Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/20/12 at 12:53 PM ET
The CBC’s definitely in danger of losing its biggest cash cow in Hockey Night in Canada when they begin negotiating for the rights to keep airing HNIC next year, but the Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin reports that the network received a huge assist from the NHL in its attempt to retain its franchise player:
Apparently the NHL has never heard Shakespeare’s undertaking, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.” Even as Bell and Rogers got their NHL parents’ consent to marry within Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment on Tuesday, the Board of Governors put a very dicey impediment between them. The two broadcast behemoths will not be allowed to bid together for the NHL’s Canadian TV rights which are up in 2014.
In other words, the partners will be forced to compete against each other when the chance to steal Hockey Night In Canada from CBC comes up after next season. Rogers (Sportsnet) and Bell (TSN) have both said they’ll go after the rights which CBC fully intends to defend. How this works in a real world is anyone’s guess, except that it’s going to take some very principled parties to avoid the temptation of getting a leg up on the other.
The Bell-Rogers marriage under the roof of MLSE was always going to be a balancing act (who decides who succeeds Richard Peddie as president of MLSE, for instance?). But the NHL’s little caveat had just made it that much more fun to watch. We requested comment from the NHL but had not received a reply by press time.
Continued with non-hockey broadcast talk.
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