Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/11/14 at 12:55 PM ET
Surely strength is not the first word that comes to mind when describing the league’s historical relationship with big broadcasters. For years sports-TV pundits either teased the NHL or prayed for it. As it lost its relationship with ESPN — the sole entity possessing enough power to tell sports fans what to like and how to think, to dictate their tastes (such as they are) rather than follow them — hockey lost its footing in the sports mainstream. And ESPN seemed to bury the league out of spite. Lamentably, First Take will never take up Toews vs. Crosby, ESPN.com will never start a Winnipeg sub-site and Thomas Vanek will never sit down with Jim Gray to announce where he plans to sign.
It’s hard not to notice, though, that the NHL made its new bones by following the same blueprint that ESPN once used, albeit in a different business. The Worldwide Leader, which will clear an estimated $9 billion in revenue for 2014, came to best a field of broad networks at a game they had once dominated by owning a niche. The plan is perfectly logical: Make yourself utterly indispensable to a group of people, even a small one, and you can win. The big-tent days have probably passed. But here in our little igloo, it’s only getting hotter.
-Jack Dickey of Sports Illustrated where you can read more on this topic.
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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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