National Lacrosse League Hopes New CBA, Schedule Changes Lead To Financial Stability
The National Lacrosse League "hopes to be well placed for growth in the coming years," and the "biggest step toward that goal during the just concluded offseason was the signing" of a new CBA through '20, according to Budd Bailey of the BUFFALO NEWS. The league is hoping that the changes "will soon translate to a better financial picture," as NLL franchises often have been "fragile over the years." The latest move "came earlier this year when the Washington Stealth moved to Vancouver." Fiscal stability "could help the nine-team league’s chances of expanding in the near future." One of the "most obvious changes this season will be a revised playoff format." Three teams from the East and West will make the playoffs, "reducing the number of franchises in the postseason from eight to six." The season is "going from 16 to 18 games, which is a reason why the first games in the league this year will be held before Jan. 1 instead of after." Meanwhile, the league "opted out of a television deal with the CBS Sports Network." That channel "had rights to games in the United States and Canada, but the outlet was not available through most systems in Western Canada -- the home of three teams." Games will "continue to be shown on YouTube, and there may be other announcements about broadcasting rights in the near future" (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/26). The NLL on Monday announced an agreement with TSN to broadcast eight regular-season games in '14, primarily on TSN2, all live across Canada. In addition, those same eight broadcasts will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 and on RDS2 in Quebec. The NLL also announced a renewal of its partnership with YouTube, which will broadcast 73 regular-season games live (THE DAILY).