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What Happened With TSN?

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.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tsn


Hootinani's avatar

Render unto mini-Caesar that which is mini-Caesar’s

Nothing Bettman does is “not about money”

Posted by Hootinani on 11/28/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Also, Bettman takes a dim view of those who do not share that view

....you mean kiss his ass…..

Happy Thanksgiving Gary shut eye

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/28/13 at 12:33 PM ET


Nothing Bettman does is “not about money”

Exactly.  As evidenced by the massive amount of money he took to give the rights to the *#$%@& of Canadian broadcasters.

Posted by Garth on 11/28/13 at 12:39 PM ET


I would be it means more Cherry, but the great thing is that you don’t have to listen to him at all.

Posted by Garth on 11/28/13 at 12:53 PM ET


Love him or hate him, Gary is a master negotiator. With the new CBA, new owners for troubled franchises, record TV ratings in the US and Canada, the NBC deal and now the Rogers deal, there is no question Gary Bettman is at the top of his game. As a hockey fan, I am very happy the league is prospering and growing.

Posted by timbits on 11/28/13 at 01:32 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

No more Coach’s Corner?  NOoOooOo!

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 11/28/13 at 02:54 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Why should we expect anything different from the Evil Troll.

With expansion and his new rules, the game itself is so fuched up he’s lucky anybody wants to broadcast it.  This deal for Canadian TV rights makes it much clearer to me why ESPN is avoiding the NHL ... they hate Bettmen as much or more than we do.

You think he dissed TSN in all of this ??  He royally screwed CBC (the canadian equivalent of PBS) and has put a 60+ year tradition into total chaos.

For those that didn’t see the interview of CBC’s CEO after the broadcast rights decision was made, lets just say he was guarded and artificially optimistic.  While he was sounding positive about still having hours of hockey to broadcast without the financial burden of having to hire, coordinate, and pay production crews, on-air talent etc., we all know CBC is going to get royally screwed when it comes to game choice.

Whether Hockey Night in Canada survives or not is in the hands of Rogers now.  Lets hope they show some respect where Bettman hasn’t.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 11/28/13 at 04:19 PM ET


The NHL is a business and Gary Bettman’s job is to make the NHL, the owners and players through the bargaining agreement more money. People are mad because he did a good job? What is with all the communists that are against profit? The CBC still gets to carry the NHL for 4 years and won’t have to spend Canadian taxpayer’s money to buy programs to fill the hours of hockey. Many Canadians will like this deal they turn on HNIC on Saturday night and see the Leafs playing and find they can turn to CityTV and watch another Canadian team or cable and watch another game being played. Canadians won’t be forced to have to watch the only game being shown on HNIC, they will have the choice to watch the game they want not the one HNIC decided to show. Welcome to the new world order where you can decide for yourself which game you want to watch on Saturday night. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Posted by Puckbubba on 11/28/13 at 04:37 PM ET


Welcome to the new world order where you can decide for yourself which game you want to watch on Saturday night.

And where every game featuring every Canadian team is blacked out from Gamecentre.

Posted by Garth on 11/28/13 at 04:45 PM ET


People are mad because he did a good job? What is with all the communists that are against profit?

I think the issue is that some people live in a world in which we’ve been shown time and again that monopolies aren’t a good thing for anyone except the people who control the content.

Having one company controlling the content for the whole league in the entire country isn’t optimal.  So yeah, right now the NHL owners are having an orgy on a pile of money, but if Rogers’ coverage of hockey is anything to go by, lots of people are going to end up lots of pissed off.

But hey, by all means, why give a shit about the product when you could be busy counting your money?

Posted by Garth on 11/28/13 at 04:49 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I wish people would stop making CBC out to be some above-it-all entity.  Remind me why they’re so untouchable again?

Just because something it tradition doesn’t mean it shouldn’t eventually stop.

I find it hilarious that for all the complaining about Don Cherry and that CBC is basically LeafsTV with a later west coast charity game… when this possibility comes up people can’t let go of it and instead paint CBC’s coverage as all rosy and perfect and unicorns & hookers with rainbows coming out of their afts.

With expansion and his new rules, the game itself is so fuched up he’s lucky anybody wants to broadcast it.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 11/28/13 at 03:19 PM ET

Record revenues = nobody wanting to see or interested in the product?  Obviously not.


Posted by Primis on 11/29/13 at 12:27 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

OK Primis ... I’ll remind you why CBC should be untouchable .... because if it weren’t for them, hockey and its broadcasting wouldn’t be where it is today.  After 60+ years in the business, you’d think they’d get a little well deserved respect but the Evil Troll respects no one ... it’s not in his vocabulary.

As for hockey’s “popularity” and “better numbers” ... most of it is due to population growth both here in the US and up in Canada.  There are a lot more people in this world than there were when Bettman took over so, of course the numbers would be up.  What you need to look at is population percentage.  Unfortunately, hockey is still the ugly step child when it comes to sports broadcasting popularity.  In some US markets, it falls below soccer in the ratings.

Record revenues = disgustingly high prices for tickets, parking, food, and merchandise.  How many people in the 50’s and 60’s were walking around with a Gordie Howe jersey on ??  Nobody .... because the league didn’t sell “sweaters” to the general public back then.  My grandfather was a concessionaire at the Olympia.  He would bring home programs and pencils and pins and hats .... that’s all they sold to the public in the 60’s.

As for those that complain about Don Cherry ... fuch ‘em ... they’re not hockey enthusiasts ... they’re just bandwagon fans that have become attached to the sport within the last decade or so and know nothing of its rich and proud history. Above all, they don’t know who Don is and what he did in hockey and which famous players he had the privilege to coach .... they think he’s just some loudmouth old fart that’s got his head up his ass ... another example of an irreplaceable hockey institution getting no respect.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 11/29/13 at 06:33 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.

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