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NHL In Great Financial Position As Stanley Cup Final Starts, With Bettman Bullish On Future
Published June 4, 2014
BETTMAN STILL BUILDING: Bettman yesterday appeared on CNBC, saying, "We're in a very good place. We've spent a fair amount of time trying to build the right foundation for our game, making sure that the game on the ice is healthy, entertaining, exciting and competitive and at the same time building our businesses around the game, particularly as it relates to our business media partners such as NBC in the United States and using all the digital platforms." Bettman said of his critics, "You can't win the hearts of everyone in this industry. If, in fact, you're thin-skinned and can't take the criticism, you should do something else. While there are always going to be critics, the fact is we've made long-term decisions. We were criticized for work stoppages but we came back healthier each time. We were criticized for making a revolutionary extraordinary deal with NBC and NBC Sports Network as opposed to taking the traditional route with other sports networks, and that has worked out fabulously well." Bettman: "The sport has grown very well. The players have done very well and, most importantly, since the game is better, the fans are in a much better place. We have perhaps the best competitive balance in all of sports" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 6/3).
MEGA MARKET SHARE: In Toronto, Damien Cox writes a Rangers-Kings Stanley Cup Final "makes this very big business for everyone." Since NHL owners and players "now share the receipts equally, both benefit when the large-market teams succeed." With the Canadian dollar "drooping against the U.S. greenback compared to where it was, this matters even more" (TORONTO STAR, 6/4).