Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/02/13 at 05:40 AM ET
from Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail,
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has one month to lock down the broadcast rights to Hockey Night in Canada for another decade. But with the asking price expected to double to $200-million a season, the country’s public broadcaster could be hard pressed to keep its 60-year lock on Saturday night hockey.
The CBC has exclusive negotiation rights with the NHL through August, but sources at BCE Inc. subsidiary Bell Media Inc. (which owns CTV and TSN) say the broadcast giant is anxious to step in if a deal with the CBC can’t be reached quickly.
But the league must step lightly – both broadcasters have reasons to let the NHL pass them by. “This isn’t a slam dunk for the NHL by any means,” one broadcast executive said. “It’s not as straightforward as someone might think.”
And there’s a new variable this time around that adds another level of intrigue – the league is interested in creating an exclusive Canadian broadcast on Sunday nights that could go to the broadcaster who is either outbid or passes on the Saturday night rights.
“Sunday night could make for a really nice property,” said Gord Hendren of Charlton Strategic Research, which tracks sports trends. “They’ve no doubt seen what the other leagues have done and see the potential for something that is exclusive.”
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