Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/28/13 at 11:45 AM ET
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
There is some disagreement over the details of how it all happened, but a lot of people connected to the negotiations for the new Canadian NHL television contract think it was a question of attitude as much as the dollars behind the NHL’s decision to dump BCE Inc. and TSN for Rogers Communications Inc. and Sportsnet.
Separate sources say when negotiations opened between the NHL and TSN to extend its contract for the broadcast rights in Canada, executives from the all-sports cable network and its parent company could have showed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman a little more respect. Instead, sources say, the message delivered to Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly was TSN carried the NHL’s water for many years and the network was prepared to pay only so much to carry on the relationship – so the league should sit down and sign a contract.
For example, sources say, BCE president and chief executive officer George Cope never became involved in the negotiations. At the same time, Rogers president and CEO Nadir Mohamed played a “very” important role in the talks, according to someone close to Bettman. Those who know Bettman say he has a keen idea of how important the NHL is to certain businesses and markets.
Also, Bettman takes a dim view of those who do not share that view – especially those who are supposed to be partners of the league.
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