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NHL on TV after 2011 who should get the contract

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by la24philly, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

    May 5, 2003
    Let's start with the original question: Who or what TV company do you think should get the NHL after NBC / Versus contract is up in 2011?

    There are two separate partners here that may "merge". After all, Comcast will be the controlling partner in NBC and they also own Versus, which looks quite like the ABC/ESPN arrangement.

    So I think the question may need to be rephrased, in order to satisfy the business aspect of an NHL deal after 2011...

    What broadcast network wants a few NHL games, including the 1 January marquee NHL Winter Classic, as well as select Sunday afternoon, Conference Final and Stanley Cup Finals games?

    What pay-TV network wants an exclusive window for NHL games?

    The answer for the first question is farily simple: NBC. Their contract with the NHL has actually made NBC money. Specifically, the Winter Classic is the most watched NHL game. NBC has also received some decent ratings for their playoff games.

    The answer for the second question isn't as easy. Although there is a school of thought to have ESPN partner with the NHL, ESPN always has bigger fish to fry. The NHL is the marquee property on Versus. And there isn't going to be anyone else bidding.

    So I suspect that the NHL will end up extending with both Versus and NBC.
  2. Jimmy 440

    Jimmy 440 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2007
    ESPN or anyone but the NHLN ! Them and their expanded game blackouts ! I dread them when they do Flyers games.I get all Flyers games on CI & VS,but the NHLN blacks them out.
  3. pappy97

    pappy97 Icon

    Nov 14, 2009
    I don't care who, but I want the following requirements:

    1.) For broadcast regular season (And round 1 and 2 playoff) games, no matter what network, we need to bring back REGIONAL games of the week on Saturday or sunday afternoons. Not this one national game of the week where the network only wants to air the same 6 teams play each other. Don't want to air top teams in the west like the Sharks and Yotes all over the US? Fine. Then give those markets and other western markets that game on broadcast TV at 12 or 1pm pacific and open up out of market regional games on NHL CI like when the NHL was on ABC.

    2.) All cup finals games on broadcast TV (Or basically all playoff games AFTER May sweeps should be on broadcast TV, which is basically conf finals and cup finals). Cup finals is in June. A broadcast network can give up primetime every other day IN JUNE for it. What are they missing? Repeats of the Biggest Loser, the Bachelor, Two and a Half Men, and House? Come on.

    2a.) Winter Classic begins at 3:00pm Eastern (12pm Pacific) to get more western viewers. Now the argument is that even if you have a team in the West Coast who just came off winning 5 cups in a row, they won't be on the WC because "nobody is gonna get up to watch a hockey game at 9:30 am pacific on New Years day." Fine then, push it up a few hours. Screw college football.

    3.) It's an entire package for one family of networks. Not NBC with broadcast TV rights, Versus with cable rights. It's NBC Universal (NBC/USA/etc), Disney (ESPN/ABC/etc), Fox (FOX/FX/etc).

    4.) Needs to be guarantees related to promotion. For example, when the broadcast network in question gets the Super Bowl, they need to run ads for the "NHL on [network" on it.

    If ABC/ESPN family of networks can pull it off, fine. If FOX/FX/FSN's can pull if off. Hell even if NBC and the Universal family of networks can pull it off, fine.
  4. lokar

    lokar Icon

    Oct 7, 2006
    I think the NBC/Versus formula will continue because it makes sense for all parties. NBC is in the ratings dumpster these days so the gap between hockey and their regular summer prime time programming is not as large as for other networks, I would like to see NBC start airing some conference final games during the week though. Plus as others have said, they are making money with their no rights fee deal with the NHL. I am among those who don't want to see the NHL go back to ESPN, at least Versus shows every minute of playoff hockey they possibly can like SportsChannel (I got it as Prime Ticket back then) used to do in the early '90s. You will never see that kind of commitment from ESPN unless they go up to ESPN4, it is already rumored that ESPN3 would show a lot more soccer than they do now. Hockey would be buried on ESPN after baseball, basketball, poker and football and I don't remember their coverage being that great anyway.
  5. lman12

    lman12 AllStar

    May 23, 2007
    I would love to see the big FOX network return to the NHL. I know there is bad blood between Fox's Ed Goren and the NHL so it's a long shot at best that FOX recaptures the NHL.
  6. Xsabresx

    Xsabresx Icon

    Oct 8, 2007
    According to a conversation I had with an insider at ESPN, it will be back on there possibly as soon as the Versus deal is up.
  7. TANK

    TANK Icon DBSTalk Club

    Feb 16, 2003
    Since VS was the only network actually paying for American NHL rights, I don't see them losing the rights after 2011.

    Why would ESPN change it's mind and BID against VS for rights ? They don't need the NHL games to fill any programming gaps and NHL ratings are not high enough to warrant spending any money by bidding.

    I think Comcast/NBC/VS will just include the Sunday rights for the NHL games, Winter Classic and Cup Finals included in the VS bid . This way it looks like the NHL is actually getting paid for those rights instead of the current ad revenue sharing agreement they have today with NBC.

    So after 2011 nothing changes .
  8. pappy97

    pappy97 Icon

    Nov 14, 2009
    ESPN is probably still only offering a revenue-share deal with no rights fee just like it did when NHL jumped up and just like the NBC has now. The only difference is if the NHL would prefer to be on ESPN with revenue share or Versus with the rights fee.
  9. TANK

    TANK Icon DBSTalk Club

    Feb 16, 2003
    I doubt the NHL has any real interest dealing with ESPN, just too many negatives involved.

    Hard to imagine the NHL is just going to give up the $72.5 million they get from VS for a revenue share with ESPN.The NHL needs all the money they can get now, PHX is bleeding them dry big time.

    I doubt ESPN can give the NHL the same versatility in scheduling as VS can . Is ESPN going to put the NHL against Monday Night Football ? So do you go from two nights a week ( Mon + Tues with VS ) to just a single night with ESPN.Then what happens when you have NHL playoff games and a conflict with MLB games on ESPN ? Does ESPN choose MLB over the NHL games ?

    I know ESPN has more subs than VS, but honestly how people out are going to become NHL fans just because it's on ESPN ? Why didn't they become fans when the CUP finals are on NBC ? How many people are sitting in bars that are going to become hockey fans that didn't before when the Finals were on NBC in that same bar ? Just putting games on ESPN isn't the magic bullet to get new hockey fans.

    Like it or not Comcast/NBC/VS ( Ed Snider /Flyers ) are going to get that new NHL tv contract.They need and want the NHL.

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