Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/05/05 at 10:05 AM ET
Now that the NHL hoopla has died down, it's time for the painful truth. Hockey is still on its last breath as anything other than an Olympic sport. Sorry to break the bad news. Believe me, it's not the type of thing I'd want to hear either. But the fact is that without a national television deal, the NHL might not last past the next season. There's a few rumblings that ESPN is willing to carry some NHL games next season, but the network will only do a revenuesharing agreement or pay an extremely small rights fee for the product -- all the while continuing to reduce its NHL schedule in favor of college basketball and the NBA. In the end, it's doubtful this will happen because the NHL's administrators will be insulted by the offer and overplay their hand again, much like they did when they expected the public to go into hockey withdrawals.
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