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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#51 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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#52 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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#53 borisnikov
November 27 2013, 08:24AM
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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.

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#54 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 09:12AM
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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.

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#55 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 09:43AM
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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.

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.

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#56 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 10:15AM
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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.

Like hell I'm going to burn through my data and pay up the ass to watch this turd of a team and product...

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#57 2004Z06
November 27 2013, 10:15AM
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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.

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#58 pelhem grenville
November 27 2013, 11:05AM
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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/future-nhl-free-agents-will-cash-in-on-tv-deal/

...the mcdavid kid will be a gazilionaire

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#59 Todd
November 27 2013, 11:21AM
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Bertly83 wrote:

televised hockey isn't a right, it is a privilege. we pay for this privilege.

if you don't want to pay, then you lose the privilege.

if it costs something to produce, its not given away for free. this is business, this is life.

whether they raise prices or don't, that's the nature of the beast.

do you pay for cable now? yes. will you continue so that you can watch hockey? yes.

^^ THIS X 100

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#60 They're $hittie
November 27 2013, 11:32AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

A couple of general comments on the thread:

1. People are absolutely right to point out that broadcasting hockey is a business, and Rogers can charge whatever they want, at which point consumers have the right to pay the increased prices or consume less hockey. All I've said above is that expecting those prices to increase is natural; I'm not casting a moral judgment one way or the other.

2. With that said, I'm not surprised the idea of higher prices annoys people, or that people in general don't feel warm and fuzzy to the telecomm companies.

3. Right now, I'd agree that Sportsnet offers the third-best product of the three English language Canadian providers. The regional teams aren't even a little critical and the analysis lags far behind TSN. I imagine they'll up their game (I don't think Rogers bought these rights so they can spend the next decade hearing 'man, I miss TSN!') but we'll see.

4. I'm personally a fan of Gene Principe. I get that he's not serious, but he adds some levity to a broadcast that has been loss-heavy the last few years.

Again I dont mind Gene, but the oilers on ice performance, the old boys club, the old arena, the octane, and Sportsnets coverage of the oilers is already the laughing stock of the league.

I get that their are 20 owners who would love to have the edmonton market and the young core of players, but everything else about this club, (as 99 would put it) is Mickey Mouse.

That is why I dont want Gene and his puns around anymore. It would be ok if the rest wasnt so amateur.

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#61 book¡e
November 27 2013, 11:38AM
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Dipstick wrote:

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

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.

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#62 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:15PM
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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.

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#63 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:16PM
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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.

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#64 Rocket
November 27 2013, 12:30PM
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I stopped using cable years ago and now just use the interwebs for errything. Thanks to the multiple lockouts and terrible local NHL team, I don't (fully) financially support hockey. I don't buy merch anymore either and I'm squarely in the NHL's target demographic. I still watch Oilers games on the Internet through uh... Other means but I won't be going back to cable anymore.

I don't blame people for being upset with this deal. It seems like every new deal Bettman does screws over the hard working fans. What's up with that?

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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 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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#70 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 28 2013, 04:15AM
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Part of me would dearly love to see 60 cent Canadian dollar again. Set the whole league back to square one again.

Without the 7 Canadian teams to subsidize all the non hockey market US hockey teams, this league would be in ruins. Oh well, who cares anymore, Edmonton hasn't had an NHL team for nearly a decade.

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#71 Supernova
November 27 2013, 08:06AM
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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.

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#72 borisnikov
November 27 2013, 08:11AM
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For me, the honest to god truth is that I feel we pay far to much already to watch the NHL. I'm a fairly pragmatic guy, and if I don't see any personal value or gain in something, I just don't opt in and go along with it. Hockey is great but the gradual commercialization of it has definitely jaded my loyalty. I can live without professional sport if need be. I'm sure I fall in to a very small minority of readers here by sharing that thought. My 2¢.

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#73 Wintoon
November 27 2013, 08:11AM
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A question that I have is what happens to those of us who have Shaw as a cable provider? Do we see increased availability/coverage? If so, do we have to sign up for some elaborate new package in order to see the games they offer?

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#74 Rob...
November 27 2013, 08:30AM
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As is, I'm painfully aware of how much I pay to watch this dog's breakfast of a local hockey team. If the price goes up just to watch more garbage play I'll turf the channels, catch highlights online and be done with it.

I already skip through the intermissions and play stoppages, so I couldn't care less which network shows the games, but I won't pay more for the privilege.

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#75 Spydyr
November 27 2013, 08:33AM
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book¡e wrote:

I'm not convinced that it will cost the consumer more. The cost of advertising on sports events has increased significantly. This is because it's one of the very few opportunities to actually capture Viewers. Most other advertising opportunity on TV have been challenged by PVR's. People watch sports live so advertising is much more effective on live a broadcasts. I think this new deal represents the fact that sports market advertising is become very lucrative. We will see but I wouldn't agree that price increases are inevitable.

Tell me in the end who pays for the advertising ?

Perhaps it is the consumer?

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#76 VIP Zeb
November 27 2013, 08:49AM
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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.

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#77 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 09:27AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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

TSN broadcasts national canadian NHL games.

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.

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#78 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2013, 09:49AM
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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.

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#79 They're $hittie
November 27 2013, 09:56AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Come now… Gene is hilarious and a side-show. It's the commentariat that deserves scrutiny here.

your right no problem with Gene, but it is so beyond terrible of a product and almost to the point of amateur and unprofessional.

Just Lame

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#80 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 09:57AM
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Rogers has been screwing us with cellphone bills for years and here's the proof. I left their garbage service and what little hocked I did watch I kind of lost an appetite for. I hate that company and everything it stands for...

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#81 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 09:59AM
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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

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#82 Spydyr
November 27 2013, 10:02AM
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The bottom line is the 5.2 Billion and Rogers profits will come out of the pocket of Canadians.

They never even kissed us first.

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#83 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 10:04AM
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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 thought like you did but just over a year ago I cut off my cable and it is one of the best things I've done. Mostly garbage on anyway and I can find anything on the net. You can stream every sport or show and easily hook up to a tv if you don't like the comp screen. Screw cable...

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#84 Rob...
November 27 2013, 10:09AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

One point here: the current government has been pushing for that. It's far from a certainty that the Conservatives will win a federal election in 2015, and also far from a certainty that the Liberals and/or NDP would continue the same policies if they were to win an election.

I'm not endorsing one side or the other, simply noting that politics is fluid.

If the 'other side' gets in power I'm buying stock in Frito-Lay and hydroponics companies. The changes they'll bring in will have little to do with the CRTC unless they redefined it to mean cannabis regulation and trafficking commission.

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#85 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 27 2013, 10:09AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

your right no problem with Gene, but it is so beyond terrible of a product and almost to the point of amateur and unprofessional.

Just Lame

Oh, I completely agree that he's lame and a real groaner… he just enjoys it so much that I find him… I don't know… not entertaining, but an object of curiosity.

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#86 IronyInThePark
November 27 2013, 10:23AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

ADIOS RISHAUG!!!!

Interesting point...and to take this further consider this observation.

This will definately change the landscape of staff employed with TSN in regional or local areas. Will there be enough work in Edmonton for Ryan...maybe /maybe not.

I happen to thing that Ryan's interview of Bryzgalov took on a Labour Relations slant with him focusing on the "how do you feel about Philly terminating your employment with them" angle.

The irony is now should we be asking or planning the interview with Ryan when he surfaces after getting terminated with TSN about why they didnt keep him and how does he feel about TSN now.

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#87 book¡e
November 27 2013, 10:29AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

Like hell I'm going to burn through my data and pay up the ass to watch this turd of a team and product...

You should check out something called wi-fi.

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#89 **
November 27 2013, 11:47AM
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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.

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#90 Joel
November 27 2013, 11:56AM
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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.

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#91 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:16PM
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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.

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#92 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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#93 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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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 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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#98 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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#99 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 28 2013, 12:43AM
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pkam wrote:

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?

This is Canada.....Center Ice should be FREE like universal healthcare!

And Beer should be cheap.....the beer industry in Canada should be heavily subsidized...like the CBC is!

And Pot should be legalized.....like prescription pain killers....in case your team sucks for 7+ years!

*Nice start to page four

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#100 chuckcouples
November 28 2013, 12:44AM
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@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.

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