August 15, 2005, - 3:42 pm

This is a Joke, Right?: NHL’s New Network Deal

By Debbie Schlussel
USA Today’s TV sports columnist, Michael Hiestand, reports that the NHL has found “a legitimate suitor,” the Outdoor Life Network, for it’s national TV rights. This is how low this “major” sports league has sunk–the Outdoor Life Network.
Remember that, the next time you are asked to fund–through your taxes–the playing palaces of these millionaire players and their billionaire team owners, who, respectively, wouldn’t agree to a salary cap and won’t cut ticket prices.

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2 Responses

The USA Today article simplified it too much and as such is technically wrong. What it actually is is that Comcast Cable wants to create a TV network patterned after OLN (which they own) to cover the NHL. It would more like the local Philadelphia sports cable channel that they own that shows Phillies games (or something like Fox Sports Net in many other cities) than an obscure cable channel like OLN. A step down from ESPN or NBC, but still not the “basement door” that OLN would be.
This makes sense in that Comcast indirectly (through Ed Snider) owns a hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers.
I do think that the fact that no broadcast TV networks nor in all likelihood ESPN (who dropped them during the lockout) is telling and does speak many volumes in agreement with what you’re saying, but just wanted to get the story right.

hairymon on August 15, 2005 at 7:07 pm

I guess I’m lucky, since MSG carries Ranger games, and I can catch Devil and Ice-Lander games on FoxSportsNY. Hopefully they’ll cut some deal with a national basic cable channel like ESPN so I watch this new kid Sidney Crosby. But since things like Div II NCAA basketball and poker got better ratings than hockey in the same timeslot during the lockout last year I’m not holding my breath. OLN’s a premium channel on my system, so if this new Comcast channel is patterned and priced the same way I won’t be getting that.

Yngvai on August 15, 2005 at 8:16 pm

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