Kukla's Korner Hockey
Earlier today the NHL announced a deal which will allow games to be broadcast in the Nordic region of Europe. David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail looks closer at that deal, and provides a bit of background:
The problem started when the NHL, figuring it could make lots more money from European television, did not renew its deal with ESPN America when it expired after last season. The U.S. cable television giant was the only carrier for all European countries.
Instead, the NHL formed a partnership with two companies, Medge Consulting and Advisers Media International. Neither company owns television networks or stations but both were to act as third parties selling the NHL rights in Europe, Africa and the Middle East to a variety of television networks.
This meant the NHL went from a single outlet in those regions, ESPN, to different outlets in almost every country, which also meant negotiating multiple deals. Naturally, the process dragged on and now only the Nordic countries have the games on TV and other European and Russian fans are steaming.
via Slam Sports:
NHL hockey teams need to keep an eye on Canada’s changing demographics, as new immigrants and an aging population boost the popularity of games such as soccer and baseball, the Conference Board of Canada said in a report.
It is the latest in a Conference Board series called Playing in the Big League, which looks at what it takes for a professional sports team to make money.
All professional sports leagues need to be aware of how demographics and consumer tastes are evolving in their markets, the report said.
From Tom Van Riper at Forbes:
Forbes estimates that league wide revenue grew 29% from 2006 to 2010, to a total of $2.93 billion. That trend would put the league on course to meet Commissioner Gary Bettman’s post-lockout goal to surpass $3 billion. Lacking NBA or MLB-type cable money, NHL clubs fuel a big chunk of their growth both at the gate and through a digital strategy that has yielded increasingly popular content on NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL Mobile.
“We felt we needed a halo on top of the local markets,” says John Collins, the NHL’s Chief Operating Officer. Charging $169 for the season to give fans access to any game on any night, the league’s subscription fees and ad sales from its digital business now account for 60% of national revenue (that money secured by the league over and above individual franchise revenue derived locally). “Over the past five years we’ve transformed ourselves from a licensing company into a media company,” says Collins of the NHL’s decision to build out its own media platforms itself instead of simply licensing the rights.
Hockey fans could see modifications around the goal net before the puck is officially dropped on the 2011-12 NHL regular season.
The NHL Board of Governors met in New York on Tuesday and received conditional approval for the use of the verification line; a three-and-a-quarter inch line that sits behind the goalline.
The Board also received conditional approval to use thin mesh along the top of the net and a plastic skirt along the bottom.
From Nicholas J. Cotsonika at Yahoo! Sports:
He wasn’t rattling a saber as he said it. He wasn’t banging a fist on the table. He was calmly answering a question with a matter-of-fact statement. Still, with the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association expiring one year from today, he spoke volumes.
“The players made an awful lot of concessions in the last agreement,” NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said over breakfast recently in a Manhattan hotel. “It’s pretty hard to see them being willing to do that again.”
According to reports, the Dallas Stars will file for bankruptcy and sell the club at an auction.
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that owner Tom Hicks’ plan to file for bankruptcy—as early as Wednesday—as a means to start the auction process has been approved by the majority of the team’s creditors, according to a source familiar with the plan.
It is expected that once the Stars enter into the auction phase, investor Tom Gaglardi, chairman and chief executive officer of Sandman Hotels, Inns & Suites, would be the lead bidder for the team, according to the story. Other potential buyers could then make bids until a final price is reached.
NEW YORK (September 12, 2011) ─ The National Hockey League® (NHL) today announced that American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has renewed as League partner in the United States in the automotive category. The three-year agreement includes returning participation and activations at NHL events, such as NHL Winter Classic and NHL All-Star Weekend, with increased presence around NHL Awards and NHL Draft.
Honda will return as the presenting sponsor for the NHL SuperSkills event and NHL All-Star MVP Award for the next two NHL All-Star Weekends that are held in the U.S., through which Honda will receive exposure via in-ice placements, dasherboard branding, in-arena spots, and presence at the accompanying fan festivals.
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
The victors go the spoils; to the losers go the high draft selections and subsequent years of rebuilding. That’s how it works in the NHL. For the most part.
ESPN.com published its NHL “organizational rankings” for 2011 this week (insider sub. required) in which Grant Sonier, a scout who most recently worked with the Atlanta Thrashers, evaluated the depth of talent for all 30 teams.
read on for Wyshinski’s look at those ESPN’s rankings. (For starters, Florida is #1 and San Jose is #30…)
From Neil deMause at Slate:
Even so, there’s a good chance this will mark the fourth straight year that Major League Baseball has seen ticket sales slide after a record year in 2007. You can’t blame it on steroids, either. NFL, NBA, and NHL attendance have likewise dipped over the last three years.
The obvious culprit is the sinking economy: Lose $4 trillion in spending power, and at least a few consumers are going to save by watching games at home in hi-def. Yet as the economy lurches back to its feet, there are signs that the sports ticket bubble will continue to deflate. That could have far-reaching effects on ticket prices, competitive balance, and the very existence of the major pro sports leagues that aren’t the NFL.
Sports leagues’ ticket woes aren’t always visible to the naked eye. According to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index, three of the four major leagues saw average ticket prices rise last year. (The NBA, which cut prices by 2.3 percent, was the exception.) These figures, though, only take into account the face value of tickets.
From Jeff Marek’s The Sheet at Sportsnet:
So let me get this straight: Front loading a contract that includes dead years at the end where the player has zero intention of playing (Ilya Kovalchuk) for cap relief was a violation of the “spirit” of the salary cap, yet trading for a player with zero intention of him ever playing (Trent Hunter) with the sole purpose of buying him out for cap relief isn’t?
I know they’re different, but at the end of the day there are still plenty of ways to get around the salary cap in the NHL and New Jersey, it seems, has tried all of them. Interesting too when you consider that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello helped craft the current CBA. New Jersey has four players on the books this season with buyouts: Andrew Peters, Trent Hunter, Colin White and Jay Pandolfo.
plus more odds and ends from the hockey world
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.
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