or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › NHL done deal
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

NHL done deal - Page 2  

post #31 of 567
I look at pro sports as a whole, including my beloved football...and it's just SO expensive and the players get paid SO much to play a damned game...what the hell do any of them have to complain about? LOL...

I wish I could get paid millions of dollars to bounce a damned ball! It's unbelievable. It really says a lot about a society and its priorities when you have teachers and nurses and other CRITICAL jobs like that where people barely make ends meet...but if I can play a GAME real well...I can be my own small country in no time!

I like college sports, especially football, a lot better, even though I'm hardly naive enough to think everything is clean and lilly white there. A pity college football is still stuck with BCBS instead of having playoffs like every other college sports does. But that's a topic for a different thread. ;)
post #32 of 567
Talk now is Spike TV is now interested in the NHL.
post #33 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaudot
The word is that there will be 10 teams from each conference making the playoffs this year, with 7vs10 and 8vs9 playing best of 3s for the final 2 spots in the next round.

Non necessarily a bad thing. Makes the top 6 spots very coveted, and keeps a lot more teams in it until the end of the year.
Thanks for the info. I'd heard someone floated this idea about expanded playoffs four years ago, but completely missed that they were reconsidering it now. Personally, as a longtime hockey fan from St. Louis, I'd prefer they stay with the 16 teams, even if the first round is a shorter series. Therefore, to borrow from kevin75:

NHL in HD = good
20 teams in playoffs = not good (really bad would be way too strong for me) :)
post #34 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkwjr
Talk now is Spike TV is now interested in the NHL.
Wow, whoopie. There's a Cadillac TV Station... :rolleyes:
post #35 of 567
NHL's big hole in the ice: A cable deal
Back in the game with a new players contract

By Sean Leahy medialifemagazine.com
The NHL and the players' association have agreed to end their 306-day lockout. Now hockey's big challenge is finding a new national cable TV partner.

Should it fail, the already battered sport may risk a slip into total oblivion, with fans already angry over the lockout and advertisers feeling burned by the canceled season.

In May, ESPN, which had carried the hockey league since 1992, declined an option worth a reported $60 million in rights fees for the 2005-06 season. The league does have a revenue-sharing broadcast agreement with NBC, but that is for only a limited number of games plus the Stanley Cup Finals. Most games are carried on regional sports networks such as FSN, NESN or YES.

"With exception of the broadcast networks, ESPN is like being in the cannon of legitimate sports events," says Bob Thompson, the director of Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University. "Losing ESPN is like you suddenly lost a major American seal of approval."

Neal Pilson, the former head of CBS Sports and now the president of Pilson Communications, tells Media Life he thinks the league will work out a cable deal.

"I know there are cable carriers that want to carry the NHL," he says. "I'm confident the league will have a national contract."

After months of worrying whether there would even be a 2005-06 season, the NHL can now turn its attention to getting that contract.

The agreement announced yesterday by the NHL and the NHLPA is a six-year deal that can be voided by the players after four years. It includes a salary cap of $39 million and a maximum salary that tops out at 20 percent of the cap, or $7.8 million. It also includes a minimum salary of $450,000 and limits on contracts for rookie players.

The two sides agreed to a complicated formula that guarantees the players 54 percent of defined league revenues, but holds 15 percent of it in escrow. The players agreed to a 24 percent rollback of existing salaries, a concession they initially offered back in December in an effort to jump start talks and save the 2004-05 season.

Additionally, rules changes are expected to be included in the deal that could make the game more exciting on TV. None have been announced yet, but they are reported to include smaller goalie equipment, restrictions on puck-handling, larger nets and possibly even overtime shootouts.

That could help get the cable contract. All hockey's competitor leagues – football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR and even Major League Soccer – have national cable TV deals. Meanwhile, sports networks like ESPN and FSN are finding that niche programming such as poker has cheaper productions costs and draws similar if not better ratings.

The NHL will have an even harder time reaching out to casual fans without a national cable partner. Hardcore fans will tune in to regional sports carriers, but casual fans will be harder to capture.

The exposure the league had to many fans on ESPN, which often led from the 6 p.m. "SportsCenter" right into an NHL game, will be difficult to reproduce.

"There a lot of people for whom ESPN is the default channel," says Thompson. "The fact [the NHL] was on ESPN brought you certain amount of viewers just because they're watching ESPN."

Pilson notes that the league makes more money from regional TV deals than from the national contact. So while securing a national partner for the NHL is important for exposure and the image of a big-time league, it will not translate to big revenue.

"I think it's an important broadcast outlet for the league," he says, "but could it survive without it? Of course it could."

Pilson says if a new deal emerges, it will probably include fewer games than ESPN carried in 2003-'04. It also will likely include a much lower rights fee or ad revenue sharing similar to the one the league has with NBC.

An ESPN spokeswoman tells Media Life that the network is open to a new deal with the league provided that both sides equally share any risk.

Calls to TNT and Spike TV, both rumored to be considering adding a new NFL Thursday night TV package to their lineups, were not returned.

A new deal could include coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals. Currently NBC is scheduled to air games three through seven, and ESPN was to air games one and two. Those first two games could shift to NBC or could be included in a deal with a new cable partner.
post #36 of 567
since when does YES carry NHL games ? It's only Yanks and Nets; Devils reupped with MSG/FSN during the '04 playoffs. I think they meant MSG instead...

and who are they kidding about the NHL going to miss ESPN ? How many years have passed since the Sunday night sportscenter actually showed more than 1 second of highlights from any NHL game ? Even with the lockout ending, how much time during the 1.5 hr sportscenter last night was devoted to the nhl, dare I say 5 minutes ? Don't even get me started on Gary Thorne (hated him when he broadcasted Devils games) and Bill Clement, plus the fact the ESPN2night would be shown no earlier than 2am, it seemed, during the season. It's a blessing the NHL is off of ESPN and maybe they can start anew on a better network. I'd like SpikeTV since it has no major sports on it, but there is no HD network with it. USA Network/Universal HD would be a great combo
post #37 of 567
On the other hand.....


ESPN: We'd Still Pony-Up For Pucks

By Ben Grossman & John Eggerton Broadcasting & Cable (--Anne Becker contributed to this report)

ESPN is still interested in hockey, and despite reports to the contrary, is still willing to pay a rights fee, just not the $60 million option it dropped last May for rights to the 2005-2006 season.

ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro told B&C Thursday that he has spoken with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and let him know ESPN would be willing to pay, but that the $60 million figure is no longer realistic.

NBC's NHL deal is a revenue-sharing model where it pays no rights fee, but Shapiro said he was not looking to pay nothing up front. ""That isn't the panacea, it just has to be something that reflects the situation."

And the situation is declining hockey ratings and a potentially diminished fan base.

The conversation with Bettman was prompted by the fact that it appears there will actually be a 2005-2006 season.

The league and players struck a deal Wednesday that paves the way for the puck to hit the ice after a lockout that canceled the last season and raised large flashing neon question marks about the league's future.

ESPN filled its hockey-less schedule with college sports and programming from its ESPN Original Entertainment department. That replacement programming commanded the same ratings as the NHL’s regular season and playoffs, and enabled ESPN to keep all its ad dollars previously committed to the NHL, Shapiro said back in May.

"I don't know exactly what we would pay yet," said Shapiro Thursday. "We are
looking into that, but it is definitely south of sixty million. But we
would pay a fee, at least it would give them something."

Back when it dropped its option, Shapiro said he would be willing to pay a "modest" fee, something under half the $60 million.

Shapiro said Thursday that the league will eventually be better for the lockout, but that in the near term "they are damaged and the rights fee has to reflect that."

Shapiro said Bettman "wants to do the deal we had on the table and that deal's not there anymore. We have a good relationship and when they are ready to talk about alternative models, we'll be right there."

But he didn't sound sanguine about his prospects of getting the rights. When asked whether the league would get its asking price, he said: ""Somebody will [pay], there's always somebody, whether it's Spike or someone else. Everyone said they have nowhere to go, but there's always somebody."

As for NBC, Sports and Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol says the network is "thrilled for the fans that hockey is returning to the ice, and delighted to be the network television partner of the NHL as it moves into what I believe will be an exciting new era."
post #38 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross in Toronto
I wonder how many cities in the US used the end of the lock-out as the lead hard-news story on the 6:00 news (as opposed to the sports news) and front page news in the papers like they did in Toronto...? I'm guessing one (Buffalo?). Did the end of the lockout make the non-sports news in places like Detroit?
Well, duh!

BTW, Bettman was interviewed on the Detroit sports talk station this afternoon, and they asked him whether there was any sort of cable deal in the works. He didn't name the principals, but claimed they were talking, and he was "not concerned" about whether they would be able to get a deal done.

He also made the statement that "all of our games are on DirecTV." Somehow I don't think that's quite true.... :p
post #39 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbb1226
Well, duh!
Glad to see Hockeytown is still Hockeytown!

My hometown is London, Ontario which is Red Wings territory. I have lived in Toronto since I was a kid, however, so I've been Maple Leaf-inated.

Ross
post #40 of 567
Ross in Toronto - it made page 1 of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
post #41 of 567
For NHL, Best Move Might Be ESPN

MIKE PENNER Los Angeles Times July 15, 2005

They wiped out a season, they wiped out more than 300 days, they wiped out a $60-million television contract with ESPN.

Now that the NHL appears to have gotten that pesky self-immolation phase out of its system, how does it go about picking up the pieces of its shattered national image and drag its scarred and battered face back onto television screens across America?

If it takes the advice of sports media analysts and experts, the league will go back to ESPN ASAP.

"I think there's certainly a likelihood that they will renegotiate their deal with ESPN," said Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports. "Perhaps at a lower number and probably with fewer games. That's a speculation, but I think ESPN2 is a perfect carrier for hockey, and I think it works for both parties."

Marc Ganis, president of the Chicago-based sports industry consulting firm Sportscorp Ltd., says the NHL has no other viable option.

"They have to go to ESPN," he said. "There really is not much of a choice here, not necessarily because of the money they'll make off the game broadcasts, but rather the promotional exposure that ESPN will offer across a broad spectrum of sports fans.

"At the moment, while the NHL is relaunching itself, that's much more valuable than an extra few million dollars a year. So I think they have to go back to ESPN and try to work out a deal with Mark Shapiro and hope that they can get a short-term deal like they did with NBC and not have to give up a guaranteed rights fee for longer than a few years."

At present, the NHL's only national television deal in the United States is with NBC, which plans to broadcast a smattering of Saturday games, mostly during the second half of the 2005-06 regular season. The league's contract with NBC calls for telecasts of seven regular-season games, six playoff games and up to five Stanley Cup finals games. The agreement does not involve upfront money, with revenue to be shared by the NHL and NBC.

ESPN declined to pick up its option for the NHL's 2005-06 season after the league canceled its 2004-05 season, but the network released a statement Wednesday noting that it "had a very good, long-term relationship with the NHL" and is "always open to listening to potential scenarios that have us both equally sharing any risk."

There has been speculation that the NHL might opt for a different cable outlet for its national broadcasts, with such names as TNT, USA Network and Spike TV being bandied about.

"I think this Spike TV [rumor] is kind of interesting," said Paul Swangard, managing director of the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, "but I still think they need an ESPN kind of deal just to contribute to the legitimacy of the property. … ESPN is arguably the legitimizing network of sport right now. They can even make poker seem relevant.

"And now the other dimension is HD," high-definition television. "And that's where ESPN comes into play again. They have two HDs, they have ESPN and ESPN2 both operating in HD.

"The NHL in '03-04 was running HD through Mark Cuban's HDNet, but that was just sort of novelty. I think now that ESPN has legitimate HD capacity, that to me is a marriage for both. It's compelling for the NHL to want to do a deal, and it's the best way to see their product on TV."

Other speculation had the NHL placing some national telecasts on one of NBC's cable properties, such as MSNBC or USA, but Pilson dismissed that possibility.

"I don't think [MSNBC] would be a terrific place to put hockey," he said. "I think hockey belongs on a channel where's there are a lot of young men [watching]. There are other channels out there that have that kind of viewership."

Pilson said USA's demographic "is not that compatible with hockey. They have an older, mixed demographic, men and women, mostly with entertainment programming. The sports they do have are golf and tennis, which is not the hockey demographic."

Spike has the type of demographic the NHL wants. "Spike's demo is the 31-year-old male," Pilson said. "But there's a question as to whether Spike is going to continue its format."

The NHL could go to a smaller cable network," Ganis said, "but they would significantly reduce their promotional exposure" compared with ESPN.

"This is one of those situations where the NHL is just going to have to bite the bullet. Bite the short-term bullet because of the long-term benefits. And they have some flexibility, with there being a pullback on player salaries, if their revenues are less than the $1.8 billion they're estimating."

Media analysts say any new NHL-ESPN deal will feature little or no upfront money to the league.

"I think ESPN has decided that what they want is a revenue-share deal," Ganis said. "And they hold all the cards right now."

Said Swangard: "I think ESPN knows that they have some negotiating leverage here. But I think from a general standpoint, this idea of revenue sharing … is not a bad way to do business. It's exactly what they just told the players they wanted to do, that we're going to try to grow this business together and if we grow the business, for every dollar we bring in, we'll give you 54 cents.

"I think that's just another way to reinforce this mentality that needs to be pervasive inside the league that, you know, we all have to be selling, and we all have to be selling together….

"At the end of the day, would I rather have an upfront payment? Absolutely. But I'm not sure hockey is in position to be demanding that type of activity. It puts the onus on the league to sell their product. And I think that is what they were expecting they were going to have to do anyway."

Ganis said that with the proper rule changes, improved marketing strategies and right television package, the NHL has a chance to reinvent itself.

"You know the old saying, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression?' " he said. "The NHL has one of those very rare opportunities for a second chance to make a first impression. At a terrible cost, but they have that opportunity.

"I am very eager to see how they take advantage of it."
post #42 of 567
post #43 of 567
I have to admit I got a good laugh out of that.
post #44 of 567
Love the pic REWJR. I have to agree with the news clip above. If they want to let everyone know that they are back and ready to play on ice, they need to be on ESPN. Just look at where the teams are located. Not really a national sport like baseball with a team in every corner of the country. ESPN would give them the ad space and National face they need. I have never seen a hockey game in HD but would love to have the opportunity.
post #45 of 567
Despite the abuse heaped upon us, Leaf fans still flock to the ACC (and in yesteryear, MLG) and pay a king's ransom to cheer our team on to glory (*).

In a perverse sorta way, perhaps a salary cap will increase Toronto's chances of wining that first Stanley Cup in this, the post-original six era. For the first time, Leafs GM John Ferguson will have to find some talent on a real budget (or the Leafs will have to find a more talented GM).

(* Glory in Toronto is defined as making the playoffs. We take what we can get.)
post #46 of 567
Not really a hockey fan, but a sports fan in general; for everyone's sake, I hope they "bite the bullet" as the analyst put it and take whatever deal ESPN offers them. In the earlier article Shipiro seemed willing to throw them a bone, they'd be idiots not to take it... aw, crap, looks like the NHL on Spike TV it is!
post #47 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross in Toronto
Glad to see Hockeytown is still Hockeytown!

My hometown is London, Ontario which is Red Wings territory. I have lived in Toronto since I was a kid, however, so I've been Maple Leaf-inated.

Ross
Only Chicago has gone longer than the Leafs between cups.
I was born in Detroit, my Dad in Huntsville, Ont, but we both rooted for the Leafs.
Its really sad how Ballard totally wiped out a once proud and winning team. And they haven't recovered since.

So return to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver, the Lone Ranger rides again!

Oh wait, that's not right,

"Hello hockey fans from Canada and the United States, its Hockey Night in Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing...."

Foster Hewitt at the mike, Frank Mahavolich, lw, Red Kelly, c, George Armstrong, rw, Horton, Stanley on defense and the grand old man between the pipes, Johnny Bower.
Yep, sixties were the decade of the Leafs.
Then came expansion after the '66-'67 season, the rookie year of one Robert Gordon Orr, and the Leafs would win no more.
post #48 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_arrows
aw, crap, looks like the NHL on Spike TV it is!
Actually, it may not be so bad to have the NHL on Spike. At the end of the game, instead of the Molson Three Stars we can look forward to Kenny Blankenship's Most Painful Elimintation of the Game.

Hey, Vic Romano and Kenny B. in the booth for play-by-play might actually work... Someone get me Bettman on the phone!

Ross
post #49 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by tombarry
Ross in Toronto - it made page 1 of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Actually, I'm surprised. Pleasantly, that is. Although the NHL's ratings may not be spectacular as sporting entertainment, I suppose it is sufficiently ingrained into American culture to still be noticed in places that aren't widely considered "hockey towns".
post #50 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross in Toronto
Actually, it may not be so bad to have the NHL on Spike. At the end of the game, instead of the Molson Three Stars we can look forward to Kenny Blankenship's Most Painful Elimintation of the Game.

Hey, Vic Romano and Kenny B. in the booth for play-by-play might actually work... Someone get me Bettman on the phone!

Ross
advantage of NHL on Spike: Danica presenting the pregame, postgame, and intermission shows!
post #51 of 567
post #52 of 567
How does Comcast obtain the national rights to televise a leagues games when it owns a team in that league? How do they try to keep it objective? Also whoud they make it available on D* and E*? As all displaced Philly sports fans know Comcast SportsNet Philly is NOT availble on Sat :mad: :mad: It could work from an HD standpoint though. Overall what's best for the NHL is still ESPN.
post #53 of 567
Since when has keeping sports coverage objective been of any interest to the leagues and broadcasters?
Fox owned the Dodgers and has part ownership of several other teams.
Comcast owns several teams.
Cablevision has the Rangers and Knicks.
Time Warner the Atlanta teams.
ESPN's rights deals with so many leagues and NCAA conferences make its objectivity very open to question.
And on and on.
Sadly, objectivity is a word that probably should never be used in the same sentence with sports and TV.
post #54 of 567
in local markets having ESPN vs Spike is irrelevant to the hockey fan if local TV rights again apply and there is regional broadcasting.

it is more crucial to determine if FoxNY/MSG for example gets broacast rights for "national" game in the local market and hence ESPN/Spike would be blacked out. In a way that would be GOOD regarding HDTV as local markets have spillover HD broadcasting unlike Spike TV and ESPN (which would never put NHL primetime anyways on ESPN-HD). So local blackouts would probably allow more short term HDTV games.

But that hurts the TV deal since "ratings" are effected dramatically. Hopefully the NHL will factor this and have a very flexible offering realizing it is still in the early stages of a "partnership" where HDTV is crucial.
post #55 of 567
I'd like to see HDNet get national HD rights for hockey with no local blackouts unless the local station is also doing HD.

My understanding is that the blackout rights deals were negotiated back in the day - now that they're doing a TV deal from scratch, there might be hope for some HD-specific language.
post #56 of 567
I sure hope Comcast doesn't get the NHL, there's no hope of Cablevision agreeing to carry a Comcast channel. Spike isn't in HD yet (why not ???), so a USA Network/Universal HD is our best bet
post #57 of 567
HDNET shouldn't get national HD rights for the NHL until all major carriers[i.e.Comcast]have deals to carry HDNET.
post #58 of 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa
Since when has keeping sports coverage objective been of any interest to the leagues and broadcasters?
Fox owned the Dodgers and has part ownership of several other teams.
Comcast owns several teams.
Cablevision has the Rangers and Knicks.
Time Warner the Atlanta teams.
ESPN's rights deals with so many leagues and NCAA conferences make its objectivity very open to question.
And on and on.
Sadly, objectivity is a word that probably should never be used in the same sentence with sports and TV.
Did Fox still own the Dodgers when the national rights to MLB were won by Fox? Cablevision and Time Warner dont have national contracts with any of the leagues they televise. This Comcast/ NHL rumored deal is probably the most clear cut example of conflict of interest(for lack of a better term) in televised sports. The only other I can think of off the top of my head is the relationship between ABC/ESPN and the Mighty Ducks

My main concern is my ability to see the games as a D* sub. Comcast is not exacly generous with its sports programming when it comes to dbs. I think this deal would be a HUGE mistake for the NHL. This is provided that any other national network is interested in broadcasting their games.
post #59 of 567
ESPN offers broadest exposure potential... but doesn't matter, 'cause no one watches it.

Best bet for NHL (most money potential) is "cable vs. satellite" battle over rights. Even then, it wouldn't generate much of a battle... due to ESPN note above: no one wants to watch it.

Don't think ESPN will get it. Ed Snider (Flyers owner and Comcast big-wig) said this in Sunday's Philly Inquirer:

"We will have another cable network other than ESPN," Snider said. "ESPN, in the last few years, didn't do a good job for hockey and, quite frankly, I'm glad they are gone. They tried to take advantage of us, and I'm predicting we will go in another direction."

Hmmm. I'm predicting Ed is PISSED, and when Ed gets pissed, things happen.

2 days later, we talking about Comcast making a bid for the rights. Ed has no comment. Hmmm.
post #60 of 567
"HDNET shouldn't get national HD rights for the NHL until all major carriers[i.e.Comcast]have deals to carry HDNET."

Mabey having HDnet carrying NHL in HDTV would force all the cablecos to carry HDnet ...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Programming
This thread is locked  
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › NHL done deal