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Canada’s Rogers Communications Reaches “Landmark” 12-Year Hockey Rights Deal

The $5.2B agreement (that’s Canadian dollars, or US$4.94B) pretty much gives the cable company all video rights to one of the country’s two national sports (the other is lacrosse). It also freezes out The Sports Network (TSN), Canada’s top-rated English-language sports channel, which had held the NHL‘s television rights. With the addition of digital streaming opportunities, this is “the first time a premium North American-wide sports league has granted all of its national (Canadian) rights to one company on a long-term basis,” Rogers says. It’s a bonanza for hockey players; they’ll collect 50% of the revenues under the collective bargaining agreement they reached at the beginning of this year, following a 113-day lockout that began in September 2012. Rogers also says that the agreement will improve profits “from the outset and significantly.” If approved by the NHL Board of Governors next month, the agreement will give Rogers national rights to TV broadcasts and TV Everywhere streaming (including out of home) for all regular-season and playoff games as well as the Stanley Cup Final and special events. It will have sponsorship rights to the NHL Shield logo, and will handle Canadian ad sales for “Our vision is to build on the NHL’s legacy in Canada with an emphasis on storytelling, innovation, and technology — weaving the NHL, its teams and its stars even deeper into the fabric of Canadian culture,” says Rogers Media President Keith Pelley. The … Read More »

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NHL Locks Out Players: Bad News For NBC

By | Saturday September 15, 2012 @ 9:08pm PDT

BREAKING… Another new TV sports season, yet another labor squabble. The National Hockey League locked out players one minute after their union pact expired at midnight ET time, the AP reported. The clock struck midnight, and the NHL turned into another sports league closed for business. So much for NBC last year signing the largest TV deal in the history of the NHL, with the NBC Sports Group paying $2 billion over the next 10-years to retain the rights to hockey on American television. It’s in effect until the 2020-2021 season but who knows if there’ll even be this season. Because the two sides were so far apart in their bargaining that they didn’t even meet face-to-face today. This is the 3rd major pro sport to impose a work stoppage in the last 18 months, behind the NFL and NBA, and the 4th shutdown for the NHL since 1992 - including a year-long dispute that forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-2005 season when the league successfully held out for a salary cap. This time there was a reported $3.3 billion pot of revenue to split.

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Specter Of NHL Lockout Or Delay Looms For NBC Sports: Reuters

By | Wednesday September 5, 2012 @ 5:31pm PDT

If the National Hockey League and its players union fail to reach a new labor agreement and avoid a lockout, NBC could be scrambling for a replacement for one of the linchpins of NBC Sports programming. NBC signed a $2 billion, 10-year contract with the NHL last year. Any delay in the upcoming season would stall any momentum the network established with the London Olympics. Talks between the NHL and players union broke down last week over economic issues such as revenue sharing. Team owners owners have threatened to lock out players if they don’t have a deal by September 15. As of this afternoon, Reuters reported that talks between the two sides had not resumed. Comcast was counting on hockey to strengthen its NBC Sports Network. A lockout would result in major holes to fill in the fledgling network’s prime-time lineup.

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