Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Ian Thomas and Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Daily,
The NHL has signed a six-year partnership with MLBAM in which MLBAM and MLB’s overall media division will now operate the NHL’s digital operations, streaming services and NHL Network, according to multiple sources. The deal, valued at more than $1.2B over the course of the contract, will also give the NHL a 7-10% equity stake in MLB’s digital arm. MLBAM will take over operations of the websites of the league and its 30 clubs, all mobile applications, and its GameCenter Live streaming video service. The NHL had previously used NeuLion as its digital vendor for the past seven years.
MLBAM will also oversee NHL Network, moving the channel's HQ to MLB Network’s existing location in Secaucus, N.J. With the new deal, MLBAM will work with the NHL on programming and production, and pay the league approximately $100M a year in rights fees. The partnership will be formally announced during a conference call this afternoon hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL COO John Collins, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB President of Business & Media Bob Bowman.
WHAT: Media availability via conference call to coincide with announcement of a groundbreaking new partnership between the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 3:00 p.m. ET
WHO: National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman
Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred
NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins
MLB President, Business & Media Bob Bowman
via DJ Bean tweets,
Per a source, MLB's Baseball Advanced Media will take over NHL's web ops, apps, streaming video, etc. in 2016. Announcement tomorrow.
Baseball Advanced Media is a giant of sorts. Also does HBO Go, among other things. This is viewed as very good news for NHL.
Only real question is what working with a competing league will mean for NHL.
If you missed the release from NBC, read it here.
STAMFORD, Conn. -- July 27, 2015 – Coming off the second-most watched Stanley Cup Final on record, and the third-most watched NHL postseason in the last 18 years, NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 105 NHL regular-season games during the 2015-16 season, featuring 12 games on NBC and 93 games on NBCSN. The 105 regular-season games are the most ever scheduled across NBC Sports Group heading into a season. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.
Schedule highlights include:
from Anna Clark of the Columbia Journalism Review,
Tom Gage is a Detroit baseball writer who will be inducted this month into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the 2015 Spink Award winner, the highest honor in the field. (The New Yorker’s Roger Angell won last year.) Gage is due to give a speech this month during the lavish induction weekend in Cooperstown, New York.
Trouble is? He’s unemployed....
You’ve had such a long run as a baseball beat writer, including 36 years covering the Detroit Tigers. What’s changed in the business?
To me, the time went by very fast. We used to fly with the team, and now for the most part, you never fly with them, you’re never on the bus with them, and you don’t stay in the same hotels. It used to be that if you had an issue you wanted to discuss, you could talk it over on the plane. I played many a card game with (former Tigers manager) Sparky Anderson, and it was in those games of Hearts that I could see how quick his mind was. Nowadays, it’s very difficult to get close to the team.
It used to be that you didn’t have to rush out of the press box to write everything up. But now, with the internet, it’s not like you have a 6:30pm deadline. Your deadline is all the time. You can’t linger in the clubhouse or wait until after batting practice to speak with a player a second time. There’s less time to develop your sources, your relationships with players, and to just build trust.
Twitter has overhauled the industry. You always have to be monitoring it. It’s really made for baseball reporting.
thanks to Larry Lage for the pointer
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
SPORTSNET.CA: When did you know you wanted to call games?
Jim Hughson: Nothing was preordained. I went to university, didn’t finish a degree, went back to work in the radio business. I just wanted a job. Just moved around making $50 more a month where I went to.
When the opportunity came to move to Vancouver at a big radio station, I jumped at the opportunity and started working before I found out how much money I was going to make. I got the opportunity to fill in for [Canucks voice] Jim Robson. When he would do television games on Hockey Night in Canada, I would do the radio games. That was the first time I thought: This could be really cool. I like the idea of working in the winter and doing hockey games and play-by-play. I’d done some of that in junior. I also liked the idea of having the summer off.
SN: Does calling a championship make you nervous?
JH: I don’t think it’s a nervousness; it’s an awareness. There’s a real clarity, especially in the playoffs. You want to do a real good job; you want to know exactly what’s going on and not miss anything. It’s a nervous energy. You can feel it in the building; you can feel it in the teams. It’s not similar to playing, but there’s a real heightened awareness of what’s happening.
from Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter,
In hockey-mad Canada, TV audiences for NHL games are tumbling, thanks in part to cord-cutting and digital media.
It turns out the country's national game is hardly immune to a generational shift in overall TV viewing habits. "In our research, we noticed that for the NHL, as well as for other pro leagues, there is a migration to online and mobile at the expense of TV. I mean why not, we see that for many kinds of content," Kaan Yigit, president of Toronto-based Solutions Research Group, told the Hollywood Reporter.
For cable giant Rogers Communications, which last year threw CAN$5.2 billion (US$4.1 billion) at the NHL for the exclusive national TV and Internet rights to NHL game broadcasts in Canada over the next 12 years, the recent Stanley Cup playoffs began well, thanks to five Canadian NHL teams in action during early rounds.
But ratings slid in the final two rounds as Canadian teams fell by the wayside, according to Numeris audience data. An average audience of 2.39 million for the final round fell 12 percent from the average audience of 2.72 million viewers for the 2014 championship final round.
from Antony Bruno of Broadcasting & Cable,
Both aired in the same timeframe, with the NBA’s championship series running from June 4 through June 16 and the NHL’s games from June 3 through June 15. Both were aired on major broadcast networks, with ABC presenting the NBA games (along with ESPN) while NBC owned the NHL series (along with NBC Sports). And both best-of-seven series lasted only six games.
But the similarities end there. The NBA Finals massively outpaced the NHL Finals in terms of advertising revenue, generating over $220 million in estimated spending compared to the $43.6 million the Stanley Cup Finals attracted, which has implications both in terms of network revenue impact and brand advertiser effect.
The impact on the different networks airing these finals is striking. The NBA series contributed nearly 60% of ABC’s total advertising haul for the timeframe they aired. Meanwhile the NHL series contributed just over 17% to NBC’s ad revenue over their airing dates (yet was about 50% of NBC Sports’ revenue).
These figures will likely come into play when it comes time for the networks and the leagues to negotiate new carriage contracts. The NHL in particular has only recently returned to network TV after several years of cable banishment. While its advertising take looks paltry compared to basketball, baseball, and football playoffs, the NHL has seen an increase in revenue over the years. Last year was particularly lucrative as the Finals featured teams from two huge media markets—the LA Kings and NY Rangers. Whether relatively smaller markets like Chicago and Tampa Bay can continue the trend to NBC’s approval is a factor worth following.
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 22, 2015 – NBC Sports Group will provide its most comprehensive NHL Draft coverage ever this Friday, June 26, with an exclusive presentation of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. Coverage begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET with a 30-minute NHL Draft Pre-Draft Special on NBCSN. In addition, NBCSN will also provide live coverage of the 2015 NHL Awards this Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs – will provide streaming coverage of the 2015 NHL Awards and 2015 NHL Draft.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org