Sharks, Bettman Reach Out To Comcast To Rework Local TV Deal With 14 Years Remaining
The Sharks' local TV contract with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is “not acceptable to them” and it could “affect the team's long-term ability to stay in San Jose and the Bay Area,” according to Mark Purdy of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has taken the “extraordinary step of personally intervening in the matter.” Bettman has “contacted high-level honchos” at Comcast's corporate offices in Philadelphia to "see if the deal can be reworked.” The current deal yields the Sharks $7M per season, and it has “14 more seasons to run.” Former Sharks CEO Greg Jamison was the “man who signed off on the deal” in ‘09, one year before he “stepped away” from the job. Current CEO John Tortora in an e-mail wrote Comcast has been "an excellent partner for the Sharks locally." He also “confirmed that the Sharks are attempting to alter their agreement.” Tortora added the RSN “expressed a willingness to work with us in finding a creative solution that generates the appropriate value proposition for both sides." Purdy writes the decision to "award an outdoor game to the Bay Area next season, which will soon be announced at either AT&T Park or Levi's Stadium, could be a bone thrown out to Comcast in hopes of currying favor” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/18).
PARTING WAYS: In San Jose, David Pollak reports Sharks TV analyst Drew Remenda “won't be returning to his spot in the broadcast booth next season” after 13 seasons with the club. Remenda yesterday said, "They decided not to renew my contract. It wasn't because of anything I did or anything wrong. It was explained to me they wanted to take the broadcast in a different direction. Honestly, we parted amicably." Pollak notes Remenda was “popular with fans” and had a “league-wide following thanks to satellite packages that carried NHL games to outside markets” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/18).