IS CBC/NHL DEAL NEAR? DO FALLING LEAFS HURT LEAGUE RATINGS?
The CBC's TV deal with the NHL is "virtually done and
will be announced shortly," according to William Houston of
the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Sources put the deal at C$200-
250M over five years and sources add the CBC will pay
between C$40M-50M a year for its national package, "Hockey
Night in Canada" (HNIC). Houston writes the CBC was the
"only over-the-air network" to bid for national NHL rights,
but that the NHL and CBC "have not reached a cable
agreement, tentative or otherwise" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/17).
ANALYSIS: Also in Toronto, David Shoalts writes that an
NHL exec said the Maple Leafs' "continuing mediocrity" led
the league to sign Labatt Brewing's deal with the CBC for
HNIC, which was done in "a different manner than originally
planned." The Leafs recent performance has led to a drop in
ratings and "there is a fear" at the league office that
"further slides could lead to a massive hit" in TV revenue.
The league earlier had said it "wanted to split" the
Canadian TV rights package into "smaller components and sell
the promotional, broadcasting and advertising rates
separately." But Shoalts writes that the sale of HNIC
sponsorship to Labatt and the CBC "makes it appear the
package has only been split in two parts." But when adding
up the components of the national deal, Shoalts notes the
total value of the national package could hit C$375M, which
is C$44M more than was offered to the league by Molson for
rights this summer (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/17).