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Snippet of Hockey Central: March 11: A Gamechanger for the NHL

Last Played: April 06, 2021
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Elliot Friedman joins the podcast to talk about the NHL's new deal with ESPN, what it means for the fans, and for the league. According to Friedman, the deal with ESPN might not be as big a deal for hockey fans in Canada, but it's a gamechanger for hockey players and fans in America. It also legitimizes the NHL's position in the world of broadcasting and streaming.
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I'll ask you pretty short and sweet one here. What does an ESPN deal mean for the NHL and its fans? Well, what it means is that I mean, obviously, it doesn't mean as much for us here in Canada. It's more for the United States than anything else. But what it means is that, um, you know, in the States, ESPN sets the sports agenda. They're the biggest player. Um, they are, uh, in terms of what they schedule, how they promote your sport, social media channels, all of that stuff. ESPN is the biggest player, and there certainly is an opinion that if you're not on ESPN, you're not in the game. The players felt that way. I know a good chunk of the league felt that way. You know, I thought NBC was a really good partner for the league, but there was just a feeling that, you know, we're not on ESPN. That's what it does. I think the other thing that this deal is about Justin is is I don't think I don't think there's a lot of the Big Four sports leagues. Nobody is betting on streaming as much as the NHL is here. um, you know, when we grew up guys, if you said there's only gonna be 25 games a year on national television, that would have been an epic freak out. It's a disaster. But now, the way the next generation and even some of the older generation is getting into streaming and cutting McCord. It's not as big a deal anymore. It's a big change. There's no question about that in terms of philosophy. But it's the way the world is going. And I think that history will prove that it isn't a bad thing for the NHL to do this. I'm curious about the second phase of the deal. I think you know, NBC is really stuck as and the NHL has really grinded at this. Um, I think the NBC is is on a number and it's held firm, and it's not a number of the NHL wants to do so. I'm just wondering, you know, how do they How do they bridge this? How did they get this time? So, speaking of numbers, then, Elliot, do we know because it wasn't It wasn't in any release yesterday, either from the NHL or from ESPN, Do we have an idea of what the numbers involved are here. Now we know it's a seven year deal. It's four Stanley Cups. What about the decimal point? Here it's It's between 4 10 and 4 20 from what I understand. Okay, And what would from from A from a secondary from a secondary partner, then two part question here? One is that is the ESPN number, something that the NHL would be happy with based on expectations And to what would they be looking for in a secondary partner? Do you know? Well, I think that's what you know. Before the pandemic, the NHL, I think, was hoping to get somewhere between 6 57 100 million. I think you know now and you know that's no longer relevant in a lot of ways because the pandemic has changed everything. I mean, only the NFL is completely full for upon this because they are juggernaut when it comes to TV numbers. I think right now the NHL is probably looking at somewhere between their target is somewhere between 506 100. Like I said there around 4, 10, 4, 20 now, so they've got they're looking at at least 90 and hopefully more from that second partner. But like I said, I think the negotiations with NBC has been a real has been a real crime, Yeah.
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