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, Sportsnet, 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 camdog
November 27 2013, 09:51AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Cherry is the biggest and oldest senile dino on the show. Time for the old fart to retire. He has been spewing the same lexicon for 20 years... nothing new from him.

Nick Kyperos, the new voice of the nation, lol. Ya he's way better...

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#52 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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#53 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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#54 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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#55 michael
November 27 2013, 08:47AM
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The Conservative government is requiring cable company's to offer pick and pay packages as per coming legislation from the CRTC and the Competition Bureau. Prices will rise per channel but you'll be able to turf Oprah and W and all the other crap that you do not want to see on your TV. Prices to the consumer have to equal demand also. The place where Rogers is going to see an increase in Revenue is in the mobile devices and tablets. 40% of all Canadians now own a tablet. Heck I want one for Xmas so I can watch the Oilers when I am away from my tv.

SN stepped up. The ax will fall at TSN and CBC and at SN as all those TV personalities are amalgamated. TSN is not going to pay MKenzie and the other hosts to do a fraction of the work they do now. If they did it would be dumb.

CBC in partnership with SN will see the end to a few of the CBC's lesser lights. I think we'll see the amalgamation soon after the last puck is dropped this season.

Center Ice will grow. The online content will grow. Blogs will grow.

NBC will look at this deal and you can bet your bottom dollar that NBCSports is going to be looking at how the template that SN implements works in Canada.

I am a big fan of all things hockey. I love my Oilers. But I love the game even more. SN deal is a boon to guys like me. Love it.

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#56 -30-
November 27 2013, 08:57AM
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Not sure how bundling will work since the CRTC is pushing to unbundle television channels and allow you to pic them a la carte.

The government has been knocking cell providers telling us that we pay too much. I wonder if the screws will be put to the cable providers who up until now have had a license to print money in Canada.

If the Oilers go to premium channels that I don't have I will gladly listen to it on the radio or find a stream on the net.

-30-

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#57 mayorblaine
November 27 2013, 09:59AM
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this is a business decision. it is about money. anyone who thinks "we" matter is wrong. "we" don't but our money does.

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#58 STAN
November 27 2013, 01:38PM
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I'd love to see MacKenzie, Lebrun, Rod Smith and perhaps James Duthie move to SN just for their own careers, but it's paradoxical because even with those solid broadcasters SN is bound to find a way to present them in the worst possible light (literally and figuratively).

SportsNet is crap, from a one-time talented and trustworthy Darren Millard to the laughable Nick Kypreos, the aforemented Principe and the goofs who try to play broadcasters in Calgary and Vancouver.

This deal makes a mockery of free enterprise. Monopolies rules and Rogers and the NHL know that better than anyone. Monopoly, collusion and consumer indifference, now THAT's how you squeeze REAL money out of our flawed system.

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#59 Wax Man Riley
November 27 2013, 08:39AM
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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.

NHL Gamecenter and a $5/month subscription to unblock-us.com and you get all the non-playoff (aka Oilers) hockey you can handle.

Works like a charm and gets you American Netflix too.

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#60 Crondor
November 27 2013, 08:48AM
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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.

“The theory of exodus proposes that the most effective way of opposing capitalism and the liberal state is not through direct confrontation but by means of what Paolo Virno has called “engaged withdrawal,”mass defection by those wishing to create new forms of community. One need only glance at the historical record to confirm that most successful forms of popular resistance have taken precisely this form. They have not involved challenging power head on (this usually leads to being slaughtered, or if not, turning into some—often even uglier—variant of the very thing one first challenged) but from one or another strategy of slipping away from its grasp, from flight, desertion, the founding of new communities.” ― David Graeber, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

In other words, lets stop watching the NHL and start a new league!

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#61 Ducey
November 27 2013, 09:34AM
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You are missing the real story. Rogers and Bell own Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Rogers is going to shove the Leafs down our throats 24/7 in order to increase the value of MLSE.

Expect to get Leafs games for free, but to pay for Oilers, Flames, Canucks, Jets, and Canadiens programming.

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#62 book¡e
November 27 2013, 10:33AM
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bleedblue wrote:

Its time for the Communist Broadcasting Corp to go away. And drop Cherry off at the Tyrell Museum for display.

Keep your redneck trash in Ontario - we don't need your backwards thinking regressives in Alberta.

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#63 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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#64 Ca$h-Money!
November 27 2013, 08:44AM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

NHL Gamecenter and a $5/month subscription to unblock-us.com and you get all the non-playoff (aka Oilers) hockey you can handle.

Works like a charm and gets you American Netflix too.

I do this. Gamecenter with no blackouts gets me every single NHL game for $99. Between US Netflx & Hulu I get all the TV I can handle.

I realised at one point that the only reason I still had TV was for sports. When you think about an $80 tv bill you realise you are spending $1000/year on TV.... just wasn't worth it. With two young kids at home I just don't have the time to justify it.

I just hope this new ownership arrangement doesn't lead to big changes in GC.

On the broader article, I'm not sure I agree with the experts. I think this is a defensive play by Rogers; I think they see that lots of people keep TV only for the sports, and so they understand the huge advantage that comes with controlling sports. In Canada, other than one off events like the Olympics, Sports = Hockey.

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#65 Bertly83
November 27 2013, 11:17AM
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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.

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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 Katzhater
November 27 2013, 03:57PM
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@Joel

Joel, basically spot on. Serious Gord, basically shut your yap. You don't know the first thing about what you speak.

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#70 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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#71 pelhem grenville
November 27 2013, 08:29AM
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JW...as I understand it, this deal won't kick in til the start of the 2014-15 season

lotsa time for all to freakout til then no?

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#72 TonyT
November 27 2013, 10:52AM
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I regularly watch trade deadline day on both networks (tsn and sportsnet), and I have been pleasantly surprised as to how many trades Kypreos actually breaks before the insiders.

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#73 book¡e
November 27 2013, 11:23AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Yes, billionaires and millionaires get more money on the back of the working class.

The discrepancy between the rich and the rest of us continues to grow.

So.... revolution?

I am all for instituting more progressive taxes to help address inequality and ensure that there are good opportunities and incentives for all to succeed, but there is nothing wrong with profit - it is integral to a well functioning market.

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#74 Smokey
November 27 2013, 01:22PM
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@Shaker

Mean Gene shtick is annoying at times. It appeals to my grandma. Youngin' just don't enjoy the fine science of punery they way they should. I like Geno as a person, and I don't mind him when he's just doing his interviews or some analysis, and if did it without the jokes I'd say nothing negative. If he dumped the comedy would he be more appreciated? I for one like hi, but his jokes blow.

Why do people not have an issue with Ron MacLean doing the same thing? I love his punery, but he's like a master Jedi or something. Best part of coaches coroner is watching Grapes face when MacLean owns him with the off the cuff gem at the end.

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#75 hankthetank
November 27 2013, 01:50PM
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TV timeouts will be three times longer...

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#76 please cancel acct
November 27 2013, 05:27PM
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sec206 wrote:

5.2 billion to get rid of Mark Lee, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy? Worth every penny.

You forgot PJ Stock with his little man syndrome

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#77 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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#78 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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#79 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 10:18AM
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Spydyr wrote:

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.

Just stay away from companies that are involved with the NHL and Sportsnet and you won't have to bitch about the increase...

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#80 Derick V
November 27 2013, 10:55AM
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TL'DR: There is a scenario where Rogers screws fans and gouges them for access to hockey. Alternately, they subsidize this with creative revenue streams as a service provider and aggressive ad sales. I hate greedy Rogers just as much as you guys, but relax people!

It's interesting that the reaction to this is solely that Rogers plans to subsidize the cost of this deal solely on our backs alone. I don't see this as being entirely the case.

First you must consider that Rogers will try to leverage NHL coverage to lure customers away from other service providers (mainly Bell and minor carriers) by bundling access to hockey coverage for their customers. Look no further than how much Bell advertised TSN Mobile to customers during the playoffs (where Rogers was locked out).

Rogers would rather have you as a cable customer at Bell's loss to save you money on more hockey than screw everybody and alienate customers. You're worth more to them as a customer of their services than as a consumer of their content. If they can put the two together they'll make a lot more money than if they just jack up the prices on access to content. There are already overtures hidden in the media coverage that they are thinking of doing this.

Secondly, the more ways consumers CAN watch, the more games they offer TO watch, the more people hockey people will watch. This blanketed national coverage will clearly drive up ad prices on Rogers' networks. They will seek to subsidize this deal heavily with ad sales. They are taking 100% of ad revenue on HNIC AND using the brand to draw eyeballs in the Cup playoffs and finals. They'll make a killing on that and it's a bigger loss to CBC than people realize.

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#81 Gravis82
November 27 2013, 11:06AM
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Todd wrote:

Man I don't get it... Why are people complaining? Its so typically Canadian to feel entitled. But sports? Really? People feel entitled to their NHL hockey...

If it costs too much, don't watch. If you don't like the product, don't watch. If you do like it, and its worth the cost for you, great! That's how the real world works.

Maybe some of the lefties out there can get involved here. Regulate it, unionize it, cap it, watchdog it. Send ideas to a policy think tank and figure out how to socially engineer the optimal NHL TV deal that is accessible, honest, fair and FREE for everyone! Maybe get those fat cat executives at Rogers to subsidize it for us.

OR - it could be run like the NFL. A league who has focused on making money and having an amazing product and the end result is THE BEST sports product on the planet.

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.

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#82 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 06:58PM
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Jon wrote:

So the Sportsnet crew is hired by the Oilers?? That makes no sense, why do they do the Olympics stuff for Sportsnet then? When TSN bought 1260 why did they get rid of all the Sportsnet guys if they're just hired by the Oilers? Why is it just the 630 Ched guys that do the Oilers website stuff if Sportsnet guys are also Oilers employees?

I'm not going to debate you on conspiracy theories. Quinn,Principe, Debrusk, Staufer, Michaels are all on the Oiler payroll.

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#83 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 28 2013, 12:54AM
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Oh yeah.....and all NHL hockey games should be broadcast on HBO so the commentators can get real...ask tough politically incorrect questions, swearing is mandatory, grill the players and coaches with hard hitting between period interviews....stop lobbing them soft balls and excepting their mind numbing cliched answers...High Octane girls could be nude.....and screw the 50/50 crap....there should on site betting windows in every arena.....and did I mention the Beer should be CHEAP!

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#84 Spydyr
November 27 2013, 08:29AM
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Chris Jones has been named head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos.

He can't be worse the last one, can he?

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#85 book¡e
November 27 2013, 08:45AM
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I would add that part of this is Rogers using this desalination as a means to gain market share in the cable/online market which may mean they recoup their costs through a larger customer base as opposed to higher prices.

They would do this with hockey watching perks for Rogers customers that would not be available to Bell customers.

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#86 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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#87 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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#88 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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#89 Doctor Smashy
November 27 2013, 10:33AM
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camdog wrote:

Nick Kyperos, the new voice of the nation, lol. Ya he's way better...

Now that is a chilling thought...

...from the network that brought us this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI2FVbtNv0U

...stay classy Sportsnet.....

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#90 Derick V
November 27 2013, 11:02AM
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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.

TSN will be fine as long as two things happen:

1. They compete with the NHL coverage for ratings by acquiring strong media deals for other sports people like to watch (NFL, CFL, NBA, MLB).

2. Keep their strong hockey news coverage and analysis when the games aren't on so people switch channels when the game's over and they want to hear smart people talk about the game that just ended.

I'd say both have to happen, but likely won't. It'll be hard for fans to stomach NBA on TSN with the abrupt transition to TH2N and Insider Trading right afterwards. Trying to keep both fan-bases watching at different times will likely piss off other content providers because their product isn't getting suitable wrap-around coverage.

If they go all in on other sports products, the hockey team will likely jump ship to Rogers or NBC, possibly keeping a "loaner" clause to come back for IIHF tournaments.

Dark days ahead indeed. They survived for four years a while back, but this is three times the length in an age where people will watch the product they want on 2+ screens at a time with little attention for other venues.

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#91 pkam
November 27 2013, 12:59PM
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sec206 wrote:

5.2 billion to get rid of Mark Lee, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy? Worth every penny.

Where is your source?

My understanding is HNIC will continue and CBC will determine their own staff.

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#92 Jon
November 27 2013, 02:22PM
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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.

So the Sportsnet crew is hired by the Oilers?? That makes no sense, why do they do the Olympics stuff for Sportsnet then? When TSN bought 1260 why did they get rid of all the Sportsnet guys if they're just hired by the Oilers? Why is it just the 630 Ched guys that do the Oilers website stuff if Sportsnet guys are also Oilers employees?

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#93 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 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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#98 Bryzarro World
November 27 2013, 12:13PM
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Rob... wrote:

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.

If trudeau got in power I would move out of this country and become muslim. World would be lost at that point...

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#99 A-Mc
November 27 2013, 01:57PM
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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 am, for all intents and purposes, living in a 1 tv house. If i want to watch a hockey game, i need to take over the TV from the Woman of the house and our 4 year old (who wants nothing more than cartoons on 24/7, even when he's not home).

Every season i gripe about blackouts. If in some way, this rogers deal can remove blackouts from the streamed product the NHL offers, i am 10000% for this. I would pay the $$ to watch hockey, IN ALL MARKETS, as long as i could get around blackouts for Oilers games.

Blackouts need to go...

PS: I'm referring to subscribing to the streamed online product so that i am free to watch all games as opposed to fighting for the TV to watch them over cable. PLZ REMOVE STREAM BLACKOUTS!

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#100 Serious Gord
November 27 2013, 02:36PM
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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.

As Craig simpson confirmed on 1260 ALL CBC on air people have their contracts expiring at the end of the year due to the upcoming futrue contract not being in place. One would assume that is also the case for TSN and Rogers. Thus EVERYTHING is in flux as to who will be working for rogers when the new contract comes into force. So lots of people looking for a smaller number of jobs. The result will be significant downward pressure on the on air salaries.

With unbundling the costs will go down - not up. At least at first. Sports channels are in demand, some of the more obscure CANCON and other channels don't draw flies. The CANCONs will either have to jump their rates or see incomes plummet (but a jump could kill subscribership even more). Meanwhile the sports channels will see huge demand and get to keep all of the subscriber payment rather than share it with the obscure channels like they do now.

In time as the rogers channels leverage their hockey monopoly they may ramp up rates, but i suspect they don't plan on doing that - rather they want to generate cross-platform revenues and use the TV as a bit of a loss-leader.

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