Making money in sports is a difficult proposition – unless you are Kenny "Effing" Powers, featured above signing a K-Swiss endorsement deal. The Edmonton Oilers seem to have figured this out and have ended their pay-per-view experiment, signing a 10 year deal with Sportsnet to broadcast a hogillion games per year.
This bears further discussion on a rainy Thursday afternoon.
According to the press release on (GASP) Sportsnet.ca:
"Rogers Sportsnet today announced an unprecedented 10-year partnership with Alberta’s two National Hockey League teams, under which Rogers Sportsnet will be the clubs’ Official Television Broadcaster and provider of digital media content until 2020."
This announcement means three things really:
1) The Oilers took a look at the PPV receipts from the 82nd game of the 2009-10 season as the 30th place team in the NHL and fainted. When they came to, they swore they were getting out of the risky PPV TV business.
2) Sportsnet ONE – a new channel being added to the SportsNet Family of Channelry – think that it is infinitely less risky to broadcast crappy Oilers hockey then show poker 24/7 on their new channel for the next ten years.
3) Both parties think the internet will still be around in 2020, including digital content as a major portion of the agreement.
HIP HIP _________
We think that this is a tremendous thing for the average fan of the ice hockey in Alberta. Firstly, we don’t have to stream games on shady Croatian websites to watch PPV anymore. Secondly, we had this dreadful feeling that the Oilers would expand PPV coverage year after year after year until it cost us hundreds of dollars to follow our faithful hockey squadron on the telematrix.
Instead the Oilers have opted to go the free-to-air route, take the guaranteed money from Sportsnet and let the good folks at Rogers figure out how to make money in the TV business.
It’s amazing really that the Oilers have abandoned this experiment. They must have done REALLY REALLY poorly last season to give up on a business that has been several seasons in the making. It’s also amazing that TSN – first out of the gate as the 24/7 sports channel in Canada – continues to lose ground to Sportsnet, particularly in Western Canada.
No more PPV.
All we need now is another press release titled "Rexall Beer beer prices to be slashed by 70%" and the squee will be upgraded to Tropical Storm Status.