NHL COO: VERSUS/NBC To Start Re-negotiations in Late Fall, Two Outdoor Games For 10-11
May 17, 2010 4 Comments
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel gets a bundle of info from NHL COO John Collins, who sounds like an awesome interview (hint hint):
The current TV partners will get first crack at new deals.
“We hope to sit down with them in late fall. We’re eager to see what they come up with,” said Collins. Versus and NBC will be part of the same corporate team if the Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture proposal passes regulatory muster.
Meanwhile, ESPN officials have indicated the sports programming giant is interested in returning to the ice. Is there room for two TV lines? “It’s too early to speak to that,” said Collins, who noted that ESPN America’s contract for league telecasts in Europe is co-terminus with the deals of the U.S. national partners.
Asked if there could be a move toward airing more or all of the games in the first two rounds of the playoffs exclusively on a national basis, Collins replied: “We’re always talking with our partners about ways to improve our schedule.”
Speaking of the latter, Collins said there will be a pair of outdoor games next season, including one in Canada.
He would not specify locations or whether Versus would televise the second game. “We’re in discussions with each network,” he said, noting that the NHL’s schedule, including “Face-Off” contests would be unveiled sometime after the Stanley Cup Finals conclude and before the league’s draft on June 25-26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.