Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Van Voris of Bloomberg,
A group of baseball and hockey fans can go forward with claims that the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball violate U.S. antitrust law in their control over television and Internet broadcast rights.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in New York today denied the leagues’ request to dismiss the suits, filed by subscribers to broadcasts of hockey and baseball games. The group sued the leagues; individual clubs; regional TV sports networks; Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable broadcaster; and DirecTV LLC (DTV), the largest U.S. satellite television provider.
The plaintiffs, seeking to represent other MLB and NHL viewers in a class-action suit, claim the practice of dividing live game broadcasts into exclusive territories, protected by local blackouts, is anti-competitive. They also targeted the sale of “out-of-market” packages only through the leagues.
Mike Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes discuss the financial value of NHL teams.
Watch below (autoplay is on)...
added 12:31pm, Found the story in case you would rather read than watch the video...
from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,
So why have the owners thus far cancelled 422 regular season games of the 2012-13 season, as well as the All Star Game, insisting on a new CBA that drastically reduces the amount of money (currently 57% of hockey-related revenue) that can be spent on player salaries?
The reason is because on the financial scoreboard, the league’s 30 teams have never been further apart.
Consider the two most recent team sales. In May, Tom Stillman acquired the St. Louis Blues, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, the lease to Scottrade Center, and a piece of the Peabody Opera House for just $130 million. One month later, the NHL approved the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan sale of its controlling interest in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns Toronto’s Maple Leafs (NHL) and Raptors (NBA), and the Air Canada Centre, for an enterprise value of $2.05 billion. We estimate the transaction placed a value of $1 billion on the Maple Leafs.
“If I was a company being courted by the NHL today, or if I was advising a company being courted, I would be concerned.” The current commissioner [Gary Bettman, commissioner since 1993] has three work stoppages under his belt.”
-Michael Neuman, managing partner for Scout Sports and Entertainment. More from Terry Lefton and Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal.
from Ross Marowits of the CP at the National Post,
Molson Coors says the NHL lockout has forced the beer company into the penalty box by reducing beer sales across Canada for its marquee brands.
The Montreal and Denver-based brewer said the financial impact of the nearly two-month labour dispute is difficult to tabulate, but the company’s most important cold-weather driver of sales has disappeared.
“Whether it’s people not actually physically going to the venues and consuming there, consuming in venues around the outlet before that, or indeed having NHL sort of parties at home, all of those occasions have disappeared off the map and you just can’t replicate them,” CEO Peter Swinburn said in an interview Wednesday.
The impact is more pronounced in Canada than in the United States and has particularly hurt sales of Coors Light and Molson Canadian.
from Susan Krashinsky of the Globe and Mail,
Following months of speculation, and last week’s announcement that the NHL had cancelled the first two weeks of play, sponsors and advertisers are now anxiously drawing up contingency plans in case more – or eventually all – of the season is compromised, for the second time in less than a decade.
“The big impact for us is, we really have to plan our media strategy down two tracks – with hockey, and without hockey,” said Duncan Hannay, Bank of Nova Scotia’s senior vice-president and head of marketing in Canada.
He echoes the discussions happening right now among national corporate marketing partners of the league, such as his company, as well as individual team sponsors and other advertisers who have bought time against what they thought would be televised hockey games drawing bulk audiences.
As the season is scaled back, or possibly cancelled, sponsors get those investment dollars back, Mr. Hannay said, but they also lose the valuable connection to the league that a functional NHL provides.
via Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal (paid subscription),
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman received almost $8 million in salary and benefits during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, according to the league’s most recent tax filing, up from a total compensation of $7.5 million the previous year.
added 9:50am, SBJ opened the link to all so you can continue reading if you desire…
from Maury Brown at Forbes,
All told, just 11 clubs were shown making an operating profit, according to the most recent valuations of the NHL. The “haves” fall into clear categories that make the challenges all the more daunting for the league: the Canadian clubs, and those with long, storied histories in large markets such as the Bruins, Red Wins, and Blackhawks.
In the meantime, the average value of a club in the NHL grew 5 percent to $240 million. But, concerns about the league salary cap which is 57 percent of league revenue, is creating problems across the league in places like Columbus, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix.
All of this sits against the backdrop of labor negotiations. With former MLBPA Exec. Dir. Donald Fehr now leading the union for the NHL’s players, there is deep concern that we are on the cusp of a work stoppage.
Having Fehr lead the players, in and of itself should not be a concern. What should be a concern is the model upon which the NHL is standing.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
With the left-wing parties in both the U.S. and Canada now pushing the politics of class warfare and division with some apparent success, it may be interesting to see if this has any impact, even though the salaries made by both parties in this struggle will exceed the average worker by a goodly margin.
To be sure the same lame duck U.S. franchises the last lockout was supposed to fix, the likes of Florida, Nashville, the Islanders and the others that are always on the receiving end of what little revenue sharing there is, are still the laggards. The league will somehow bring this up again but the main part of their argument is going to have to centre on how NHL players need to give them the same concessions the NBA and NFL players Associations did in their recent agreements. Not sure that’s going to resonate the same in this country as ‘let’s save the Flames, Oilers and Senators’ did last time but there will be some who will argue hockey players don’t deserve any more than the other two groups.
But with U.S. television ratings on the climb and revenues going up every year, to the point where the cap this year before the old CBA expires is going to be in the $70 million U.S. ballpark, it’s going to be pretty hard to cry poor and be believed.
NEW YORK (April 30, 2012) – The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs have benefited from the new broadcast format making every game available to a national audience in the U.S. for the first time. More than 60 million individual viewers tuned in for all or part of the first round on national and regional sports network telecasts. In the United States alone, more than 39 million individuals watched all or part of the first round either on NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, NHL Network or an RSN, and 21.2 million watched across Canada on CBC, TSN, TSN2, RDS, RDS2 and RDSI.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Now Collins has turned his marketing eye to the brooding, chauvinistic beast of Canadian hockey, where Hockey Night in Canada is the No. 1 brand and the NHL logo is fifth or sixth on the list. “We feel like the NHL was undervalued in Canada, there’s more here,” he says. “We have to respect what HNIC means, the way Monday Night Football means in America. But now there’s Football Night in America on Sundays, and it’s the best-rated program on national TV. Beats American Idol, The Voice, everything.”
If Canadian networks hoping to keep the NHL TV contract are listening, Collins is saying that things change.
“I see a lot of parallels between Americans and football and Canadians with hockey,” he says. “CBC wants as many Leafs games on Saturday night, because people watch them. Just the way ABC would have taken Dallas-Washington every week on Monday Night Football.” But this concentration has a downside come playoff time. “If the Leafs aren’t there for CBC, the Canadiens aren’t there for RDS, we can’t have Canadian fans turning off the lights, going to the cottage.
“How we change that is tell more stories, give more balanced coverage of the other teams around the league so people who are interested in that can have it. It’s not a criticism of our current partners. TSN does hockey as well or better than anybody. But you’re watching trade deadline day and they say, ‘Let’s talk about how the seven Canadian clubs are in the Rick Nash sweepstakes.’ I understand it, but as somebody responsible for the shield, it should be a unifying force in Canada, not a bureaucracy in a New York office.”
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.
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