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DEVILS SPORTSCHANNEL DEAL NO INCENTIVE TO STAY
Published May 26, 1995
In New York, Richard Sandomir examines the Devils' current TV deal and how it may contribute to a possible move to Nashville. The Devils' SportsChannel deal expires in '97-98, but Devils Owner John McMullen "has not asked SportsChannel to renegotiate." However, if the team stays they still wouldn't be able to "dictate higher local rights fees" -- even with their current success." SportsChannel and MSG (the Devils former network) are both run by Cablevision Chair Chuck Dolan, and "there is no true competitive bidding" in New York for TV rights. "That quandary could hurt the bargaining position of the Devils, and even the Yankees," whose deal runs out in 2000. Sandomir writes that both "would be helped if another bidder entered" -- such as Liberty Sports -- with the resources to create an outlet that could compete (N.Y. TIMES, 5/26). Phil Mushnick reports, "Everyone we've spoken with who has an interest in NHL TV contracts is convinced that the Devils are already gone to Nashville" (N.Y. POST, 5/26). The POST's Thomas Hill reports that the Nets, spurred on by the Devils, also hope to negotiate changes in their Meadowlands lease with the NJSEA (N.Y. POST, 5/26).