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I first heard of this book on an episode of Toronto Mike'd. David Shoalts was the guest. Shoalts has been on his program many times before. I knew of his work from the Globe and Mail and I recognized him from his appearances on Prime Time Sports.
The reason why I picked this book up at the local Indigo was because of the recent Sportsnet personalities leaving their NHL platform. Nick Kypreos,Doug McLean,John Shannon etc. You have to say it like that because you experts out there don't actually know what happened. I don't know either.
I like this book for a multitude of reasons:
- It is 200 pages! If you give me anything longer I may have the urge to beat you with it.
- It is unbiased.
- It tells a story from all sides
- It has figures and values that make you go wow.
I am not going to spoil the story or the backstory for you. Get the book! I have a lot of questions though.
My first question is does your opinion change about the three men who signed this deal on behalf of Rogers? Those three men being, Former CEO Nadir Mohammed. Former President of Rogers Media Keith Pelley and the former Head of Sportsnet Properties Scott Moore.
My answer is yes and no. Yes because those guys signed a deal that they probably knew the company couldn't sustain or afford. They also let their successors have the hard conversations with those employees that had to be let go because of this deal. Those individuals claimed to have left Rogers on their terms. You think after the celebrations that they dug a huge fucking hole? Especially after the performance of the Canadian Teams? As well as the lockout's that continue to happen?
No because I feel Gary Bettman was going to screw someone over on this deal. Demanding that Hockey Night in Canada be included in the Canadian viewing rights package instead of separating it out.
The NHL offered Canadian Networks a chance to bid on:
- Wednesday Night Prime Time games.
- Hockey Night in Canada
- Sunday Night Hockey.
- Along with regional packages
As mentioned Bettman and team bundled this up into 1 package.
Who else does that?
Major League Baseball separates their rights out. FOX has Prime Time games on Saturday nights and shares the playoffs with TBS. ESPN still has evening baseball on many days of the week,
NFL as you all know separates their coverage. CBS and FOX have the afternoon games plus playoffs.NBC has Sunday Night Football and ESPN has Monday Night Football. The Thursday night games are a partnership between the NFL Network and the other providers.
NBA has TNT and Disney for their US coverage and here in Canada TSN and Sportsnet have even coverage due to the stakes in MLSE.
Even WWE has split their coverage of RAW and Smack Down between USA Network (NBC Universal) and Fox Sports.
The answer to my question is no body!
Here is another thing from the book that blew my mind. Rogers took over Hockey Night in Canada. They kicked people out of the CBC building to build new sets. Mind you some members were hesitant to do that but the President of CBC Sports gave the go ahead.
CBC paid Rogers to air Hockey Night in Canada. They used CBC staff to air the program. CBC was not entitled to ANY advertisement dollars on the program. Including playoffs!
This was a stupid move on both parts. Rogers could have "shared" the rights with CBC and allowed them to get those dollars and they could have had CBC pay them for airing the rights instead of the NHL. It would have been way more and they could have received bigger sponsors.
CBC well they just screwed themselves really they could have played hardball as Rogers didn't have the coast to coast network reach that CBC did.
There are still many years left for this deal to maybe see a profit. Who knows?
Buy the book click this link.
Let me know what you think down below.
Follow me on Twitter: @BrentCardyShow