Blog Entry

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:45 pm
 
The NHL has reached a broadcast deal that will keep it on NBC and Versus. 

The Comcast-owned duo beat out Fox, Turner and ESPN --- all of which dropped out of the bidding. The Sports Business Journal reports  the NBC Sports Group will pay in excess of $200 million per season under the 10-year deal. That's nearly triple the guaranteed money under the current deal, originally signed out of the lockout. 

"I think everybody has enormous respect for ESPN, but six years ago we chose to go in a different direction for a variety of reasons and we believe it's worked out well for us," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a conference call on Tuesday. "And the promise of what NBC Universal/Comcast I think is extraordinarily exciting."

Over the last six years, NBC and the NHL had a revenue sharing arrangement. It was a great deal for NBC and one the NHL had to take after the 2004-05 season was lost due to a work stoppage. Now, not only has the NHL signed its most lucrative TV deal in its history -- easily surpassing the pre-lockout ABC/ESPN agreement -- but the partnership could soon grow beyond just Versus and NBC, Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports Group, explained.  

"The new company at NBC Universal represents 20 channels, 20 unique channels, covering a diversity that no other company has ever had, from significantly strong female channels to young channels, young adult channels, to the most powerful cable entertainment network in the world in the USA Network, CNBC, Telemundo," Ebersol said. "We have a way to talk to the audience that no one has ever had before. And these guys, their mouths are watering to get their hands on being identified."

The deal negates any non-NBC Universal/Comcast property from carrying games in the U.S. The new deal also means the end of regional sports networks carrying playoff games past the first round of the playoffs beginning next year. 

"We have the market power we need both for Madison Avenue for advertising, and we clearly have it among the cable community with this level of exclusivity and the fact it's one-stop shopping," Ebersol said. 

The new deal calls for 100 regular season games and NBC will begin televising games on Thanksgiving Friday. 

-- A.J. Perez
Category: NHL
Tags: ESPN, NHL, Versus
 
Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:37 pm
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Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 9:18 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Sorry, it's true. We live in the US, not Canada. Versus is a subpar cable station and is not on every cable system. Get a clue.

Sorry, it's false. Versus is now in 73 million homes and the ratings are higher now than they were when ESPN had it. This isn't 1999.

The NHL has turned the tables? Too funny. No other sport has it's championship on a 2nd rate cable station.

I missed when NBC became a second rate cable station. Versus can only get the final game if the series is a four-game sweep. But yes, with the impending NBA and NFL lockouts coming, the NHL has turned the tables. Suddenly, ESPN realized that if things aren't solved, they're going to have to put the Big Sky and the Ivy League's basketball games on Friday nights this winter or they're going to run out of sporting events to show. ESPN needed the NHL this time, far more than the NHL needed it.

The NHL's response, correctly, was: Not our problem. ESPN left the NHL to suffer, now the NHL can do the same to ESPN. The NHL will continue to thrive on another network while the "Worldwide Leader" tries to attract people with bowling reruns.
 
Yeah, they offer so much else. Once college football ends, it has fewer viewers than women's college basketball.
I highly doubt that. But if I'm wrong, who cares? If Versus is only good for hockey, that's more than ESPN is good for. Go watch the NBA this winter and suck up to David Stern more if you don't like it. Oh, wait, that's right: You won't be able to, because the NHL is about to become the only pro game around.




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 9:09 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Just because haters like you don't like the game, it doesn't mean you can just make up lies. Stern is the best commissioner in N.American sports history.

WHAT?! That's the funniest thing I think I've ever seen on these boards. Stern is the WORST commissioner in sports today, and it isn't even close. Just because you love the NBA doesn't mean that you can make up lies. Go ask Seattle what they think about David Stern. Go ask Sacramento. They'll tell you what everyone knows: David Stern is a two-faced liar who will say or do anything to get his own way and doesn't care who he tramples.

The story of the Sonics firmly cemented Stern's legacy as the worst commissioner in sports. Nobody else would have turned its back on a city that had supported its team for four decades just because his buddy wanted to own a team in his hometown. Nobody else would have lied left and right to try to get the team out of that city. In a span of 13 years, Stern went from saying KeyArena was state of the art to saying renovations were needed a decade later to saying Seattle could only keep the Sonics if they built a new building at no cost to the Sonics when his buddy Clay Bennett bought them to saying that renovations would actually have worked after all when the Sonics were safely in Oklahoma. Simply despicable.

Now the Kings are about to move, and despite the fact that a buyer is interested, the team relocating is (surprise) again not for sale to a buyer who will keep it there. The best commissioner in sports history? Not a chance in the world. His league is rubbish, he treats cities like crap and he doesn't care at all. When the NBA goes to a lockout next year, it will serve him right.

No, Gary Bettman is no David Stern, and as a hockey fan, I say THANK GOD .



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 7:28 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

People can't find this channel
 Sorry, it's true. We live in the US, not Canada. Versus is a subpar cable station and is not on every cable system. Get a clue.


Now the NHL has turned the tables. Great move by Bettman to stick with Versus.

The NHL has turned the tables? Too funny. No other sport has it's championship on a 2nd rate cable station.


Versus and Versus willing to make the NHL its No. 1 priority,

Yeah, they offer so much else. Once college football ends, it has fewer viewers than women's college basketball.





Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 7:23 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

That's a contradiction. David Stern is a cancer on basketball and sports

No, he's not. He's taken a sport from it's championship game being on tape delay(1979) to a sport which is now #2 in the US and a world-wide sport. Those are actual facts which you can look up.

Just because haters like you don't like the game, it doesn't mean you can just make up lies. Stern is the best commissioner in N.American sports history. No one has done more to grow his sport both domestically and world-wide. No one.

I don't always agree with his methods, but I respect and admire his results. His success is indisputable.



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: April 19, 2011 7:04 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

People who want ESPN are forgetting how bad they screwed up their last tv deal.   They either overpaid by massive amounts, or they completely failed to capitalize on the perceived value of having TV rights for the league.   Either way I think it shows that they don't know the business of hockey or fail to market it correctly.   The league is probably better off in the long run if the people at ESPN weren't willing to exceed the comcast offer of 200 mil a year. 
200 million is about 3X the current agreement.   Honda, Molson, and a number of other sponsors all signed a new contract at 3X the previous or current contract, so I think it's safe to say Gary at least received fair (I think it's way overvalued) if not far more than actual market value.   I think Bettman shouldn't be bashed for this deal......yet.

I think the far more important question is:  "why the 10 years Gary?"

Until we know that answer, I think all the Bettman bashing about the contract  sounds like whining.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 6:23 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Versus has a limited number of teams it shows as well.  I've tried to catch a game with the NHL's #1 team this year, Vancouver, and haven't had a shot to see them on NBC or Versus.  How can you grow the game when you don't acknowledge teams west of the Mississippi?  I hear there's a team in Phoenix and haven't seen them either.  (And from the attendance numbers, I think that applies to the population of Arizona, too!)
Game 2 of Vancouver against Chicago was on Versus as the second game of the night on Friday. NBC and Versus have shown all three games of Phoenix's first round series. Try again.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 6:21 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

Bro--you are high. The NHL has been resurrected by A. The Olympics and B) Sidney Croby, Malkin, Ovechkin, and the likes.
I never said the sport was resurrected BY OLN and Versus. I said it was resurrected ON OLN and Versus. Big difference. My point is still valid, and let's be honest, ratings were climbing before the Olympics. Either way, you are wrong that the sport died on OLN and Versus. It's done anything but.



Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:13 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

DBowman, how can you say NBC/Versus overpaid ($200 million) for the NHL when the NBA gets $930 million a year for its contracts? During the playoffs the NBA usually beat the NHL 3 to 1 in tv ratings, depending on the city, so the TV contract doesn't seem out of whack at all. 

Moreover, it would be ratings suicide for NBC to show two Sunbelt teams going at it. Do you know that for some NHL broadcasts the number of households tunining in, in say LA, is in the hundreds? I don't think a broadcast of Vancouver vs. Calgary is going to do much for ratings either. You might say the ratings are bad regardless, but there is a diffence between getting 4 million viewers and 400,000. Die hard fans in the Southwest will just have to get basic cable and NHL Center Ice.



Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:03 pm
 

NHL to remain on NBC, Versus; no ESPN again

as much as i would love to see nhl back on espn, this can only be seen as a positive for the nhl.  vs and nbc took on a sport that was forgotten in this country after the lockout.  the nhl is steadily getting more attention and is actually being used as an example for labor contracts.  the nfl and the nba should take a notice at what the nhl has done this pass decade.  owners and players are no longer disputting over money, in fact both owners and players are talking about how to make the sport better and safer.  i hope the nhl continues moving forward in the right direction. 


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