Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/01/13 at 05:28 PM ET
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Great moments in unintentional comedy, Rogers wonk Keith Pelley insisting his company’s new $5.2-billion TV deal with the NHL won’t affect its journalistic standards.
I, for one, believe him. Then again, I believe Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix have been living in the south of France for the last 40 years and have their own band.
And finally, you wonder if Gary Bettman will acknowledge the debt: The NHL commissioner and his league owe their financial success to Canada’s insatiable appetite for hockey.
The new Rogers mega-deal emphasizes that point with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but it also raises some profound questions. Almost certainly, Bell Media, TSN’s parent company, which was shut out of the new contract, will begin clamouring for a second franchise in Toronto. You might say they’re owed.
TVA, which is owned by Quebecor, also overpaid greatly for the French-language rights, and that’s being interpreted as the first step towards a new franchise for Quebec City.
With the Rogers deal, Canada and its seven franchises will represent almost half the league’s overall revenues next year. That number would also grow exponentially with new teams in Toronto and Quebec.
read on plus some Canucks and Team Canada goalie talk...
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