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 NHL.com. “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 company has already sub-licensed English-language rights to Hockey Night In Canada to CBC and all national French-language multimedia rights to TVA.
It’s no secret that recently exited AEG heavyweight Tim Leiweke is a hockey guy. He always was the LA Kings’ biggest supporter within the company that owns the Stanley Cup champs. But with today’s news that the exec is headed to Toronto to run Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, he might be walking into serious culture shock. The man who for more than a decade led AEG — the behemoth that turned the ho-hum area around LA’s Convention Center into a world-class entertainment and sports hotbed — is in for more media and fan scrutiny that he ever imagined.
Rogers Communications Looking For New CEO
Canadian cable-TV-wireless-broadband provider Rogers Communications CEO Nadir Mohamed plans to retire next January. The board will appoint a search firm and begin looking internationally for a replacement, the Toronto-based company announced. Neither Ed Rogers nor Melinda Rogers, children of founder Ted Rogers, will put their names forward for the top job. Rogers is controlled by a family trust through a dual-class stock structure. While Mohamed’s decision was unexpected, the fact the Rogers children aren’t in the running signals the move wasn’t forced on him, said Maher Yaghi, an analyst at Desjardins Securities in Montreal.