Fallout from new Canadian TV deal uncertain, but expect prices to rise

Jonathan Willis
November 27 2013 07:47AM

With the news yesterday that Rogers and the NHL had agreed on a 12-year, $5.232 billion Canadian television deal, the overwhelming reaction was uncertainty. We don’t know how this will effect TSN or CBC, we don’t know how Rogers will cover the game, and we don’t know if the hockey-watching experience will be better a year from now than it is today.

What we know for sure is that NHL hockey is going to be on Rogers. What we also know, with barely less certainty, is that it’s going to cost more to watch.

The Experts

Jim Jamieson of The Province talked to two business experts: UBC’s James Brander and SFU’s Linday Meredith. The full article is here (and well worth reading) but note the similarity in comments both made.

First, Brander:

The first thing I noticed is the big price tag, and obviously Rogers has to recoup that.

And Meredith:

We’ll see a lot of bundling or extra charges for premium channels. I’m sure Rogers will be pushing hard on all those buttons because they’ve got a lot of money to recoup. Whether it means having to buy stuff you don’t want or premium channels, your cable bill will be going up.

The Logic

It’s pretty straight forward. The NHL’s national television rights cost lots more now than they used to (Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal put the total value of the old deals at roughly $190 million); this new deal increases that to an average of over $400 million per year. Even assuming that NHL hockey was a cash cow for CBC and TSN (which seems likely, given the spike in price), it’s a pretty decent bet that a massive increase in the cost of the product for the provider is going to result in price increases for the consumer.

Commissioner Gary Bettman and the executives at Rogers Communications can pay lip service to the idea that, on some level, this deal was the best deal for fans but it would be a mistake to see it as more than lip service.

The NHL is focused on one thing: money. They’ve demonstrated it time and again, especially with their willingness to force labour stoppages to squeeze as much money as possible out of the sport. Rogers was willing to pay up for the television rights; consequently, the NHL was all too happy to do a deal with Rogers.

Likewise, Rogers is a business with the primary focus of making money. A lot of that money, doubtless, will come from expanding the amount of product available and milking advertisers for all that they are worth. But it would be silly to assume that every available revenue stream won’t be tapped, and that’s likely to include increased prices for the consumer.

A shiny new television deal is unquestionably good for the business of the NHL. It may yet prove to be good for fans, too, if Rogers can deliver a superior product. Right now there’s no way of knowing whether the product will be better or worse, only that it’s likely to cost more.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 pkam
November 27 2013, 12:30PM
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It is an entertainment, not daily necessity, right?

So if it is good value for the price, then I am in. If it is not, I'll move to other entertainments.

So why do we even have to worry about the price going up? They are not pointing a gun at your head to force you to subscribe it, are they?

When there is not enough demand (consumer), the price will drop, won't it?

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#102 Ed in Edmonton
November 27 2013, 12:33PM
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I see this as not a big deal to hockey fans. It make no difference to me which channel I watch a game on, other than the varying production qualities. But some people just like to complain.

I hope the Rogers improves its production quality, as it is far behind TSN and HNIC. The local Oiler product borders on amateur hour.

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#103 Hat Pughes
November 27 2013, 12:48PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I see this as not a big deal to hockey fans. It make no difference to me which channel I watch a game on, other than the varying production qualities. But some people just like to complain.

I hope the Rogers improves its production quality, as it is far behind TSN and HNIC. The local Oiler product borders on amateur hour.

On air and off air talent is just commerce..with there being less work at TSN in all likelihood talent will move from TSN to Rogers.

Labour resources will go to where the work is.

Dont think for a minute TSN can or will keep everybody.....the only way this (production quality at Rogers that is) becomes and issue is if all the networks start producing more hockey and the market expands. Dont think that will happen ..yet or maybe ever

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#104 sec206
November 27 2013, 12:51PM
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5.2 billion to get rid of Mark Lee, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy? Worth every penny.

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#105 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 12:59PM
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I see there are several people who don't understand a few things:

1) The announcing crew for the regional Oiler telecasts are hired by the Oilers. Rogers has little to do with it. If you dislike Principe, write the Oilers.

2) I just talked to a well known former TSN employee. He confirmed what I already knew, that there would be a lot of people moving over from TSN to Sportsnet. So whichever network hockey presentation you prefer is irrelevant. Rogers now has all the content and will therefore have their pick of TV talent. Their broadcast will improve over time.

3) It's true that the government is exploring a la carte channel unbundling. If this happens, TSN and Sportsnet would no longer be subsidized by all cable subscribers and would likely cost between $30 and $40 per month on their own. Obviously the channel with the most desired content would win out in that scenario.

4) I also cut the chord about three years ago as I became frustrated with price increases every 6 months on my already hefty cable bill. With a good outdoor antenna you can receive all the local over the air channels in clean HD. So now that will include HNIC double header on CBC as well as a Saturday game on City TV and perhaps OMNI. City TV will also have a sunday night game apparently. UnblockUs does work well as has already been mentioned.

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#106 pkam
November 27 2013, 12:59PM
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sec206 wrote:

5.2 billion to get rid of Mark Lee, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy? Worth every penny.

Where is your source?

My understanding is HNIC will continue and CBC will determine their own staff.

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#107 CHRIS
November 27 2013, 01:07PM
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I HATE ROGERS, TSN is so much better. I cried when I heard I have to listen to Louie Debrusk explain the game of hockey to his audience like we are all children for the next 12years. May bad things happen to you Louie...... So that my suffering will end.

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#108 xeno
November 27 2013, 01:21PM
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Gravis82 wrote:

Agree, but right now Rogers Sportsnet is actually the worst product. That's the problem with this. I'm sure they get will better and one day reach an NFL level of "amazingness". I'm just not looking forward to paying more to watch an inferior product go through 5 years of growing pains. I also simply cannot choose to not watch if i don't like the product. It's a required element in my life, just like gas in my gas in my car, which i also think is overpriced, but i buy it anyway. I'm screwed.

Exactly. Everything about Sportsnet boradcast is at a lower quality than TSN, CBC, and even NBC. On those other broadcasts they bring excitement to the game, you have great commentators combined with many other elements that bring the game to life including the sounds of skates cutting into the ice, guys yelling at each other for the puck, the crowds subtle reactions of oooohs and aaaahs.

I just want the product to improve and I don't see how a monopoly is going to promote this other than if TSN's staff come over. Hopefully not just their TV personalities but also bring some of the technical behind the scene guys too.

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#109 Smokey
November 27 2013, 01:22PM
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@Shaker

Mean Gene shtick is annoying at times. It appeals to my grandma. Youngin' just don't enjoy the fine science of punery they way they should. I like Geno as a person, and I don't mind him when he's just doing his interviews or some analysis, and if did it without the jokes I'd say nothing negative. If he dumped the comedy would he be more appreciated? I for one like hi, but his jokes blow.

Why do people not have an issue with Ron MacLean doing the same thing? I love his punery, but he's like a master Jedi or something. Best part of coaches coroner is watching Grapes face when MacLean owns him with the off the cuff gem at the end.

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#110 Johnnydapunk
November 27 2013, 01:27PM
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I think something like this happened in the 90s with the English Premiership football and Sky sports when they won the rights to broadcast the football over BBC and ITV. BBC Had a Saturday show called match of the day which exactly like the CBC HNIC showed a match every Saturday and sometimes had doubleheaders. Gradually the football disappeared from BBC and they were reduced to a highlights show Saturday and Sunday Nights.

Gradually it because harder and harder to watch live matches on anything that wasn't Sky sports, and slowly the prices crept up and it cost more in every aspect as Sky found new ways to increase revenue, things like charging Pubs a premium rate to broadcast games and basically making it so that you had no choice but to watch the football on Sky.

I have a feeling this is going to be the beginning of a very long profitable run for Sportsnet and slowly all the sports you enjoy will be a Sportsnet broadcast and as there is going to be more and more exposure of the NHL, you will begin to see more and more advertising appear.

It's just a matter of time before the team logos appear smaller and the ads become bigger and all the while we will play more for the pleasure of watching 3 periods of commercials interspersed with hockey.

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#111 STAN
November 27 2013, 01:38PM
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I'd love to see MacKenzie, Lebrun, Rod Smith and perhaps James Duthie move to SN just for their own careers, but it's paradoxical because even with those solid broadcasters SN is bound to find a way to present them in the worst possible light (literally and figuratively).

SportsNet is crap, from a one-time talented and trustworthy Darren Millard to the laughable Nick Kypreos, the aforemented Principe and the goofs who try to play broadcasters in Calgary and Vancouver.

This deal makes a mockery of free enterprise. Monopolies rules and Rogers and the NHL know that better than anyone. Monopoly, collusion and consumer indifference, now THAT's how you squeeze REAL money out of our flawed system.

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#112 Bishai in the Benches
November 27 2013, 01:39PM
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Allstar dream lineup for entertainment value:

Coax Rod Philips out of retirement for play-by-play, Gene Principe (with an unlimited supply of props) as his colour guy, Ily Bryzgalov as the "in the game analyst" (even if he's playing).

"Panel" comprised of Milbury, McGuire, and Cherry, but without any moderation. Cherry can bash those two guys as much as he wants. Throw in Biznasty too, I feel like him and Cherry would be friends.

Have an insider trader segment lead by Eklund, with special guests "every single person who includes the rights to Linus Omark in a Shea Weber trade proposal"

Production team that brings in the inventor of the FoxTrax puck, cooperalls, and every design team that has ever used yellow as a main jersey colour.

Just in case anyone from Rogers is reading, this is guaranteed to work. Bring me in as an advisor and pay me MILLIONS.

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#113 hankthetank
November 27 2013, 01:50PM
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TV timeouts will be three times longer...

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#114 A-Mc
November 27 2013, 01:57PM
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Supernova wrote:

Interested to see how Center ice / game pass will work with no local blackouts.

The only reason I keep cable is for sports. But if I could pay $x for a subscription to the oilers and watch the Games with no blackouts I would do that In a second.

I am, for all intents and purposes, living in a 1 tv house. If i want to watch a hockey game, i need to take over the TV from the Woman of the house and our 4 year old (who wants nothing more than cartoons on 24/7, even when he's not home).

Every season i gripe about blackouts. If in some way, this rogers deal can remove blackouts from the streamed product the NHL offers, i am 10000% for this. I would pay the $$ to watch hockey, IN ALL MARKETS, as long as i could get around blackouts for Oilers games.

Blackouts need to go...

PS: I'm referring to subscribing to the streamed online product so that i am free to watch all games as opposed to fighting for the TV to watch them over cable. PLZ REMOVE STREAM BLACKOUTS!

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#115 Dobbler
November 27 2013, 02:02PM
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HNIC has gotten worse over the years IMO. Don Cherry went from being an actual credible hockey commentator/analyst to a "sports entertainment personality". People tune in to coach's corner see what the blow-hard dinosaur is going to do, not to get any insight on the game.

I don't mind the sportsnet product. I'm glad that they'll be able to get better people and improve it, but I watch most of my games on SN already and have no major complaints (minor compaint -> Gene Principe)

On a side note...The white snow background makes the page numbers and "next" and "back" really hard to see.

Okay, whining done!

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#116 Jon
November 27 2013, 02:22PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

I see there are several people who don't understand a few things:

1) The announcing crew for the regional Oiler telecasts are hired by the Oilers. Rogers has little to do with it. If you dislike Principe, write the Oilers.

2) I just talked to a well known former TSN employee. He confirmed what I already knew, that there would be a lot of people moving over from TSN to Sportsnet. So whichever network hockey presentation you prefer is irrelevant. Rogers now has all the content and will therefore have their pick of TV talent. Their broadcast will improve over time.

3) It's true that the government is exploring a la carte channel unbundling. If this happens, TSN and Sportsnet would no longer be subsidized by all cable subscribers and would likely cost between $30 and $40 per month on their own. Obviously the channel with the most desired content would win out in that scenario.

4) I also cut the chord about three years ago as I became frustrated with price increases every 6 months on my already hefty cable bill. With a good outdoor antenna you can receive all the local over the air channels in clean HD. So now that will include HNIC double header on CBC as well as a Saturday game on City TV and perhaps OMNI. City TV will also have a sunday night game apparently. UnblockUs does work well as has already been mentioned.

So the Sportsnet crew is hired by the Oilers?? That makes no sense, why do they do the Olympics stuff for Sportsnet then? When TSN bought 1260 why did they get rid of all the Sportsnet guys if they're just hired by the Oilers? Why is it just the 630 Ched guys that do the Oilers website stuff if Sportsnet guys are also Oilers employees?

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#117 Willi P
November 27 2013, 02:24PM
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Bishai in the Benches wrote:

Allstar dream lineup for entertainment value:

Coax Rod Philips out of retirement for play-by-play, Gene Principe (with an unlimited supply of props) as his colour guy, Ily Bryzgalov as the "in the game analyst" (even if he's playing).

"Panel" comprised of Milbury, McGuire, and Cherry, but without any moderation. Cherry can bash those two guys as much as he wants. Throw in Biznasty too, I feel like him and Cherry would be friends.

Have an insider trader segment lead by Eklund, with special guests "every single person who includes the rights to Linus Omark in a Shea Weber trade proposal"

Production team that brings in the inventor of the FoxTrax puck, cooperalls, and every design team that has ever used yellow as a main jersey colour.

Just in case anyone from Rogers is reading, this is guaranteed to work. Bring me in as an advisor and pay me MILLIONS.

Roger Millions?

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#118 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 02:25PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I see this as not a big deal to hockey fans. It make no difference to me which channel I watch a game on, other than the varying production qualities. But some people just like to complain.

I hope the Rogers improves its production quality, as it is far behind TSN and HNIC. The local Oiler product borders on amateur hour.

One benefit is that games will not be time-shifted to meet TV requirements. Thus oil games will start at 7 or 730 - not 8.

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#119 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 02:36PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

I see there are several people who don't understand a few things:

1) The announcing crew for the regional Oiler telecasts are hired by the Oilers. Rogers has little to do with it. If you dislike Principe, write the Oilers.

2) I just talked to a well known former TSN employee. He confirmed what I already knew, that there would be a lot of people moving over from TSN to Sportsnet. So whichever network hockey presentation you prefer is irrelevant. Rogers now has all the content and will therefore have their pick of TV talent. Their broadcast will improve over time.

3) It's true that the government is exploring a la carte channel unbundling. If this happens, TSN and Sportsnet would no longer be subsidized by all cable subscribers and would likely cost between $30 and $40 per month on their own. Obviously the channel with the most desired content would win out in that scenario.

4) I also cut the chord about three years ago as I became frustrated with price increases every 6 months on my already hefty cable bill. With a good outdoor antenna you can receive all the local over the air channels in clean HD. So now that will include HNIC double header on CBC as well as a Saturday game on City TV and perhaps OMNI. City TV will also have a sunday night game apparently. UnblockUs does work well as has already been mentioned.

As Craig simpson confirmed on 1260 ALL CBC on air people have their contracts expiring at the end of the year due to the upcoming futrue contract not being in place. One would assume that is also the case for TSN and Rogers. Thus EVERYTHING is in flux as to who will be working for rogers when the new contract comes into force. So lots of people looking for a smaller number of jobs. The result will be significant downward pressure on the on air salaries.

With unbundling the costs will go down - not up. At least at first. Sports channels are in demand, some of the more obscure CANCON and other channels don't draw flies. The CANCONs will either have to jump their rates or see incomes plummet (but a jump could kill subscribership even more). Meanwhile the sports channels will see huge demand and get to keep all of the subscriber payment rather than share it with the obscure channels like they do now.

In time as the rogers channels leverage their hockey monopoly they may ramp up rates, but i suspect they don't plan on doing that - rather they want to generate cross-platform revenues and use the TV as a bit of a loss-leader.

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#120 Ed in Edmonton
November 27 2013, 02:48PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

One benefit is that games will not be time-shifted to meet TV requirements. Thus oil games will start at 7 or 730 - not 8.

You're assuming Rogers won't do doubleheaders? I don't think its safe to assume anything.

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#121 Joel
November 27 2013, 02:53PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

Buddy... you don't and won't have to pay for all the turd channels you don't watch. Most likely save money and if you're glued to the tv, well, get a life.

Ok, you seem to be making assumptions.

Mainly, that if they unbundle channels, that it will only cost a fraction of your current cable bill to get the channels you actually watch.

What you don't seem to be taking into account is the nature of the monopoly, and you are assuming the benevolence of the cable companies (and Rogers specifically)

Sure, if you evenly divide what I pay for cable each month by the number of channels, it comes to less than a buck per channel.

But if you think for a minute that all channels will be priced evenly at that low low price, you are crazy.

Rogers will charge whatever the market will bear. This is their past practice in every other aspect of their businesss, they are a publicly traded corp that needs profits to placate shareholders, and they now have a monopoly on the most valuable TV content in Canada.

So how much is watching Oilers games worth to someone in Edmonton? Or watching the Leafs, or Habs, etc.

Expect to pay more for the sports channels necessary to watch the games than you are actually paying now for the bundle that includes TSN+Sportsnet+crap like OLN and the Speed network.

You'll have less channels, albeit probably losing the ones you didn't watch in the first place. And you'll be paying more.

If you think I'm wrong, please provide an example in modern history of a large public corporation gaining a long term, guaranteed monopoly over a valuable commodity by crushing its competitors and then lowering prices to the benefit of consumers.

I'll be waiting, because you won't find one.

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#122 common sense
November 27 2013, 02:54PM
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guys, don't worry about be happy. Keith Pelley who is now head of Roger's media division, used to be in charge of TSN. Pelley was interviewed on Bob McCown and his goal is to use the NFL as his benchmark in terms of tv production. Sure the cable rates may go up but they will continue Saturday HNIC on CBC and they plan NHL on City tv. Looking at the NFL and the States, I don't think cable rates skyrocketed. TV still makes a lot of money off advertising.

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#123 Dog Train
November 27 2013, 03:09PM
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It's a business and as long as people support it, they will explore any and every avenue to gouge the fans. If there's one thing that the fallout from the past two lockouts has proven, it's that people will whine and complain but when push comes to shove, they will still support the NHL.

Personally, I love watching hockey but I don't see myself buying any NHL merchandise or attending any games in the near future.

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#124 wtf
November 27 2013, 03:30PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

If trudeau got in power I would move out of this country and become muslim. World would be lost at that point...

Keep the derogatory comments to a minimum please. Some of us actually are Muslim.

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#125 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 03:37PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

You're assuming Rogers won't do doubleheaders? I don't think its safe to assume anything.

They actually said they were going to do this at their press conference. By doing it they maximize local ad revenues.

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#126 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 03:42PM
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Joel wrote:

Ok, you seem to be making assumptions.

Mainly, that if they unbundle channels, that it will only cost a fraction of your current cable bill to get the channels you actually watch.

What you don't seem to be taking into account is the nature of the monopoly, and you are assuming the benevolence of the cable companies (and Rogers specifically)

Sure, if you evenly divide what I pay for cable each month by the number of channels, it comes to less than a buck per channel.

But if you think for a minute that all channels will be priced evenly at that low low price, you are crazy.

Rogers will charge whatever the market will bear. This is their past practice in every other aspect of their businesss, they are a publicly traded corp that needs profits to placate shareholders, and they now have a monopoly on the most valuable TV content in Canada.

So how much is watching Oilers games worth to someone in Edmonton? Or watching the Leafs, or Habs, etc.

Expect to pay more for the sports channels necessary to watch the games than you are actually paying now for the bundle that includes TSN+Sportsnet+crap like OLN and the Speed network.

You'll have less channels, albeit probably losing the ones you didn't watch in the first place. And you'll be paying more.

If you think I'm wrong, please provide an example in modern history of a large public corporation gaining a long term, guaranteed monopoly over a valuable commodity by crushing its competitors and then lowering prices to the benefit of consumers.

I'll be waiting, because you won't find one.

understand that it is not the cable subscription that pays the bills / generates the vast majority of revenues - it's the ads. Thats why CBC is being kept in the picture for the first for years - their over the air market reach generates far more than a much smaller cable market audience can.

Thus you could see your rate go up by say $1/month (bob mckown's WAG) - not much more.

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#127 Katzhater
November 27 2013, 03:57PM
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@Joel

Joel, basically spot on. Serious Gord, basically shut your yap. You don't know the first thing about what you speak.

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#128 Katzhater
November 27 2013, 04:00PM
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You just wrote that because most of the revenue comes from ads, Rogers won't charge more for subscriptions. Disconnected from any semblance of monopoly behavior understanding. Not surprising considering I've heard you on the radio.

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#129 Sevenseven
November 27 2013, 04:11PM
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Not that I really care anymore, I got rid of cable and use game center and an american ip, but by my calculations, this deal costs them $887k per game. That really doesn't seem like a huge stretch for them to cover. I wonder what they pay right now? And for the entire media rights? They'll do okay. I wonder if I can watch the games for free on my Rogers cell phone?

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#130 The_CWD_GarbageMan
November 27 2013, 04:13PM
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@Serious Gord

With the presumed downward pressure on sportscaster wages - would that mean Pierre Maguire made out like a bandit with NBC?

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#131 Jon
November 27 2013, 04:43PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

I see there are several people who don't understand a few things:

1) The announcing crew for the regional Oiler telecasts are hired by the Oilers. Rogers has little to do with it. If you dislike Principe, write the Oilers.

2) I just talked to a well known former TSN employee. He confirmed what I already knew, that there would be a lot of people moving over from TSN to Sportsnet. So whichever network hockey presentation you prefer is irrelevant. Rogers now has all the content and will therefore have their pick of TV talent. Their broadcast will improve over time.

3) It's true that the government is exploring a la carte channel unbundling. If this happens, TSN and Sportsnet would no longer be subsidized by all cable subscribers and would likely cost between $30 and $40 per month on their own. Obviously the channel with the most desired content would win out in that scenario.

4) I also cut the chord about three years ago as I became frustrated with price increases every 6 months on my already hefty cable bill. With a good outdoor antenna you can receive all the local over the air channels in clean HD. So now that will include HNIC double header on CBC as well as a Saturday game on City TV and perhaps OMNI. City TV will also have a sunday night game apparently. UnblockUs does work well as has already been mentioned.

I thought point #3 of yours also sounded ridiculous, so I took a look on my own. According to the former vice-chair of CRTC, under a la carte unbundling, the most popular specialty channel (TSN at the moment) would be $9/month, not 30-40 as you claim.

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#132 please cancel acct
November 27 2013, 05:27PM
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sec206 wrote:

5.2 billion to get rid of Mark Lee, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy? Worth every penny.

You forgot PJ Stock with his little man syndrome

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#133 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 05:36PM
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Katzhater wrote:

Joel, basically spot on. Serious Gord, basically shut your yap. You don't know the first thing about what you speak.

First off; where do you get off telling me or anyone to shut their "yap"?

Second you know nothing of my qualifications/knowledge of monopolies and their pricing dynamics and other behaviors in a market.

For the record:

I minored in economics in university;

have worked on and or chaired on various economic policy committees for the provincial and Canadian chambers of commerce, the Conservative party of Canada and the Wildrose party.

One of those CofC committees developed the policy that called for the end of the Canadian wheat board monopsony (it was not a monopoly as many laypeople assume) that the Cdn minister of Ag at the time said was instrumental in laying the ground for its abolition

as well as policies on removing the CBCs special status and it's HNIC monopoly;

appeared before two provincial royal commissions where I submitted an extensive brief calling for the end of the various Ag marketing board monopolies;

have been involved in marketing and market budgets for my Own company for 12 years and other companies and marketing groups since 1990 some with annual budgets into the millions;

and that's just off the top of my head - there is more.

The point is: disagree with my opinion if you wish, better yet give some concrete reasoning/reasons of your own,

But don't question my qualifications.

What are your qualifications?

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#134 gaz
November 27 2013, 06:07PM
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@Serious Gord

My only issue with your hypothesis is that you're forgetting that wages are 'sticky', particularly in the short-term. This is backed by empirical evidence in decades of economic studies.

So, I think it more likely that wages will not in fact change much. What should happen is that premier NHL analyst/insider talent would hypothetically flock to Sportsnet...but then, we should remain cognizant that TSN is owned by Bell, who also has some moola, and might be more than happy to defend against potential talent loss (since their trade deadline and free agency shows are very popular).

Some movement of talent is inevitable, but downward pressure on talents' wages? Very unlikely.

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#135 Dave
November 27 2013, 06:28PM
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please cancel acct wrote:

You forgot PJ Stock with his little man syndrome

So true. On TV you really have to be articulate and be able express yourself in sentences and paragraphs.

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#136 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:29PM
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The Benevolent Orca wrote:

I don't see increase's coming. If this means more hockey on TV to watch, I'm all for it. TSN has dreadful commentary anyways, so good riddance.

One question from me. What happens to TSN now? Their viewership in Canada is going to plummet. Maybe they can work a stronger CFL deal. I'd be all over that.

I suspect TSN will fill out their programming with a drastic increase in NFL, NBA, and NCAA football. TSN buys most of the rights to this stuff anyways and prevents anyone else from offering it, so they may as well start showing some of it.

I do doubt that TSN will keep both Mackenzie and Dregher at 400k+/anum.

Let's face it, Cuthbert, Hughson, and Gord Miller are always going to be at the top of the pecking order no matter who has the content rights. Those guys will always have jobs.

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#137 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 06:39PM
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gaz wrote:

My only issue with your hypothesis is that you're forgetting that wages are 'sticky', particularly in the short-term. This is backed by empirical evidence in decades of economic studies.

So, I think it more likely that wages will not in fact change much. What should happen is that premier NHL analyst/insider talent would hypothetically flock to Sportsnet...but then, we should remain cognizant that TSN is owned by Bell, who also has some moola, and might be more than happy to defend against potential talent loss (since their trade deadline and free agency shows are very popular).

Some movement of talent is inevitable, but downward pressure on talents' wages? Very unlikely.

But how much demand will there be at TSN? My Guess is that they will do what espn did when they dropped the nhl rights - de-emphasize it as much as possible.

Granted that is a tougher task in a monolithic hockey mad country like Canada. And certainly there will be less competition for first class play by play and colour guys - Rogers will be the only employer.

As I noted above, apparently (via Craig Simpson) alMost ALL on-air peoples contracts with all of the networks are renewing this year - synchronized with rights contract being up. That means a lot of people looking for a spot on the Rogers team. That can only mean downward pressure on salaries.

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#138 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 06:40PM
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And there will be only one albeit larger analyst team instead of the current three.

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#139 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 06:40PM
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And there will be only one albeit larger analyst team instead of the current three.

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#140 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:45PM
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Jon wrote:

I thought point #3 of yours also sounded ridiculous, so I took a look on my own. According to the former vice-chair of CRTC, under a la carte unbundling, the most popular specialty channel (TSN at the moment) would be $9/month, not 30-40 as you claim.

Look harder. It's not my claim. It's the claim of industry analysts. Right now the cost of TSN on average works out to roughly $5 per month. Every Canadian IPO subscriber who wants anything beyond the local OTA stations HAS to subscribe to TSN in order to get whatever channel they want. It is bundled in the first or second tier of every carrier.

Therefore TSN is heavily subsidized. The question up for debate is how many households would be willing to pay for it a la carte.

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#141 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:54PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Look harder. It's not my claim. It's the claim of industry analysts. Right now the cost of TSN on average works out to roughly $5 per month. Every Canadian IPO subscriber who wants anything beyond the local OTA stations HAS to subscribe to TSN in order to get whatever channel they want. It is bundled in the first or second tier of every carrier.

Therefore TSN is heavily subsidized. The question up for debate is how many households would be willing to pay for it a la carte.

sorry, meant BDU subscriber, not IPO

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#142 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:58PM
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Jon wrote:

So the Sportsnet crew is hired by the Oilers?? That makes no sense, why do they do the Olympics stuff for Sportsnet then? When TSN bought 1260 why did they get rid of all the Sportsnet guys if they're just hired by the Oilers? Why is it just the 630 Ched guys that do the Oilers website stuff if Sportsnet guys are also Oilers employees?

I'm not going to debate you on conspiracy theories. Quinn,Principe, Debrusk, Staufer, Michaels are all on the Oiler payroll.

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#143 Cynic
November 27 2013, 07:19PM
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"They are not pointing a gun at your head to force you to subscribe it, are they?"

You don't really understand how cable TV works, do you? It's only been 40 years, so I get that you've still got your head up your --- on this particular file.

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#144 Gaz
November 27 2013, 07:45PM
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@Serious Gord

I'm not disagreeing that withsuppky outstripping demand, price (ie wages) experience downward pressure. In the specific case though, when the commodity is labour, as stated before, it has been empirically proven that wages do not react the same as other goods to imbalances in supp!y, particularly in the short-run.

I don't think its that big of a deal. Some guys will move to Sportsnet, which will need more people to cover more games. Meanwhile, TSN will pay their top-tier guys very well to break news and do the once a year events.

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#145 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 07:45PM
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wtf wrote:

Keep the derogatory comments to a minimum please. Some of us actually are Muslim.

So what ? That doesn't give you free reign to censor comments by claiming offense. Toughen up, comment may have been idiotic but hardly a hate crime.

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#146 Gaz
November 27 2013, 07:53PM
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@Fresh Mess

The irony, or course, is that people who make comments like you just did are also the same people who do in fact get offended by "having their noses rubbed in" things like a gay pride parade.

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#147 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 08:05PM
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Gaz wrote:

The irony, or course, is that people who make comments like you just did are also the same people who do in fact get offended by "having their noses rubbed in" things like a gay pride parade.

What? I don't get the least offended by gay pride parades as long as they are not lewd. Same standards I would have for any parade. Your assumptions are false.

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#148 Gaz
November 27 2013, 08:11PM
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@Fresh Mess

I wouldn't have expected you to respond to my comment any other way.

You go on thinking you're right, and I'll do the same, and that'll be that!

Now where's DSF? His absence causes too much infighting.

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#149 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 08:31PM
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Gaz wrote:

I wouldn't have expected you to respond to my comment any other way.

You go on thinking you're right, and I'll do the same, and that'll be that!

Now where's DSF? His absence causes too much infighting.

Has nothing to do with thinking I'm right. You made a veiled accusation of me formed by baseless constructs of your own mind. Perhaps I may not fit in to your tidy subjective ideas of political correctness, but that doesn't give you the right to try and slander me.

How about this: The funny thing Gaz, is that people who make comments like you just did also tend to support the Zionist oppression in the holy land, based on tenuous historical ideology. ----

how would you respond to a baseless and slanderous comment like that?

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#150 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 28 2013, 12:02AM
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borisnikov wrote:

Another thought. Our Dads' and Granfathers' games of hockey, even the game we watched in childhood, is officially dead with this deal. The escalation of salaries will continue and the line between sport & business will grow ever more blurred.

That hockey was long gone ....long before this deal.

In the 1993-94 season the top players in the league were making 3 million or less, including Gretzky, Messier, Lindros, Lemieux, etc........two years later Lemieux was making 11 million...the year after that Joe Sakic was making 16 million+.......somewhere in that time frame hockey became more a business than a sport....

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