SBD/Issue 81/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Bettman Says NHL Heading To Another Revenue Record This Season

Bettman Said Projections Call
For 4-5% Revenue Increase

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman last night said that he "expects the league to set another record for league-wide revenue" this season behind the Capitals-Penguins Winter Classic and the HBO "24/7" series that accompanied it, according to Helene Elliott of the L.A. TIMES. Bettman said, "Four to five percent maybe, early projections, but we seem to be in a good place in terms of the business." The NHL's revenue last season was "slightly more than $2.7 billion." Bettman said, "We're having a good season on all fronts. ... Revenues are strong, attendance is up and things are continuing to grow. So in a difficult economic environment we're holding our own and even growing a little." He also indicated that another "24/7" series on HBO "is a possibility for next year's Winter Classic." Bettman: "HBO has told me that they were extraordinarily pleased with '24/7' and they would be interested in doing it again." He added that he has "spent time" with new NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr, but that their talks "were not formal." The league's current CBA expires in September '12 (L.A. TIMES, 1/10).

LEAGUE RETAINS ACKERMAN AS CONSULTANT: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported the NHL has "retained the services for former WNBA president Val Ackerman as a consultant." Ackerman, who today is being named one of SportsBusiness Journal/Daily's '11 Champions -- Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business, has had a "few meetings with the NHL so far as the league continues to explore the merits of possibly launching a women's pro league at some point." Female hockey "has exploded over the past decade, especially in Canada," and a new league "under the NHL umbrella would legitimize the women's game like never before" (ESPN.com, 1/8).

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