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SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies
BETTMAN ADDRESSES NHL FRANCHISE MOVEMENT, TV, MARKETING
Published May 10, 1995
In an interview on this morning's "Bloomberg Business News," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was asked if the relocation of the Jets, and the possible moves of other franchises, would give the league a "gypsy image." Bettman: "I hope not -- short-term it might. But what we're in the process of doing is dealing with some of the harsh realities of small markets in Winnipeg and Quebec, markets that don't have new buildings and that need them when there is no prospect of getting them. And hopefully, in the long-term, if the franchises move, it will the league and those teams stronger." Asked about the effect of the lockout, Bettman noted the improved ratings on Fox and the 3.5% increase in attendance. Bettman: "We had a problem, and we dealt with it and we got it behind us and our fans have reacted very favorably to that." Posed with the notion that the league has never been successful packaging its stars, Bettman said, "Well, in fact, I am not sure if that was deliberate. But our goal is to let people know who our great athletes are because that will help sell the game. But it is the chicken and the egg -- not enough people know our players, not enough people know our game, and we have to teach them about both and that is what we are working on" (PBS, 5/10). EDMONTON FEELS A DRAFT: A local Edmonton TV station reported that the NHL entry draft will be held in that city. The draft was scheduled to be in Winnipeg, but those plans changed with the Jets move (CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/10).