Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Lefton of SportsBusiness Daily,
NHL sponsors are readying activation as the Stanley Cup Playoffs open tonight in Montreal, Nashville, Vancouver and DC.
As the league continues its effort to make the playoffs an “April/May/June Madness” similar to the NCAA hoops festivities in March, Samsung is sponsoring a playoff bracket challenge again, and the NHL hopes to double last year’s 530,000 entries.
Fellow sponsor SAP ties in this year with supporting analytics. “As we look to develop more fans, a bracket contest is something casual fans will weigh in on,” said NHL Exec VP & CMO Brian Jennings.
Honda has its second TV spot with Hockey HOF Curator and keeper of the Stanley Cup custodian Phil Pritchard, which will support its Pilot SUV. The white-gloved “Cup Keeper” has previously appeared in ads for MasterCard and Discover. On the beverage side of the house, Pepsi’s AMP energy drink is backing “No Bull Moments” playoff video vignettes on NHL Network and NHL.com.
And we get...
I'd rather listen to five minutes of this...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
NHL general managers are no longer operating under the assumption that the cap is going to increase next season.
The projected decline in the Canadian dollar — up at least temporarily a tick to 88 cents on the U.S. dollar as of Friday — has had an impact on discussions regarding extensions in at least three cases, front office sources have told The Post.
Further anecdotal evidence suggests these are not isolated instances.
Given the fixation of escrow under which the players currently are having 14 percent of their pay withheld, it certainly is a realistic possibility the NHLPA will not exercise a 5-percent escalator for 2015-16.
That might mean a stagnant cap in the $69 million range, which fall some $5 million to $6 million shy of previous optimistic projections.
continued and other topics including player talk on Ryan Clowe, Cory Schneider, Slava Voynov but it doesn't stop there...
If you missed the news earlier, start here and I agree with Westhead and I did not even include the "jersey ads" in the main story since I felt Collins was talking in general terms.
Yet it has become a hot topic of the day elsewhere.
from Ian Thomas of SportsBusiness Daily,
The NHL has ridden a wave of momentum in recent years, taking revenue from $2.2B in '06 to approximately $4B now. In a one-on-one interview during Day 1 of the ’14 NeuLion Sports Media & Technology Conference, NHL COO John Collins outlined some of the successes that brought the league to this point, and talked about what will continue to drive the league forward....
WORLD CUP: The league is still moving forward with its plan to host a World Cup of Hockey. Collins said the current plan is to feature eight national teams at a single destination in a 16- or 17-game tournament that will span a couple of weeks with no qualifying games. Previous versions of the tournament, held in '96 and '04, were played in a variety of venues around the world. The tournament would likely be held in September and feature a best two-out-of-three final, Collins said. The league, along with the NHLPA, would own the tournament and could sell the rights to a broadcasting partner.
CONFLICT WITH OLYMPICS: Commenting on the revenue that might be realized from a World Cup of Hockey, Collins said the key difference between that event and the Olympics is that the World Cup would be “our IP, and the Olympics isn’t.” Collins said the league has not always received “full value” from having its players participate in the Olympics, as having the NHL “go dark” during the Games is a problem. Collins noted that the timing of the Olympics also presents a problem for its rights holders. Games played in some time zones, such as during the '10 Vancouver Games, can be shown in primetime, However, at other Olympics, like the '18 Pyeongchang Games, “a game being shown at 4 a.m. isn’t good.”
from Sports Illustrared wire service,
The NHL is testing virtual advertising technology on dasherboards, Sports Business Daily reports.
Seventeen teams already use virtual advertising above the dasherboards in broadcasts, but the league is exploring options to expand the technology to create “dynamic dasherboards.”
The new digital billboard replacement, which is being tested by European company Supponor, would allow for broadcasters to sell dasherboard inventory even when a team is playing at an away venue.
The in-venue signage would also generate more revenue, though problems arise when deciding how to split it (the $$$).
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadian dollar has been steadily losing value vis-à-vis its U.S. counterpart. It dropped below 90 cents this week and economists see a further decline in the future. A CIBC report said the loonie could fall to 82 cents early next year.
What does this mean for the NHL?
The league has enjoyed a dramatic rise in revenues over the past decade despite two potentially devastating lockouts. We would like to give NHL commissioner Gary Bettman credit for growing the business, but the driving force behind the increase has been a healthy Canadian dollar. Canada bounced back from the recession faster than the U.S. and that was the result of a booming resource sector.
But oil prices have reached the stage where it is too expensive to extract the sludge from the Alberta oilsands. The dollar is dropping and every decline in the loonie’s value will have a largely adverse effect on the NHL.
We start by looking at those overall revenues. Upwards of one-third of the money that is used to measure hockey-related revenue in the NHL is generated by the seven Canadian franchises. If the dollar drops in value, so does the overall revenue.
Teams are expecting to have a little more cap money next season because the full value of the Rogers Canadian TV deal kicks in, but that deal will be worth a little less next year and the value could continue to decline.
from Scott Shoshnick of Bloomberg,
The National Hockey League closed a $1.4 billion credit facility, which is more than double the previous amount, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
The person requested anonymity because the league didn’t disclose the lending pool, which was led and structured by Citigroup Inc. (C) and closed yesterday. The facility includes 20 banks and 20 investors, the person said.
NHL spokesman Frank Brown and Citi spokeswoman Natalie Marin declined to comment on the facility.
Among the 11 teams that tapped the facility are the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils, the person said, adding that three so-called parking spots are being reserved for other potential borrowers.
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
Get ready for a skyrocketing salary cap in the NHL, even before the league’s new Canadian TV deal gets factored in.
According to a report on Monday from Chris Botta of the SportsBusiness Journal, NHL revenues for the 2013-14 season are expected to hit $3.7-billion, which would be a 12-per-cent increase over the league’s last full campaign.
With the new TV revenue added in a year later, meanwhile, that figure will for the first time crack the $4-billion mark in 2014-15.
That’s obviously a good business story for Gary Bettman and Co., but the more pertinent result of much higher hockey-related revenues for fans (and general managers) is the impact it’ll have on the cap.
from Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal,
The NHL is crafting a series of Canadian television deals that could increase its average annual rights fees to more than $350 million, nearly double the current amount, while creating a Sunday night telecast franchise for the league.
The ongoing negotiations involve five Canadian networks: CBC, TSN, Sportsnet, and French-language broadcasters RDS and TVA. Negotiations are focused on 10-year deals, the same length as the $2 billion agreement between the NHL and NBC Sports Group that was reached in 2011. The forthcoming Canadian deals are expected to escalate in value over the length of the contracts, possibly exceeding a total of $400 million by the end of their terms....
According to industry sources, CBC will remain as the league’s major partner and will retain “Hockey Night in Canada,” its iconic franchise since 1953. But the network would see its rights fee go up and some of its current inventory go to other programmers.
CBC (the over-the-air, public Canadian Broadcasting Co.) now pays $121 million a year. In the new deal, CBC is expected to pay about $175 million a year. However, it would lose the rights to the NHL All-Star Game and some playoff broadcasts, sources said.
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