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.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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.
Avatar
#101 Katzhater
November 27 2013, 04:00PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
3
props

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.

Avatar
#102 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:45PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
3
props
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.

Avatar
#103 VIP Zeb
November 27 2013, 08:49AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

I doubt cable bills could get any higher, if anything I'm hearing that bundling channels is falling to the way side. Fans are accessing games online on sites that stream for free, and accessibility to different ways to watch games will only increase. I'm not sure this is a smart move by Rogers and this risk could seriously impact their success in the future as technology evolves.

The NHL is also risking branding themselves with what once was a second rate broadcaster. I watch Oilers games almost exclusively and I'm not totally fond of Sportsnets game presentation or panel. TSN always did things right, with the best panelists, constant coverage, great game presentation, etc. I would watch the odd non Oiler game on TSN just because of the presentation.

The only 2 people I would keep on the entire CBC broadcast are Friedman and McLean.

Its true that the NHL sold out on it's best Canadian broadcaster for $$$. TSN is likely too smart to pay up that kind of money because they're run well and recouping the money is impossible. Its unfortunate the NHL didn't have any loyalty. Everything is about the money, like Jonathan said. It sucks and I'm pretty certain the game production quality isn't going to get much better than the same old Kypreos, Mark Lee, PJ Stock and Glenn Healy rubbish.

Avatar
#104 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 09:12AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
2
props

I think it was a terrible deal for both the nhl and fans - but not for the reasons you outline. Essentially what the nhl has done is move its Canadian media rights (calling them national TV rights is far too narrow a definition) from one monopoly - the CBC to another Rogers. (Yes I know that the CBC has four years - but Rogers has control of that content and once Rogers gets its national broadcast arm (city tv) up to speed the CBC is done).

And replacing one monopoly with another means that while access will be far greater than the current - a good thing - long-term, like all monopolies quality will decline and cost will go up. For TWELVE YEARS.

Now from Gary bettmans perspective this is a great deal. He gets to show the owners the money and it will be a 12 year guaranteed cash flow thus enabling some owners to liquidate and get their money out now. And Gary can retire - or move over to be commissioner of the nba with what will be seen at the time as a Great legacy.

But it will be a mirage. With all of the multi-platform opportunities Rogers will make a killing - and with a monopoly they will be able to pay their on air people far less. It is not a fluke that the NFL has not signed over all of its media rights to one network. They want competition now and in the future. And they have benefitted greatly because if it (how fantastic is the production values of Sunday night football?).

So short-term gain for bettman, the nhl, AND fans. But that will quickly turn to disappointment and frustration for the balance of the twelve years and mountains of moolah for Rogers.

And let's not blame Rogers for that.

While I have been a huge supporter of GB - he did save the oilers after all - I think this will tarnish his legacy and that's a shame.

Avatar
#105 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2013, 09:17AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props

@Serious Gord

CBC doesn't currently have a monopoly on Canadian media rights.

TSN broadcasts national canadian NHL games.

Avatar
#106 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
Serious Gord wrote:

Let me be more precise then - they had monopoly on the choice part of the national market - Saturday night and the finals. - for fifty plus years. That's like having a monopoly on NFL Sunday and the Super Bowl.

Saturday is true monopoly and that will continue. However, I would imagine most viewers are content with the form if not the content of HNIC and wouldn't want to see it dramatically altered.

The playoffs obviously have been split with TSN, but the finals are (as you say) in CBC's hands. But considering it is a single event, I'm not sure what the alternative would be.

It would be impractical to have, say all of CBC, SN and TSN cover the same event with different feeds, on air talent and commentary and split the viewer share.

Avatar
#107 Spydyr
November 27 2013, 09:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Saturday is true monopoly and that will continue. However, I would imagine most viewers are content with the form if not the content of HNIC and wouldn't want to see it dramatically altered.

The playoffs obviously have been split with TSN, but the finals are (as you say) in CBC's hands. But considering it is a single event, I'm not sure what the alternative would be.

It would be impractical to have, say all of CBC, SN and TSN cover the same event with different feeds, on air talent and commentary and split the viewer share.

Actually Sportsnet has said they will air other games on Saturday night. HNIC will no longer have a monopoly on Saturday with their national game.

Avatar
#108 The Benevolent Orca
November 27 2013, 10:36AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Props
2
props

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.

Avatar
#109 **
November 27 2013, 11:47AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

For what I read, what I can conclude ('i might be out to lunch, but that's what I see) is that Rogers and the NHL are betting on having at least 1, possibly 2 expansion teams within the 12 years of the deal. That alone will be a huge amount of cash back for Rogers in coverage and sponsorships.

The second thing I believe Rogers is betting on is cross platform coverage, they seem to be ready to push viewership of the games on tablets, cell phones and computers. They are also eliminating regional blackouts and will be having games available on several channels, so that's more sponsorship money right there.

They're probably going to cut back on costs, so good bye coach's corner.

Avatar
#110 Joel
November 27 2013, 11:56AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props
Bryzarro World wrote:

You fail to note that the federal government is looking at debundling channels because the practice is a joke. They won't be able to bend us over for much longer

Um, no.

If they debundle channels (and we are at least a year away from that actually be implemented), what makes you think that they won't jack up the price of the individual sports net channels?

And for that matter, don't assume that getting just ONE sports net channel will be enough to watch all the games for your team. Look at the sample schedule they had as part of the press release, you'll have to have a couple sports net channels, CBC and City TV to get all 82 games.

And just wait. I can see a year or two down the road, and all playoff games are on a special Sportsnet Playoff channel. At a nice premium of course.

Avatar
#111 Hat Pughes
November 27 2013, 12:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props
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

Avatar
#112 Ed in Edmonton
November 27 2013, 02:48PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props
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.

Avatar
#113 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 05:36PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Props
2
props
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?

Avatar
#114 gaz
November 27 2013, 06:07PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props

@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.

Avatar
#115 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 07:45PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Props
2
props
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.

Avatar
#116 Gaz
November 27 2013, 07:53PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
2
props

@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.

Avatar
#117 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 08:05PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props
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.

Avatar
#118 chuckcouples
November 28 2013, 12:44AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Why has no one mentioned that the rights that Rogers purchased were only for national broadcasts? TSN still owns the local rights to both the Jets and the Habs as well as some Leafs games. The Canucks and Senators contracts with Rogers run out after this season. TSN also owns all of Hockey Canada's rights as well as the rights to all the IIHF events. There is still going to be a lot of hockey to be seen on TSN over the next 12 years.

Avatar
#119 Spydyr
November 28 2013, 06:34AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props
Dipstick wrote:

They didn't get rich by sitting on their asses complaining.

I get up at 4:30am to work five days a week at 5:30am.

I asked the city to pay for a building for a business. They said they only do that for billionaires. I was SOL.

Avatar
#120 EHH Team
November 28 2013, 01:11PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props
Serious Gord wrote:

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?

Thank you for your CV. Now I understand more clearly why I generally disagree with your opinions.

Avatar
#121 boxman
November 27 2013, 08:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Any idea Jonathon how much the annual take will be for the Oilers?

Avatar
#122 book¡e
November 27 2013, 09:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Ca$h-Money!

Agreed, this is part of an overall strategy.

Avatar
#123 pelhem grenville
November 27 2013, 11:05AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
1
props

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/future-nhl-free-agents-will-cash-in-on-tv-deal/

...the mcdavid kid will be a gazilionaire

Avatar
#124 Dipstick
November 27 2013, 11:48AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props
book¡e wrote:

To be fair to Spydyr, our system has done a pretty good job of being biased towards certain groups of wealthy individuals and companies while not always providing an opportunity for individuals from less fortunate backgrounds to succeed. I love the market system for directing many aspects of the economy, but I would double the amount currently invested in public schools and programs targeted towards young individuals in general.

Having a society where economic 'winners' prosper is great, but it needs to provide everyone with a chance to succeed. Then, its up to them if they take it or not.

There is no question that the NHL owners and media companies benefit by the non competitive CRTC rules in this case. I would really appreciate being able to pick which channels I want to watch and only pay for those. Maybe, someday. No offence meant to Spydr.

Avatar
#125 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:15PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
1
props
Joel wrote:

Um, no.

If they debundle channels (and we are at least a year away from that actually be implemented), what makes you think that they won't jack up the price of the individual sports net channels?

And for that matter, don't assume that getting just ONE sports net channel will be enough to watch all the games for your team. Look at the sample schedule they had as part of the press release, you'll have to have a couple sports net channels, CBC and City TV to get all 82 games.

And just wait. I can see a year or two down the road, and all playoff games are on a special Sportsnet Playoff channel. At a nice premium of course.

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.

Avatar
#126 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 02:25PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
1
props
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.

Avatar
#127 common sense
November 27 2013, 02:54PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
1
props

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.

Avatar
#128 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 03:37PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
1
props
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.

Avatar
#129 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 03:42PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
1
props
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.

Avatar
#130 The_CWD_GarbageMan
November 27 2013, 04:13PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
1
props

@Serious Gord

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

Avatar
#131 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:29PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props
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.

Avatar
#132 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 28 2013, 12:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
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....

Avatar
#133 Jimmy
November 30 2013, 04:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Its never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.There is no doubt in my mind that rogers will create a new revenue stream from this deal. As mentioned earlier, Rogers, or robbers as they are known in Ontario, is all about making as much cash as they can. They are deceptive, untrustworthy and dishonest. (Ask anyone who has a cellular contract with these guys.) Consumers may like what they see for now, but Robbers has no interest in consumers, only money. New sports packages will arrive in the future, and you better be ready to pay.. there is no other option. Don't count out the fact that Robbers could start a "pay per view" model in the new future for rivalry games and playoffs. Something like the Winter Classic would be perfect for there "pay per view". Overall I believe this is a bad deal for consumers and hockey in general. These guys (NHL and Rogers) don't care about the game or those who watch it. In fact I wouldn't doubt that Bettman and the CEO of rogers aren't writing themselves big fat bonus cheques right now.

Avatar
#134 book¡e
November 27 2013, 08:40AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
Spydyr wrote:

Tell me in the end who pays for the advertising ?

Perhaps it is the consumer?

Yes, the consumer pays through product purchases, so you pay through your beer and shampoo purchases, but I didn't say the overall budget of advertising for firms will increase (rather that they will be more expensive for NHL games - this may mean that they spend less elsewhere), so prices for those products may not change.

Regardless, we are talking about the price for viewing NHL games here and I am arguing that we may not see an increase due to this deal.

Avatar
#135 BraveNugeWorld
November 27 2013, 09:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Lowe Expectations wrote:

Remember, a big part of this is the push for people to have rogers plans for smartphones, tablets etc in order to get the streaming of games. I think the streaming side is the untapped market Rogers will be going after. TV in it's current format is slowly dying.

Totally agree with this, although the death may not be that slow. Twelve years is a long long time. How many people will have a cable package of any kind in ten years? I'd be pretty shocked if I did.

Avatar
#136 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2013, 09:43AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
Spydyr wrote:

Actually Sportsnet has said they will air other games on Saturday night. HNIC will no longer have a monopoly on Saturday with their national game.

As per the continuing conversation, it will continue to be a monopoly, i.e., controlled by Rogers (though as we've been discussing, it will appear on numerous platforms -- CBC, SN, City, etc), whereas before it was controlled by CBC.

The issue isn't the platform but the right's holder.

Avatar
#137 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2013, 09:49AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props
Serious Gord wrote:

CBC will only be the Saturday night carrier - they pay nothing for it and get nothing from the nhl. Rogers now will run HNIC. All the CBC gets is any over the air ad revenue. Thus one monopoly replaces another.

In the playoffs the CBC got the pick of the Canadian team litter TSN got the crumbs.

In the nfl et al shorter term contracts for just segments of the market are sold. Thus the kind of confusion you outline are avoided yet the competitive juice remains... Selling it all to one company for such a long time in such an rapidly changing system is a very very myopic thing to do.

You're confused in the same way Spyder was, see my reply to him

I didn't say otherwise (i.e., that TSN got to pick playoff rounds).

I don't have a problem with your argument against the monopoly, however, the NFL market is a completely different ball game, and IIRC the Superbowl is always broadcast by one provider because it is more efficient to produce and effective at leveraging market share.

Avatar
#138 jake
November 27 2013, 09:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Compared to revenue sharing under the present agreement to air games in Canada by TSN CBC, SN, I wonder how much more $ teams (in particular US based teams that are struggling) will get as a result of this Canadian broadasting rights deal. I guess another way of asking is how much does this benefit Canadian teams: to reach the cap floor, to reach the cap ceiling, to attract higher end talent, to retain higher end talent...etc etc...in a salary cap era? - it likely doesen't.

Avatar
#139 2004Z06
November 27 2013, 10:15AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
0
props
jake wrote:

Compared to revenue sharing under the present agreement to air games in Canada by TSN CBC, SN, I wonder how much more $ teams (in particular US based teams that are struggling) will get as a result of this Canadian broadasting rights deal. I guess another way of asking is how much does this benefit Canadian teams: to reach the cap floor, to reach the cap ceiling, to attract higher end talent, to retain higher end talent...etc etc...in a salary cap era? - it likely doesen't.

3 mil per year.

Avatar
#141 Todd
November 27 2013, 11:18AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

The new deal works out to roughly $14.5MM/season on average for every NHL team.

Darren Dreger reported that some of that money comes off the top to the Canadian clubs, but I haven't seen anyone report how much of it does.

No idea if this is accurate, but yesterday on Hockey Central, Doug MacLean said the US teams will get about $10mil/year

Avatar
#143 Lochenzo
November 27 2013, 11:40AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

I agree JW. The first concern I had upon hearing the news was production quality. I like what TSN and HNIC bring to the table and prefer watching Oiler games through those venues. Assuming that there is a price increase to watch hockey, I would expect Rogers to increase the production value.

I don't see how Rogers doesn't increase the price. They have a monopoly on a product that is in tremendous demand. They will find a price point that most of us would pay and charge that price.

The angle with the CBC sounds more like a transition period. It would be a shock to the system to lose HNIC within a year. They've given us 4 years to be weened off of HNIC.

Avatar
#144 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:16PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props
Joel wrote:

Um, no.

If they debundle channels (and we are at least a year away from that actually be implemented), what makes you think that they won't jack up the price of the individual sports net channels?

And for that matter, don't assume that getting just ONE sports net channel will be enough to watch all the games for your team. Look at the sample schedule they had as part of the press release, you'll have to have a couple sports net channels, CBC and City TV to get all 82 games.

And just wait. I can see a year or two down the road, and all playoff games are on a special Sportsnet Playoff channel. At a nice premium of course.

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.

Avatar
#145 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:16PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
0
props
Joel wrote:

Um, no.

If they debundle channels (and we are at least a year away from that actually be implemented), what makes you think that they won't jack up the price of the individual sports net channels?

And for that matter, don't assume that getting just ONE sports net channel will be enough to watch all the games for your team. Look at the sample schedule they had as part of the press release, you'll have to have a couple sports net channels, CBC and City TV to get all 82 games.

And just wait. I can see a year or two down the road, and all playoff games are on a special Sportsnet Playoff channel. At a nice premium of course.

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.

Avatar
#146 CaptainLander
November 27 2013, 12:17PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Really? I am going to have to pay more for something I like? That never happens.

If you look at this another gouging of "Canadians are so made about hockey that we can charge what we want, miss seasons have the local teams be crap eve-year and still sell out every game and have big local tv ratings..." time will tell if this is a good strategy for the NHL. I live in Cowtown and have kids in Jr. High. They, like many of their friends as I found through my recent inquiring do not give a rats @$$ about hockey. In asking them, maybe 5 out their class mates actually watched hockey, out 30ish. I can completely understand not wanting to watch the local team here but as an Oil fan I am a bit biased. Maybe this a back example of nation wide opinions but they will always take xbox time over hockey watching. I just get the feeling that 20 years from now the NHL will be a vary different league then it is today. Granted it looked pretty different 20 years ago.

Avatar
#147 Sevenseven
November 27 2013, 04:11PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props

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?

Avatar
#148 Jon
November 27 2013, 04:43PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
0
props
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.

Avatar
#149 Dave
November 27 2013, 06:28PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
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.

Avatar
#150 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 06:39PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Props
0
props
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.

Comments are closed for this article.