SBD/September 10, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHL Will Seek To Generate $1B In Additional Revenues As Part Of Staff Reorganization

The NHL is seeking to generate $1B "in additional national revenue" within three seasons as one of several "goals of a comprehensive NHL staff reorganization," according to Christopher Botta of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. NHL COO John Collins last Thursday in an internal memo "notified all league employees of the goals, initiatives and staff changes that start" with the '13-14 season. Four "touchstones" were mentioned in the memo "as key to developing increased revenue for the NHL." They include "expansion of the league’s core businesses: media, licensing and sponsorship"; a "big-event strategy, which in 2014 includes the Winter Classic and Heritage Classic and four additional outdoor games in major markets branded as the Coors Light Stadium Series"; an "increased presence in Europe, with more regular-season NHL games overseas, the return of the World Cup of Hockey -- which, in 1996 and 2004, featured eight top national teams in a tournament in August"; and "securing new Canadian media rights deals, which would begin" in '14-15. Those Canadian rights deals are "expected to be a financial boon to the NHL." A source said that negotiations will "continue with CBC but also will start later this month with competitors Bell Media, which owns TSN and CTV, and Rogers Sportsnet." The NHL currently is "bringing in close to $200 million a year in rights fees from its Canadian partners" and "expects a healthy increase considering the marketplace for live sports rights." HBO "will produce and broadcast another '24/7' series this year" built around the Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. In addition, the league will "produce an eight-part, all-access documentary that will take viewers behind the scenes with the teams and players from before those five outdoor games to the aftermath of the Olympics" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/9 issue).
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