William Houston: NBC to Re-Up with NHL

This news comes from William Houston of The Globe and Mail:

The NHL is expected to extend its TV deal with NBC through the 2009-10 season. The profit-sharing arrangement has made money for both sides, but not a great deal. The NHL and NBC each earned a profit of less than $5-million (U.S.) from the 2007-08 season, according to sources.

The extension makes sense for the NHL, which would have games airing on NBC, the U.S. Olympic network, in January of 2010 before the hockey tournament in February.

The article also states that Chris Cuthbert, and not Gord Miller, will be calling the Olympic Gold Medal game.  Good decision.

Once again, enjoy Wrap Around Curl on Wednesday, but we wanted to get this out there.


Why Bob Costas at the Winter Classic is Good

That mug above this typing is Bob Costas’.  He’s done remarkably little actual work since NBC lost the rights to MLB, the NBA and the AFC in the late 90’s/early 00’s.  A horse racing event here, a golf tournament there.  Obviously, the Olympics, and eventually Sunday Night Football, have given him something to do, but there are even rumblings that – with the mass of humanity on that show – he’ll quit that gig too.  

Let’s face it, the man, in his current days, is not a workaholic.  He has every right not to be.  He’s worked pretty much every major event in the sporting world (except the Stanley Cup Finals – c’mon Bob!  Join us more often!) and obviously has enough money to spend his time as he wishes.  

So, when he does choose to do something – and an NHL game at that – it lends some credibility to the event.  That is exactly what his appearance at Winter Classic I did, and is exactly what his hosting of Winter Classic II: Chicago Bugaloo will do.  How do we know he’s in?  Well, if you haven’t seen this promo yet, first of all: Where have you been?  Secondly, listen to the last 10 seconds or so for Costas’ voice, post-jump.

Read more of this post

NBC Continues to Think Seal and Hockey Have Compatible Fan-bases

That strange looking gentleman sitting next to Heidi Klum is her husband, soul/R&B singer Seal.  His music is fairly popular, and has had a recent resurgence due to his marriage with Klum.  Such a resurgence that, last year, his music was put into a figure skating special, “The Music of Seal on Ice”.  You might remember it, because Doc Emrick had to plug it as airing after the Winter Classic in Buffalo.  Well, January 1st is rolling around again pretty soon, and what has NBC put on the schedule? Read more of this post

Hotstove: ESPN Wants in, NBC Offer on the Table

This is just a breaking story, after watching Hockey Night Hotstove on CBC.  Al Strachan made the note that both the NHL and ESPN want back in bed with each other.

Okay, we’ve heard that a million times.  But there seemed to be some speculation as to whether it’d come at the expense of VERSUS or NBC.  Mike Milbury claims there’s a 1-year offer on the table for the NHL to decide on, while Scott Morrisonn seemed to think NBC wanted nothing to do with the league, but Strachan – and obviously Milbury – refuted that claim.

Once I can get a YouTube video to embed here, I’ll post it.  Just interesting food for thought from the Hotstove gang.

Why the BCS’ Move to Cable Doesn’t Exactly Spell Death For the NHL on Broadcast TV

Tooday it was announced that FOX has passed up on the BCS’ bidding rights.  Because, for some reason, the idea of paying more than $100 million a year for a total of four big college football games a year just seemed wrong to even the logic-allergic folks at the FOX networks.  However, what has people the most intrigued is the winner of these rights: ESPN.  Not ESPN on ABC, just plain ol’ ESPN.  The Worldwide Leader gets college football’s national championship, the first major sport to do so since the 1994 Rangers celebrated winning the Stanley Cup on ESPN, and local cable network MSG.  

This entire process has sparked a debate on how much longer it will take for all (non-Super Bowl) major sporting events to move to cable permanently.  Most people are looking at the NHL with an evil smile and a body language that says “You’re next”.  However, I don’t see the NHL moving the entire Stanley Cup Finals to cable for at least a few more years.  Here’s a few reasons why:

Read more of this post