Rocks Rumours: New US TV Deal? and a New Schedule
The popular American Network NBC has a 2 year contract to broadcast NHL games this year, but many fans in the United States still believe that the deal signed for NBC isn’t strong enough to promote hockey back to the United States. After all, as fickle as the fans can be in states where the market is thin, they need to be inticed to watch more hockey come October 2005, and the select games NBC is willing to broadcast isnt enough to generate interest back into the NHL. However, reports out of Philadelphia claim that TV corporation Comcast Corp is preparing a bid to broadcast even more NHL games nationwide. Perhaps this will be healthy for the NHL as both NBC and Comcast are competing for the NHL, which could entice ESPN to come back into the Fray. Perhaps this competition will create a demand for the NHL, and this could lead to improved coverage, and wider acceptance.
According to the Toronto Sun, there is a new schedule style being worked out. According to the Sun, there will be at least 8 matchups between divisional rivals, and at least 10 matchups between conference rivals. To Toronto fans, this means 8 Montreal vs. Toronto matchups. Don’t get me wrong here, Toronto is a team that brings fans to the arena, you cannot deny that. Unfortunately with this rule, it prevents as many west coast trips for the Leafs. This means decreased revenues for teams who need the extra boost including Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Additionally, many teams around the league who depend on high profile teams to come around once and a while may not even see them once in a year. Moreover, teams will now save on travel expenses because they will be mostly playing on their side of North America. This means no Toronto vs. Florida on Monday, and Toronto vs. Vancouver on Tuesday. Even more is that teams will now not have rediculously long road trips, as its more likely to have an interdivisional matchup.
Sources: Spector’s Hockey, TheFourthPeriod