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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.

Suitors for US TV contracts

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08-06-2010, 02:24 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Suitors for US TV contracts

Puck the Media has a three-part blog on the history, pros/cons of various suitors that might want to sign for the next deal.

http://puckthemedia.wordpress.com/20...medium=twitter
Looking at NBC and Versus (post lockout)

Discussing the Comcast/NBC congolmerate
Will NBC get the 2014 Olympics?



http://puckthemedia.wordpress.com/20...medium=twitter
ABC/ESPN - history and projections



Part 3 coming on Friday

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08-06-2010, 02:09 PM
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http://puckthemedia.wordpress.com/20...-all-the-rest/

Part 3: Fox/FSN/FX; CBS/Turner Sports (TNT/TBS)

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08-06-2010, 06:05 PM
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kombayn
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The best situation for the NHL would renew the deal with NBC/Versus and have NBC show all 7 games of the Stanley Cup. Then cut a deal with ESPN2 for an exclusive double-header on Thursdays and resurrect NHL2Night. That way the playoffs and conference championships are shown on Versus & ESPN2. Get the ESPN exposure while still being the main focal point of Versus.

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08-06-2010, 06:19 PM
  #4
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Originally Posted by kombayn View Post
The best situation for the NHL would renew the deal with NBC/Versus and have NBC show all 7 games of the Stanley Cup. Then cut a deal with ESPN2 for an exclusive double-header on Thursdays and resurrect NHL2Night. That way the playoffs and conference championships are shown on Versus & ESPN2. Get the ESPN exposure while still being the main focal point of Versus.
I don't know if Comcast would agree to that. The conference championships are the big ratings get for Versus, losing half of that I don't know know if Comcast would pay anywhere near what they are paying now for the package. I also doubt in such a scenario the money from ESPN would make up of that loss from Comcast.

I don't see the NHL splitting the package as they can probably get more money for exclusive rights than to split them. The NHL's tv rights are all about the playoffs. The regular season games as part of the package carry little value. Thus probably exclusive rights to the playoffs will probably net more than splitting.

I could see Comcast agreeing to all 7 games on NBC, although the return would be more exclusive games on Versus in the playoffs.

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08-06-2010, 09:57 PM
  #5
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I don't know if Comcast would agree to that. The conference championships are the big ratings get for Versus, losing half of that I don't know know if Comcast would pay anywhere near what they are paying now for the package. I also doubt in such a scenario the money from ESPN would make up of that loss from Comcast.

I don't see the NHL splitting the package as they can probably get more money for exclusive rights than to split them. The NHL's tv rights are all about the playoffs. The regular season games as part of the package carry little value. Thus probably exclusive rights to the playoffs will probably net more than splitting.

I could see Comcast agreeing to all 7 games on NBC, although the return would be more exclusive games on Versus in the playoffs.
ESPN doesn't have any MLB postseason games. I don't see why the NHL can't do the same, and give them however many regular season dates they want, with VS still the exclusive playoff home. Or let them split the 1st 2 rounds (which VS has been unable to show in their entirety) between VS/NBC and ESPN and then give VS/NBC from the conferences finals on.

Then in the regular season we can have
VS - Mon & Tues
ESPN - exclusive rights on Thursday to compete with NBA on TNT
and then they can have Sunday nights on ESPN2 or something.

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08-07-2010, 12:17 PM
  #6
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Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
ESPN doesn't have any MLB postseason games. I don't see why the NHL can't do the same, and give them however many regular season dates they want, with VS still the exclusive playoff home. Or let them split the 1st 2 rounds (which VS has been unable to show in their entirety) between VS/NBC and ESPN and then give VS/NBC from the conferences finals on.

Then in the regular season we can have
VS - Mon & Tues
ESPN - exclusive rights on Thursday to compete with NBA on TNT
and then they can have Sunday nights on ESPN2 or something.
Sure, ESPN doesn't have post-season MLB coverage but they are willing to give it up. Look at it this way, during the MLB season (the summer), there is very little else for ESPN to focus on. Without MLB and Baseball Tonight, the cupboard would be awfully dry. There's only so much poker and softball to show On the other hand, during MLB's post season, ESPN has plenty of other things to focus on. College football is underway as is the NFL and the NBA starts up. Plus NASCAR's "chase" heads down the final stretch which is broadcasted on ESPN. There's much more to promote and show. The competition is much more fierce and that shows in MLB's post-season ratings. They no longer get the large bump like they used to.

So, in the end, it's hard for me to figure out where the NHL fits on ESPN. I don't doubt that ESPN has interest, but they have to find room. Your suggestion for Thursday nights for instance, doesn't work. ESPN airs college football every Thursday night for most of the fall. It's been a big ratings hit and I don't see ESPN dumping that for lower rated hockey. It really gets ugly in March when ESPN airs college basketball conference tournaments every night on all of their networks. Throw in the NBA and you have to shoehorn the NHL somewhere into that schedule. It won't be easy.

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08-07-2010, 03:42 PM
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College Football's regular season is over by the 4th week or so of the hockey season. They still have mid-Nov through March where Thursday's are pretty dry.

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08-07-2010, 10:22 PM
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the best way to grow the league is grassroots with the players going to door to door to ticket purchasers and so on.

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08-09-2010, 02:40 PM
  #9
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Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
College Football's regular season is over by the 4th week or so of the hockey season. They still have mid-Nov through March where Thursday's are pretty dry.
You are forgetting about college basketball. I meant to post college sports but posted football instead so my mistake. "Throwdown Thursday" runs every Thursday on both ESPN and ESPN2 during basketball season.

My point remains the same though. It will be hard to find a spot for hockey at ESPN. If the NBA has labor problems, that's one thing, but outside of that, nothing will be optimal coverage wise. I'm not sure how much broadcast time the playoffs could get fighting with all these sports.

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08-09-2010, 04:56 PM
  #10
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ESPN is gonna try to land the NHL. Its trending up and with possible impending labour problems in NFL and NBA, they risk having little live content while Vs. would further legitimize its position as a sports network.

NHL's timing is greate for this deal.

I think they should stay with Vs. to be honest. ESPN Iis a bloated pig IMO, as an outsider. They need their ass kicked a bit.

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08-09-2010, 06:48 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by Mwd711 View Post
Sure, ESPN doesn't have post-season MLB coverage but they are willing to give it up. Look at it this way, during the MLB season (the summer), there is very little else for ESPN to focus on. Without MLB and Baseball Tonight, the cupboard would be awfully dry. There's only so much poker and softball to show On the other hand, during MLB's post season, ESPN has plenty of other things to focus on. College football is underway as is the NFL and the NBA starts up. Plus NASCAR's "chase" heads down the final stretch which is broadcasted on ESPN. There's much more to promote and show. The competition is much more fierce and that shows in MLB's post-season ratings. They no longer get the large bump like they used to.

So, in the end, it's hard for me to figure out where the NHL fits on ESPN. I don't doubt that ESPN has interest, but they have to find room. Your suggestion for Thursday nights for instance, doesn't work. ESPN airs college football every Thursday night for most of the fall. It's been a big ratings hit and I don't see ESPN dumping that for lower rated hockey. It really gets ugly in March when ESPN airs college basketball conference tournaments every night on all of their networks. Throw in the NBA and you have to shoehorn the NHL somewhere into that schedule. It won't be easy.
That's why you put a Wednesday or Thursday Night double-header package on ESPN2 and bring back NHL2Night since ESPN2 doesn't have much programming except crappy college schools playing each other in basketball and football that people probably don't really watch and couldn't be switched to ESPNU anyways. Let ESPN2 offer their network as partner to show much emphasis on Hockey. I think it can work and to say Comcast wouldn't agree to it is dumb, competitors agree to deals all the time with each other and sports split their packages up also so other companies don't get much say in the matter. Look at the NBA TV contracts ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports own two different contracts from each other. They had to agree on the playoff parts of the package.

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08-09-2010, 09:13 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by kombayn View Post
That's why you put a Wednesday or Thursday Night double-header package on ESPN2 and bring back NHL2Night since ESPN2 doesn't have much programming except crappy college schools playing each other in basketball and football that people probably don't really watch and couldn't be switched to ESPNU anyways. Let ESPN2 offer their network as partner to show much emphasis on Hockey. I think it can work and to say Comcast wouldn't agree to it is dumb, competitors agree to deals all the time with each other and sports split their packages up also so other companies don't get much say in the matter. Look at the NBA TV contracts ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports own two different contracts from each other. They had to agree on the playoff parts of the package.

any espn programming outside of MLS and WNBA would beat the NHL in ratings.

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08-10-2010, 02:13 PM
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Unless ESPN offers something out of this world, I'd go with Versus. The question, does Versus share with ESPN? That, to me, would be dependent on whether or not Versus was willing to share, but if the NBA and NFL drop a season, and ESPN is desperate for content, then sure, let overflow content that Versus doesn't have enough bandwidth to show head over to ESPN.

I get that ESPN has a reach and credibility that Versus doesn't, BUT, the game-changer is the new ownership of Comcast. Comcast brings resources and what many business commentators have said is a hunger to challenge ESPN's dominance, so it's a marriage made in heaven for Comcast to bring their considerable resources to bear as part of their determination to grow hockey as a way of putting Versus up on par with ESPN. It would be in Comcast's own interest to push hockey in new markets and give it credibility and buy-in across the US, and they've got the cash, cable-viewers and NBC all in their toolbox.

Thinking long-term, from the NHL's point of view, helping build a credible alternative to ESPN only helps, if the NHL went to ESPN and saved their dominance, then when the NBA and NFL returned, then hockey would be relegated to an also-ran again, and once again, would have no viable alternative to turn to.

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08-10-2010, 05:44 PM
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I wonder if the NHL would try to bring in a station like Spike TV for NHL games too. To me that would be an ideal match since Versus & Spike now share UFC right now.

NBC: Game of the Week, Winter Classic, Stanley Cup Finals
Versus: Keep their package.
Spike TV: Wednesday Night Exclusive Double-Header

Now that would be ideal wouldn't it? Comcast & Viacom working together would be something different.

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08-11-2010, 11:57 AM
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The NHL needs to sign a 3 yr deal with NBC/Versus once the comcast deal is done.

The NHL gets 150 mil per year for rights fees..also gets a percentage of revenues pending on how the ratings go.

maybe talk to the Fox Sports Affiliates to host a 30 min NHL Highlight show every night or some sort of weekly highlight show once a week for an hour.

it would be better if they could get Versus to simulcast HNIC instead of NHL Network.

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08-11-2010, 12:56 PM
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The NHL NEEDS to be have more than one TV contract. Every other major sport has at least two. It will help legitimize the league.

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08-14-2010, 09:50 PM
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any espn programming outside of MLS and WNBA would beat the NHL in ratings.
So? Any NHL game on Versus would equal or beat any NHL game on ESPN2.

Been there. Done that. Ratings sucked. No growth. Big declines year over year. NHL mocked. NHL dumped. End of story.

And after all that, you want the NHL to go back crawling on their hands and knees? Seriously?

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08-14-2010, 09:52 PM
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The NHL NEEDS to be have more than one TV contract. Every other major sport has at least two. It will help legitimize the league.
The NHL was never less "legitimate" than when it was on ESPN2. The league only served as a nightly punchline on SportsCenter.

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08-14-2010, 10:12 PM
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Something has to change. If im not mistaken you cant get Versus everywhere in America. That should be a sign that it has to go. As for ESPN not having room for the NHL, dont forget that they own ABC so they can put games on there too. ESPN2 would even be better than Versus in my opinion. The NHL shouldnt be on a channel that shows Pro Bull Riding D league basketball and D III college football. The NHL needs better exposure on ESPN. If they give them the contract I guarantee you'll see more highlights and discussion on Sportscenter. Even if if its just a few games a week it would be awesome to see. You always see some anchors on ESPN talk about hockey. Im sure Steve Levy or Neil Everett would love to host a hockey show on ESPN2. Just my opinion.

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08-15-2010, 12:44 AM
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Something has to change. If im not mistaken you cant get Versus everywhere in America.
It's available. You may just have to change providers.

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08-15-2010, 12:57 AM
  #21
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It's available. You may just have to change providers.
Or pay for a higher programming tier.

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08-15-2010, 01:23 AM
  #22
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dont forget that they own ABC so they can put games on there too.
Umm...no, they can't. Over the air rights and cable rights are completely separate. You don't see ESPN putting Monday Night Football back on ABC because "they own it and can," do you? Nor have you ever seen an MLB game on ABC under ESPN production.

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08-15-2010, 01:52 AM
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My mistake.

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08-15-2010, 06:24 PM
  #24
frivolousz21
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So? Any NHL game on Versus would equal or beat any NHL game on ESPN2.

Been there. Done that. Ratings sucked. No growth. Big declines year over year. NHL mocked. NHL dumped. End of story.

And after all that, you want the NHL to go back crawling on their hands and knees? Seriously?

the product was crap.

I have a hard time believing versus in 25 mil less homes..or more..would get higher ratings then ESPN2 right now

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08-15-2010, 07:56 PM
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The NHL was never less "legitimate" than when it was on ESPN2. The league only served as a nightly punchline on SportsCenter.
I never said that the they should go back to ESPN, just that the league needs more than one television contract. If you can't see the rationalization in that then there is no help for you.

For the record, being back on ESPN wouldn't hurt. That said, if it becomes ESPN or Versus, I think they should stay where they are... just so you know where I stand.

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