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Category: Hockey-Broadcasting

A Look At Elliotte Friedman

from Marty Klinkenberg of the Globe and Mail,

Ten years ago, Ron MacLean and Elliotte Friedman gathered in a hotel room in Raleigh, N.C., to swap stories about the broadcast business and the NHL all-star game they had covered together that day for CBC.

Over a beer or three, MacLean told Friedman he didn’t know how much longer he was going to stay on as the host of the iconic television program Hockey Night in Canada.

“I told Elliotte I would keep the chair warm for him until he was ready,” MacLean recalls.

Friedman, who had dreamed of such an opportunity earlier in his career, dismissed the idea.

“They’re not looking for someone like me,” he said modestly.

He was self-deprecating then and remains unpresuming today. That is the part of the charm that has won him legions of followers. There is a folksiness – similar to the enduring MacLean – that draws viewers in. The difference between then and now is that he has fine-tuned his approach.

continued

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HBO Max Has No Plans For The NHL Next Season

via Ben Munson of Fierce Video,

Despite securing streaming rights as part of its new deal with the NHL, WarnerMedia doesn’t have plans to put live hockey on HBO Max this year.

However, CEO Jason Kilar, speaking today at a MoffettNathanson investor conference, said NHL content on HBO Max is absolutely something that could happen down the road a little further. He added that when his team built the new HBO Max platform, it made a conscious decision to not just design it around on-demand programming.

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The Latest On Wayne Gretzky As A Studio Analyst For TNT

from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post,

ESPN is out on Wayne Gretzky, paving the way for The Great One potentially going to TNT as an analyst for its NHL studio coverage, The Post has learned.

Gretzky’s role with Turner would be akin to Charles Barkley’s on Inside The NBA. If a deal is done, Gretzky, 60, is expected to command in the $5 million per year range, according to sources.

Even in a time when ESPN/ABC is trying to make many of its broadcasters’ contracts more reasonable, it was willing to go to the $2 million range for Gretzky, sources said. The bidding, though, has now gotten too high and ESPN has decided to bow out.

continued

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On The Move To ESPN

from Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times,

“It’s the right decision because ESPN is the biggest sports platform in the United States, probably the world,” Zadorov said. “It’s definitely a step forward for us to sell the game. We’re going to bring more people, more population to watch [us]. And it’s a big step up with the money as well for us, which is going to help us in the future with the next [collective-bargaining agreement].”

The money is undoubtedly the biggest positive from a league-business standpoint. The NHL will net $645 million annually from ESPN and Turner, plus another roughly $400 million annually from its ongoing Rogers/Sportsnet contract in Canada. It previously received less than $300 million annually from its contracts with NBC and Disney (for online streaming).

The increased TV revenue will balance the books after a devastating financial year and help the salary cap rise again — although that isn’t expected for another year or two.

“It’ll be good to get some freshness after the year we all had with COVID and everything,” Hawks forward Brett Connolly said. “It’ll be different, but hopefully it’s an advantage, which I think it will be.”

more

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ESPN Courting Wayne Gretzky

from Sean Shapiro of The Athletic,

When it comes to luring big-name talent for its hockey coverage, ESPN is taking a shot at the biggest name in the sport’s history.

ESPN has approached and pitched Wayne Gretzky about a broadcasting role, according to multiple sources. Whether Gretzky, an alternate governor for the Edmonton Oilers, is interested is unknown, but at this point ESPN hasn’t been given a “no.”

It’s been believed that ESPN wanted to take some big swings when it came to adding hockey personalities whose names held Hall of Fame value from their playing careers. Bringing in hockey’s universally known all-time leading scorer would certainly fit that ambition.

continued ($$$)

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Some Hockey Broadcasting News

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Turner Sports And The NHL Are Now Broadcast Partners

via the NHL PR department,

TNT to Crown Champion with Stanley Cup Final and Extensive Stanley Cup Playoffs Coverage; Rights to Up to 72 Exclusive Live Regular Season Games, Including NHL Winter Classic Each Season

Comprehensive Agreement Also Highlighted by Live Streaming Rights; Expansive Digital and Highlight Rights for Bleacher Report and More

Turner Sports, a division of WarnerMedia, and the National Hockey League have reached a multi-faceted, seven-year agreement set to begin with the 2021-22 season, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, Chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. This historic multimedia rights agreement will bring the Stanley Cup Final and Stanley Cup Playoffs to TNT and TBS for the first time, along with providing Turner Sports rights to up to 72 regular season games and the NHL Winter Classic each season.

Continue Reading »

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The Latest On The Broadcasting Deal With Turner Sports

from Brian Steinberg of Variety,

NBCUniversal has decided to cap a 16-year relationship with the National Hockey League, according to two people familiar with the matter, walking away from negotiations with the league, which is poised to triple the rights fees it collects from media companies with a new deal for a package it will launch with AT&T’s Turner Sports.

Turner will share overall rights with Disney’s ESPN, which struck a seven-year deal with the NHL in March that will give it control over a larger share of national games and other NHL properties. All told, these people suggested, Turner is likely to pay around $200 million a year for its NHL package, and ESPN is believed to be paying around $400 million — compared with the $200 million per year that NBC was paying the league for sole control of TV rights.

Turner and NBCU declined to make executives available for comment. An NHL spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment. The aforementioned decisions have yet to be finalized these people cautioned, and could still change. Sports Business Journal previously reported some of the details.

An NHL rights deal would represent the most significant expansion of Turner’s sports portfolio in some time. Turner shares control of rights for NCAA March Madness with ViacomCBS and NBA rights with ESPN. The WarnerMedia unit recently renewed a deal for a package of games from Major League Baseball and has been working to build out its own celebrity golf tournament called “The Match.” But with parent AT&T looking to pare down its debt, Turner has not been expected to be a buyer of big sports packages in the recent past.

Sports observers will want to see if a Turner deal with the NHL comes with any sort of streaming rights for HBO Max, the streaming video hub which has become one of AT&T’s top business priorities. 

continued

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Goodbye NBC Sports Group

from John Ourand and Mark J. Burns of Sports Business Journal,

NBC has officially pulled out of the bidding for the NHL’s second TV package, according to U.S. and Canadian sources. Next season will now mark the first time since the '05-06 campaign that the network will not carry any NHL games. NBC would not comment on this story.

continued, the article is supposed to be free to read but at this point it is not, I will keep an eye on it.

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Report- NBC Sports May Not Be A Part Of The NHL Next Season

from Anthony Crupi of Yahoo Sports,

While neither the WWE nor Peacock are willing to disclose how many new subscribers signed on to the OTT platform in the run-up to WrestleMania 37, Nick Khan on Thursday seemed happy to spill the beans about at least one other aspect of Comcast’s sports-media business.

Speaking to analysts during the WWE’s first-quarter earnings call, the president and chief revenue officer of the House that McMahon Built suggested that NBC and the NHL are poised to go their separate ways. In a response to a query about how the shuttering of NBCSN might lead to a scheduling boondoggle for USA Network, Khan said a coming regime change would eliminate any overlap between wrestling and hockey.

“It’s our belief that NBC and the NHL are not going to continue to be in business together,” Khan said, before adding that the remainder of the rights package that was not snapped up last month by ESPN would go “to a new suitor.”

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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