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San Jose Sharks attempting to renegotiate TV deal, with Gary Bettman’s help

The Mercury News's Tim Kawakami retweeted this at 11 PM EDT, and this qualifies as late-breaking blockbuster news of a sort. The Mercury News's Mark Purdy reports that the "rebuilding" San Jose Sharks have a very large problem that's harming their off-ice viability:

Simply put, the Sharks' local television contract is not acceptable to them. They think it stinks. Stinks so bad, in fact, that it could affect the team's long-term ability to stay in San Jose and the Bay Area.

This has nothing to do with the departure of popular television analyst Drew Remenda, which was made public Tuesday. That's unfortunate, but comparatively small potatoes.

How serious is the concern over the Sharks' television deal? I have learned and confirmed that National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman has taken the extraordinary step of personally intervening in the matter. Bettman has contacted high-level honchos at Comcast corporate offices in Philadelphia to see if the Sharks' local television deal can be reworked. Comcast is the parent company of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, which broadcasts Shark games. So far, the Bettman talks have not been fruitful.

Here's the issue: The Sharks' local deal pales compared to most other NHL teams. The team is in the middle of a long-term contract with Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area that yields the Sharks $7 million per season. And it has 14 more seasons to run.

Purdy continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, san+jose+sharks

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All Sharks games are blacked out in San Francisco/North bay if you don’t have Comcast (which I don’t). Even when the Sharks play on the East coast the games are blacked out. The Sharks games are blacked out on the NHL center Ice package! The league seems to think its great to keep avid fans from seeing the games in order to maintain Comcast’s monopoly. Comcast has consistently ranked lowest in customer opinion polls for years, one year they even paid their employees to pose as customers in those surveys to fudge the results (and they still came in second to last!). Comcast’s monopoly keeps fans from watching Sharks games (I’ve haven’t seen a single Sharks game on TV since I put Comcast on the S=#t list 6 years ago).

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 06/18/14 at 12:11 AM ET

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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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