Breaking Sports

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

nhl- What to do with TV

from the Toronto Globe and Mail, Last week, ESPN announced it had stopped negotiating with the National Hockey League for a new television deal. The message seemed clear: NHL games would no longer be carried on ESPN and ESPN2. A 13-year relationship had ended. How big a blow to the NHL is the departure of ESPN? Depending on who in the sports TV business is talking, the answer ranges from not much to serious.
First, the serious: ESPN and ESPN2 are national cable services. Big-time sports properties in the United States receive national cable distribution.
What's more, ESPN deals exclusively in sports content, which meant sports viewers received plenty of exposure to hockey. That helped the game grow.
"You can't underestimate the value of cross-promoting," a TV source said. "That's why NBC's acquiring Sunday night football was so important to the NHL. NBC will use the Sunday night game to promote its hockey telecasts."...more...