Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/03/09 at 09:06 AM ET
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Slap Shots has learned that NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly and director of business affairs Glenn Healy met with ESPN executives earlier this year, with Bettman’s knowledge and authorization. We’re told ESPN, which did in fact treat the NHL like an unwanted stepchild while it was the league’s cable rights-holder, showed substantial interest in bringing the sport back to the network.
But that interest, which included an offer of a rights fee that was reported to the commissioner, has not been seriously returned from the league, at least not yet. Versus would have to relinquish its national cable exclusivity in order to strike a deal with ESPN. From what we’re told, NBC opposes a deal with ESPN because of ABC’s parentage of the cable network.
From what we’re told, Bettman places a fair amount of stock into what NBC thinks, though we cannot imagine why.
According to sources, the NHL made approximately $3 million last year out of its profit-sharing arrangement with NBC. That’s $3 million, total, or $100,000 per team. Not even Phoenix needs that, not when the NHL’s signature series is all but shut out by the NBC, not when there’s no ESPN to showcase it.
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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.
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