NFL Draft Overnight Best Since '14 Sharapova's Return Injects Needed Star Power NFL Creates New Exec Replay Position Did Political Leanings Affect ESPN's Bottom Line? PGA Tour China Appears Grounded For '17 Manfred Still Confident In ESPN's MLB Coverage Sens Don't Sell Out Second-Round Opener Cord-Cutting, Rights Fees Put ESPN In Bind PGA Tour Spices Up Schedule With Team Event ESPN Personalities Address Company's Layoffs
Upcoming Conferences and Events
May 31 - Jun 1
SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies
BEYOND THE RHETORIC: WHY WAS OWNERSHIP SO ANGRY?
Published October 6, 1994
The NHL owners' "anger appeared to stem from the fact that they, for the first time, apparently offered up a tax on gate receipt revenue as a means of generating support funds for small market teams." The inclusion of a revenue tax "marked a significant departure from previous offers" (Damien Cox, TORONTO STAR, 10/6). Mark Everson calls the owners' offer to tax gate receipts a "major shift" and predicts it could "be the basis for an agreement, once blood pressures drop." Bettman, on Goodenow's inclusion of a gate receipts tax in the union proposal: "He thought I couldn't get it past the Board of Governors. Well, I can" (N.Y. POST, 10/6). Goodenow reported that during the talks, McMullen told the NHLPA, "The hell with small markets, that's not what this is about" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/5). SPECIFICS: Larry Brooks lays out the NHL's latest revenue- sharing plan in this morning's N.Y. POST: 1) Using the '93-94 average payroll of $14.1M as a "trigger," there would be a flat 1% payroll tax per million up to the trigger; 2) There would be a marginal 5% tax rate for each $325,000 above the trigger; 3) A flat 3% tax on gate receipts for the top 16 revenue teams. The NHL "is willing to negotiate the trigger position. It has also proposed a minimum team payroll, with funds generated from the taxation monies dedicated to salary" (N.Y. POST, 10/6). ESPN's Al Morganti reported that the NHL brought its 125% ceiling on a payroll tax down to 122% ("SportsCenter," 10/5). In Toronto, Bob McKenzie reports the league also proposed a rate proposal that "progressively taxed every team on every payroll dollar -- even those under the league average -- up to a minimum of 105 percent" (TORONTO STAR, 10/6). Goodenow said the union will be preparing a counter-proposal "over the next day or so" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/5). UNITY CHECK FOR BOTH SIDES: In New York, Mark Everson reports a "significant schism has formed" among the owners. The Rangers, Red Wings, Flames, Canadiens and Maple Leafs "are believed to be pressing for a settlement," with the Devils, Bruins and Flyers "dug in" (N.Y. POST, 10/6). In Winnipeg this morning, Brian Smiley reports at least two Jets -- "one, a very high-profile player -- are experiencing severe financial difficulties" (WINNIPEG SUN, 10/6). DEFINING "REVENUE": Goodenow also criticized NHL VP Brian Burke for giving a "one-sided picture" of the league's offer to guarantee the players 63% of all revenue. The NHL definition of revenue "leaves out marketing, the new Fox network TV deal, expansion fees, pay-per-view potential in Canada and other revenue sources" (Tony Gallagher, Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/6). Bettman said the figure on NHL losses in '92-93, which the league claims to be $32M, does not include expansion fees from the Lightning and Senators shared by the other 22 clubs (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 10/6). Bettman: "A business doesn't, on an on- going basis, reports its operating revenue to include extraordinary sales of assets. We're not in the business of selling expansion franchises every year" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 10/6).