Friday, November 29, 2013

Rogers scores on the power play...

The announcement of Tuesday that the NHL had entered into an exclusive 12 year broadcast rights agreement with Rogers Sportsnet, has provided for a major seismic shift in Canadian television, one which could change much more than just what channel Canadians can find a hockey game on.

. .

When the folks at Rogers trotted out the abacus and decided that 5.2 billion dollars (that's billion with  BIG HONKIN' B) was an alright number to write on the napkin, they won one of the greatest of poker games that has never been broadcast on Sportsnet or TSN.

With that cash call too rich for TSN and the thing of fanciful wishes for the CBC, Rogers redefined how Canadians will follow their beloved game next season. One which will make much use of the variety of Rogers video platforms and channels and leaves the iconic Hockey Night in Canada as kind of a museum piece, one which could be put away in storage in just four years.

How it all shakes out for Canadian hockey fans remains to be seen, optimists see nothing but puck for years to come on every channel at every hour.

Those given to more realistic thoughts, suspect that somehow the reach into the wallet or purse will be just a little deeper once all of the great plans are put forward and the games flicker on. With brand new levels of programming options at premium choices.

Or if Canadians ever do receive that pick and pay option that the Federal Government would like to see, a good portion of the pick and the pay will be going the Rogers way.

Interestingly enough, much of the comment in the last few days has been to ponder the fate of Donald S. Cherry, we're not sure of any official tabulations but there is probably a fair number on either side of the will Rogers keep him, or ditch him side of the debate.

As for TSN, we're not sure what it all may mean for the network that liberated the Hockey Night in Canada song, only to see it shuffled to the bottom of the iPod listings a few years later.

Some suggest that there is still a role for the channel to play, though clearly its days as a major platform for the NHL will be gone for at least a dozen years, where the world of television is by that time is anyone's guess.

For the short term though, they do still have some star power to project on the ice, even if that ice will feature more and more pebbles in years to come.

Then again, we're not sure Vic Rauter is ready to share the stage with this guy...

At the end of the day, the monster broadcast deal clearly will go down as a triumph for Gary Bettman, who has long believed his television strategy would deliver large sums of money to his bosses,  on Tuesday, the Commissioner delivered on his Broadcast blue print.

As they prepare to cash those cheques year after year, the 30 owners of the league probably won't give much thought as to what channel the game is on, just that once we turn on the television, a bank teller somewhere in New York processes another deposit slip.

How giddy was Commissioner Bettman at the day's developments? So enthralled with how the day developed that he appeared on Sportsnet's Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown, something that hasn't happened in a long, long time.

Should the Commissioner next deliver an NHL franchise to Quebec City (TVA now a major player with the NHL in broadcast rights) we imagine that they'll put up a statue of him in the Quebec Capital, maybe over by that Wolfe guy (he could use a little protective glow from le Vieux-Quebec)

Needless to say, Tuesday's announcement has had tongues wagging for over 24 hours now, some of the reviews and possible ramifications of the NHL's agreement can be found below.

Globe and Mail-- NHL deal gives CBC a chance to reboot
Globe and Mail-- Creative partnerships are CBC's new norm
Globe and Mail-- Don Cherry waits for Coach's Corner to discuss future of flagship hockey broadcast
Globe and Mail-- Did TSN's overconfidence scuttle deal with NHL?
Globe and Mail-- Rogers mega TV Deal to boost NHL salary cap
Globe and Mail-- Sportsnet's new hockey deal to mean higher cable costs
Globe and Mail-- Dominoes fall around the NHL after mammoth broadcast deal
Globe and Mail-- Hockey where you want it: Rogers NHL deal covers all the platforms
Globe and Mail-- A game changer for Canada's game
Globe and Mail-- What the new Rogers-NHL deal means for Canadian hockey fans

National Post-- Don't count out TSN after NHL deal with Rogers...
National Post-- What the NHL deal with Rogers means to the CBC, Don Cherry and the Quebec Nordiques
National Post-- NHL's deal with Rogers turns Canada's sports television landscape on its head
National Post-- TSN has no plans to give up rights to theme made famous by Hockey Night in Canada
National Post-- Is there life after hockey for TSN? Rogers deal a huge body blow for Canada's largest sports network
National Post-- TSN shut out as Rogers signs 12 year $5.2 B NHL deal, CBC job cuts loom after losing editorial control of HNIC

Toronto Star-- NHL signs 12-year TV, Internet deal with Rogers; CBC keeps "Hockey Night in Canada"
Toronto Star-- Rogers-NHL deal: Will cable costs rise? Possibly
Toronto Star-- NHL deal with Rogers huge blow to CBC
Toronto Star-- CBC deal with Rogers: 72 frantic hours that change everything
Toronto Star-- Rogers' NHL deal will fatten players' wallets
Toronto Star-- Rogers-NHL deal: Where will the personalities wind up?

Toronto Sun-- TVA Sports, Rogers score 12 year, $5.2 billion NHL deal
Toronto Sun-- New TVA, Rogers TV deals will change the way we watch the NHL
Toronto Sun-- What happens to Don Cherry in new Rogers NHL broadcast deal?
Toronto Sun-- TSN suffers a Black Tuesday
Toronto Sun-- Ten things to know about the NHL's new TV deal

CBC Sports-- NHL thrilled by media rights bonanza
CBC Sports-- CBC and Rogers respond to new NHL broadcasting rights deal
CBC Sports-- NHL cashes in on media rights
CBC Sports-- Rogers scores National NHL TV Rights for $5.2B

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