in doughnut football stadiums, regional TV networks showing 1 game in 3 and paying a few million dollars, and TV contracts showing 1 game a week nationally. But the World Series gets a few more eyeballs.

What do you think he's gonna choose?
That's a fair point, and it applies to any pro sport. The business model changed drastically during the 1990s.

But again, do you think this will continue if the public continues to lose interest in baseball as a whole? World Series ratings are a pretty good barometer of how much people pay attention to the game when the home team isn't playing. It's pretty obvious that baseball is generationally fading away as the major national pastime and becoming more of a niche sport with a lot of support from a narrower demographic cohort.

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12-20-2012, 03:55 PM
  #56
Fugu
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Originally Posted by KINGS17 View Post
Generated by how many clubs? How relevant will MLB be in places other than New York, Boston, and Los Angeles?

It's called maximizing revenue and profit; and even maximizing market share.


These are 'good' things that business schools teach business majors.

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12-20-2012, 03:59 PM
  #57
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It's called maximizing revenue and profit; and even maximizing market share.
It sounds more like taking the easy money up front at the cost of long-term growth. I don't think any business major would say that a national sports league can really afford to be popular only within a handful of markets. That's not sustainable in the long run.

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12-20-2012, 04:06 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
With three lockouts to show for it, along with a slew of bad ownership selections.
Yes, he has to work with the most shortsighted PA in the business - a PA that thinks its members deserve to be paid MORE than all other sports, even though they make the least money...

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12-20-2012, 04:07 PM
  #59
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For all the talk about the owners having a drop dead date in miond, I'm fairly positive Fehr has one as well: Fehr deals always get signed last minute.

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12-20-2012, 04:13 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Canadian Guy View Post
For all the talk about the owners having a drop dead date in miond, I'm fairly positive Fehr has one as well: Fehr deals always get signed last minute.
Go on vacation, Fehr said, according to DiSarcina. Go do something else. The quicker you get out of shape, the more urgency there will be. They dont want to cancel the World Series.


Fehr likely believes the NHL won't want to cancel the season and as that looms, will increase their offer. I suspect he may be right.


We'll see.

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12-20-2012, 04:17 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post

Neither one is hockey's "steward."
Anyone in a position to dictate or influence the success and viability of the league has to be considered a steward of the league and that most certainly includes - but is not limited to - those guys.

And for all of our sake lets hope this era of hockey is remembered as having the worst stewardship because if there is yet a lower point forth coming for the league I certainly don't want to witness it.

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12-20-2012, 04:17 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Butch 19 View Post
Yes, he has to work with the most shortsighted PA in the business - a PA that thinks its members deserve to be paid MORE than all other sports, even though they make the least money...

Actually Fehr believes they should have a right to get paid free market rates and negotiate with whomever they choose.

I know that's not what leagues with their eye on ever-expanding (or over-expanding basically) want to hear, but it's really not a principle that any of us wouldn't want to have available to us either.


I mean, morally/ethically, which would you prefer for your services and skills? It's funny how that works though. This is a value everyone here would want for him/herself. It's just when we start arguing from the perspectives of the antagonists in these talks that we adjust our own value systems.

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12-20-2012, 04:18 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
Go on vacation, Fehr said, according to DiSarcina. Go do something else. The quicker you get out of shape, the more urgency there will be. They dont want to cancel the World Series.


Fehr likely believes the NHL won't want to cancel the season and as that looms, will increase their offer. I suspect he may be right.


We'll see.
He was wrong then, he could very well be wrong now.

He beat MLB with the help of a judge so I am thinking he's telling NHL players that the same will happen.

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12-20-2012, 04:18 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
Bettman doesn't represent the fans.

Fehr doesn't represent the fans either.

Bettman's job is to represent the owners, Fehr represents the players.

Neither one is hockey's "steward."

The teams are the ones who need to pay attention to the fans. They all have entire marketing and PR departments as well as PR firms to do that.
The fans should form a lobby group and demand the League appoint a true commissioner. Someone who looks out for the good of the game. Someone who is elected by the fans and paid by the NHL and NHLPA.

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12-20-2012, 04:20 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by copperandblue View Post
Anyone in a position to dictate or influence the success and viability of the league has to be considered a steward of the league and that most certainly includes - but is not limited to - those guys.

And for all of our sake lets hope this era of hockey is remembered as having the worst stewardship because if there is yet a lower point forth coming for the league I certainly don't want to witness it.

No, I don't think that has to be considered at all. You're saying that there is no self-interest just because you're in the position to influence something.

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12-20-2012, 04:21 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Canadian Guy View Post
He was wrong then, he could very well be wrong now.

He beat MLB with the help of a judge so I am thinking he's telling NHL players that the same will happen.

Do you even consider what you're saying here? He beat the MLB because they were breaking the law. Or have you crossed over to the side where it's okay for sports team owners to do as they please with no regard to the laws of the land, or the agreements they actually agree to sign?

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12-20-2012, 04:24 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Stix and Stones View Post
The fans should form a lobby group and demand the League appoint a true commissioner. Someone who looks out for the good of the game. Someone who is elected by the fans and paid by the NHL and NHLPA.

No league commissioners are not stewards in any sport. They all work for the owners.

Fans are often confused by this. Many of us think these commissioners are some sort of "public trust."

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12-20-2012, 04:25 PM
  #68
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As much as I do not like Fehr, I think he DOES care about the players. And I think that in of itself is the big problem: I think he cares more about getting the players as much as he can, than about the game itself. Some will say; well, that's his job. To which I say; yes, but it's also his job to work with the NHL to ensure the long-term viability of the industry that employs his union members. I think the 2nd part is what he is not doing too well.

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12-20-2012, 04:27 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
Replace "Fehr" with "Bettman" and it's more accurate.

How can people get angry at Fehr when you look at the guy sitting across the table from him? Seriously.
For me it's simple. I look at the NHLPA hardliners underhanded nonsense to run Kelly out and retake the union. They've wanted this rematch game of chicken since the last lockout.

Are the players so daft as to not realize that once the ran out Kelly and installed Fehr that the NHL was going to react. That they were going to go aggressive as opposed to the postings relationship they had with Kelly.

It's crazy to read posts arguing Fehr is only doing what's best for the players. No he is taking a certain strategic approach and the owners have responded. Kelly had a strong working relationship with the NHL and its highly unlikely he would have take this approach. Which would be better for the players is something we obviously will never know.

But the NHLPA hardliners hinted in the summer it could take 1-2 years to get the right deal. None of the stalling surprises me at all.

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12-20-2012, 04:28 PM
  #70
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
That's a fair point, and it applies to any pro sport. The business model changed drastically during the 1990s.

But again, do you think this will continue if the public continues to lose interest in baseball as a whole? World Series ratings are a pretty good barometer of how much people pay attention to the game when the home team isn't playing. It's pretty obvious that baseball is generationally fading away as the major national pastime and becoming more of a niche sport with a lot of support from a narrower demographic cohort.
That has the square root of fudge all to do with the health of the game. Local TV ratings have never been better; almost all teams are seeing long-term rises and hardly any MLB games are not televised in both markets. Following one single team is a job in and of itself, since the season is 162 games long. I'd argue that is largely responsible for the decline in national ratings for the postseason: people only time to get wrapped up in their team, once their team is out, nobody cares.

It's worth pointing out too that we've had a really bad run of crappy World Series: there's been only one 7-game series since 2002 and that 7th game did a 25 share nationally. It's been true forever that ratings rise the longer a series goes.

Attendance is still excellent, just a shade below the 2008 all-time high.

Furthermore, since I know you like your anecdotal evidence about how nobody in NC cares about baseball, I am from a market (SF) that nobody regarded until last year as one of America's top baseball markets and people are insane about baseball there. You see thousands of kids at the game, almost all of the little brothers and sisters in my social circle love the game...it's a way of life now in SF.

So we've probably finished with the World Series as a sporting event unsurpassed by anything but the Super Bowl. The Final Four, the NFL playoffs and maybe the World Cup are above it now. But I don't think that has happened at the expense of the long-term health of the game.

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12-20-2012, 04:32 PM
  #71
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I think anybody who thinks Fehr is running the NHLPA by diktat is ill-informed. Fehr is Marvin Miller's protege, and there are hundreds of MLB players from Miller's era who will tell you that the MLBPA was run as a democracy. Miller came in, educated the players on the issues, and they made the decisions. I have the utmost confidence that's exactly what Fehr does.

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12-20-2012, 04:34 PM
  #72
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In the sense that we are their customers and lifeblood, they should be in it for us fans to a certain point. No company survives by p!ss!ng on it's customers.
Drug dealers effectively do what you're saying to their customers and they thrive. Unfortunately, sports are our drug. The group supplying our drug of choice knows we're junkies that will come back for more no matter how much they smack us around and cut our coke with baking soda.

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12-20-2012, 04:36 PM
  #73
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No, I don't think that has to be considered at all. You're saying that there is no self-interest just because you're in the position to influence something.
I have no idea what this comment is referring to.

However, by the very definition of what a stewardship includes, I don't know how an argument can be made that the two people deciding on the financial framework in which the league will have to operate don't meet that description.

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12-20-2012, 05:29 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by copperandblue View Post
Anyone in a position to dictate or influence the success and viability of the league has to be considered a steward of the league and that most certainly includes - but is not limited to - those guys.
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
No, I don't think that has to be considered at all. You're saying that there is no self-interest just because you're in the position to influence something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
No league commissioners are not stewards in any sport. They all work for the owners.

Fans are often confused by this. Many of us think these commissioners are some sort of "public trust."
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue View Post
I have no idea what this comment is referring to.

However, by the very definition of what a stewardship includes, I don't know how an argument can be made that the two people deciding on the financial framework in which the league will have to operate don't meet that description.

Perhaps confusion over stewards of the game vs the league vs owner interests.

Bettman is indeed a steward of the NHL, as defined by the interests and positions taken by current owners, imo, and in that sense we're not too far apart other than my qualifier about present ownership.

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12-20-2012, 05:31 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by Butch 19 View Post
Bettman has been commissioner for 20 years.

How long has Fehr been involved with hockey, 18 months?
Sure, Bettman has been around for 20 years, and he's proven over that time to be the most destructive commissioner to his own sport in history.

If Bettman had the best interest of the game in mind, he wouldn't be siding with the hardliners and holding back a deal right now. Not to mention all the theatrics we've seen from him that have held back negotiations and galvanized the players in opposition.

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