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Call It A Comeback: Bettman, Daly Discuss Post-Lockout NHL
Published January 27, 2006
|Bettman Says NHL To Benefit From
NBC’s Coverage Of Olympic Hockey
DALY DOSE: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, on the state of the league: “The game is good, the fans have embraced it, business is good. That’s because of what we were able to do with the [CBA].” Daly said the NHL and cable partner OLN are “working on increasing distribution.” He added that cable ratings are “‘comparable’ to what they were on ESPN2 before the lockout.” But while marketing and licensing revenue is “‘comparable’ to the pre-lockout era, corporate sponsorship has been ‘soft.’” Daly: “It has a lot to do with the timing of [the new CBA]. Companies had to plan their budget, and they didn’t know if we’d be playing (this season).” Sports Business Group President David Carter said of the NHL’s return, “I am surprised at how resilient the fans were, how quickly they came back. People who love hockey are filling the arenas right now. The key for the sport is to embrace the casual hockey fan” (Carol Slezak, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/27).