SBD/April 22, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Bettman Leads NHL To Record-Setting TV Deal With NBC/Versus

Bettman brokers NHL record-setting TV rights deal With NBC, Versus

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: GARY BETTMAN -- You start at the top and the NHL's supremo, with key lieutenants BILL DALY and JOHN COLLINS, leads the league to a new 10-year deal with NBC and Versus worth a record $2B. NHL owners get the broad and consistent exposure during the regular season and playoffs that they were seeking and, most importantly, feel wanted as the league nearly triples its current rights fee amid interest from multiple parties. Bettman and Co.’s recent business strategy of developing big events and focusing on new media initiatives pays off. All in all, it’s about as good a deal as the NHL could have hoped for.

LOSE: FRANK MCCOURT -- Perhaps this week's drama surrounding the Dodgers would have been a better plot line for the film "Battle: Los Angeles," as MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG sends shockwaves throughout sports by announcing the league is stripping McCourt of his ownership. MLB must now act as caretakers for one of the storied franchises following myriad issues during McCourt's tenure, including a debt load approaching $430M. But McCourt doesn’t back down in snipping back at Selig and may seek to regain the club via the courts, though the move by MLB could be too much for the embattled McCourt.

DRAW: ESPN “MNF” SCHEDULE: Yes, the network gets some strong divisional matchups like Raiders-Broncos, Redskins-Cowboys and Dolphins-Jets, but also some head-scratchers like Colts-Buccaneers, Bears-Lions and Chargers-Jaguars. You can’t predict the schedule, we know, and what if the Bears and Lions are undefeated at the time? But it’s no comparison to NBC’s "SNF" schedule. This is what $1.1B a year gets you?
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