Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: john collins
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Now Collins has turned his marketing eye to the brooding, chauvinistic beast of Canadian hockey, where Hockey Night in Canada is the No. 1 brand and the NHL logo is fifth or sixth on the list. “We feel like the NHL was undervalued in Canada, there’s more here,” he says. “We have to respect what HNIC means, the way Monday Night Football means in America. But now there’s Football Night in America on Sundays, and it’s the best-rated program on national TV. Beats American Idol, The Voice, everything.”
If Canadian networks hoping to keep the NHL TV contract are listening, Collins is saying that things change.
“I see a lot of parallels between Americans and football and Canadians with hockey,” he says. “CBC wants as many Leafs games on Saturday night, because people watch them. Just the way ABC would have taken Dallas-Washington every week on Monday Night Football.” But this concentration has a downside come playoff time. “If the Leafs aren’t there for CBC, the Canadiens aren’t there for RDS, we can’t have Canadian fans turning off the lights, going to the cottage.
“How we change that is tell more stories, give more balanced coverage of the other teams around the league so people who are interested in that can have it. It’s not a criticism of our current partners. TSN does hockey as well or better than anybody. But you’re watching trade deadline day and they say, ‘Let’s talk about how the seven Canadian clubs are in the Rick Nash sweepstakes.’ I understand it, but as somebody responsible for the shield, it should be a unifying force in Canada, not a bureaucracy in a New York office.”
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Make no mistake. The NHL is Commissioner Gary Bettman’s fiefdom. It has been ever since 19 years ago he walked in and, according to a former member of the Board of Governors, essentially grabbed the querulous owners by the scruff of the neck and made them sit up and pay attention. Bettman took a self-satisfied Mom-and-Pop shop and made it a bigger business, for better and sometimes worse. He dragged the league into the late 20th century.
But Collins has been the jet fuel, taking it into the 21st century. Maybe beyond.
As one NHL executive put it, “He’s really changed the culture of the league.”
You probably don’t know his name, but you do know his signature as the NHL’s P.T. Barnum. While the lawyerly Bettman generally is about taking things step by step, Collins, the business guy, breathlessly rushes to the next thing, pushing, mining for opportunity and never having a bad hair day. The NHL’s 1,230 regular season games—OK, 1,229, after the Winter Classic—seem to have become an interregnum connecting the new narrative as the league lurches from one special event to the next. John Shannon, the former NHL broadcast executive and now a superb hockey analyst for Sportsnet, a Canadian cable network, would chide Collins about getting back to the NHL’s regularly scheduled programming, as it were. But Collins always seemed to be looking at a point on the horizon.
The Winter Classic ... Collins helped turn the frigid and nearly-forgotten 2003 Heritage Classic, which had no visibility in the United States, into a phenomenon, at least in relative terms. HBO’s 24/7 ... that’s him. The NHL’s media and digital revolution also has his fingerprints all over it.
From Tom Van Riper at Forbes:
Forbes estimates that league wide revenue grew 29% from 2006 to 2010, to a total of $2.93 billion. That trend would put the league on course to meet Commissioner Gary Bettman’s post-lockout goal to surpass $3 billion. Lacking NBA or MLB-type cable money, NHL clubs fuel a big chunk of their growth both at the gate and through a digital strategy that has yielded increasingly popular content on NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL Mobile.
“We felt we needed a halo on top of the local markets,” says John Collins, the NHL’s Chief Operating Officer. Charging $169 for the season to give fans access to any game on any night, the league’s subscription fees and ad sales from its digital business now account for 60% of national revenue (that money secured by the league over and above individual franchise revenue derived locally). “Over the past five years we’ve transformed ourselves from a licensing company into a media company,” says Collins of the NHL’s decision to build out its own media platforms itself instead of simply licensing the rights.
“Yes, ‘On the Fly’ will be available in HD this season.”
-John Collins, COO of the NHL. Much more from John by Christopher Botta of FanHouse.
Michael Ozanian of Forbes sits down with John Collins, COO of the NHL to discuss the online strategy of the NHL.
New York—The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced that John Collins has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In addition to continued oversight of the NHL’s business and media operations, as COO Collins will now also be responsible for the League’s communications and Club Consulting functions.
Collins will report directly to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Collins joined the NHL in November 2006, and in May 2007, he assumed the title of NHL Senior Executive Vice President, Business and Media, overseeing the League’s marketing and licensing programs, all business sales, the production and creation of League content across all platforms, and the League’s existing and future traditional and new media relationships.