Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/10/13 at 01:57 PM ET
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
Firstly, major issues of insurance and travel appear to be resolved, or close to it. After all, that’s just the hard costs of doing business. The NHL’s request for increased access for it’s own media platforms appears also to be resolved. I’m told, the credit in gaining that access beyond the IOC should go to NBC. The NHL’s long-term partner, is also a major associate of the Olympic Committee. What’s good for the games, and good for the NHL is also good for NBC. Creating, and allowing, for opportunities for NHL.com and NHL Network in the United States only will enhance the game, and hopefully pay dividends in Sochi and beyond for NBC. This is a classic win-win-win situation.
It was suggested to me last week that two other issues are part of a chain of events tied to getting the Olympic deal done. One of them, the transfer agreements between all the European Hockey Federations, except Russia, and the NHL (fees for access to players) is also being down played as a parallel negotiation and not directly in conflict with Olympic negotiations. The other, may be a little more significant.
“But, the deal will get done.”
The National Hockey League has always been trying to advance its brand in Europe. Premiere games and GameCenter Live have begun to make inroads into hockey hot beds of Scandinavia, however the league has yet to capitalize in Russia, the home of the KHL and a massive television population. A domestic television deal in Russia could be worth millions of dollars, maybe over $100-million, in rights fees. A league source has acknowledged that a Russian television deal is very important to the NHL, and has been broached as part of the Olympic discussion.
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