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Did we talk about how Disney has to divest the RSNs? Wonder if they'll be sold piecemeal or to one company. It would be neat to see the local names come back like SportSouth, MSC, and PASS.

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No idea where to put this, but I have to get this out of my system. Today in "You hate to see that": Paul Lukas has to get a new landline number and he may never recover. He's having a terrible time with Verizon customer service but having an absolute meltdown about it on social media. I guess when you get to blog about sports uniforms for a living you might lose perspective on what real problems are. Get a grip buddy.

 

 

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A quick scroll through Paul's facebook feed reveals that he is John from The Simpsons more than anyone has ever been. My man's collecting shoe-size measurers 

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I just did the same only to discover that he was just a couple of rows in front of me at a Breeders show in Prospect Park last week. I guess that was my brush with greatness. Or at least my brush with something.

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9 hours ago, Digby said:

No idea where to put this, but I have to get this out of my system. Today in "You hate to see that": Paul Lukas has to get a new landline number and he may never recover. He's having a terrible time with Verizon customer service but having an absolute meltdown about it on social media. I guess when you get to blog about sports uniforms for a living you might lose perspective on what real problems are. Get a grip buddy.

 

 

There are so many times I have wanted to unfollow or mute him. He can be so annoying sometimes. But I do enjoy his uniform information. 

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I like Paul Lukas's work, but he's a veritable shipping container full of idiosyncrasies and you have to tweak someone like that.

 

Anyhoo, over in hockeyland, the Wednesday Night Rivalry concept is dead and NBC now wants to commit to showcasing star players. I'm fine with this, but you can have it both ways if you're doing it right: what's Connor McDavid versus Johnny Hockey to some can be The Battle of Alberta to others. I think showcasing NHL rivalries is good in theory, but it kind of breaks down when half the "rivalries" have to involve the Penguins, the other half aren't real because of too many expansions, relocations, and realignments, and all of them are watered down by the league's counterproductive reinforcement of the belief that its regular season is irrelevant. 

 

I don't really care about a move to star-based presentations because I don't trust the NHL to commit to it anyway. It's like getting a dog to walk on its hind legs. The real value of this is that it smuggles Canadian teams into national American telecasts. One of the games is going to be Auston Matthews versus Patrik Laine, which is code for Toronto versus Winnipeg! As I've pointed out in the past, one of the NHL's bigger problems stateside is that its two flagship teams, the Maple Leafs and the 24-time world champion Canadiens, go virtually unacknowledged in our national media to the extent that casuals will ask, for instance, how the Blackhawks can even play against a team from another country. Talk about growing the game, why shouldn't there be efforts to scoop up the "unchurched" and make Leafs/Habs fans out of them? There are Yankees and Red Sox fans everywhere. People in Nebraska or Kentucky or whatever should default to being Leafs fans.

EDIT: "I don't really care about __________________ because I don't trust the NHL to commit to it anyway" is basically a Mad Lib

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I thought part of the issue is that NBC doesn't get "credit" for the ratings in Canadian TV markets when they sell to advertisers.  Even if 100% of Toronto televisions are tuned into Wings/Leafs, NBC can only charge advertisers based on the stateside audience.

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Paul is a dang weirdo but he has lots of legit sources so I listen to him for facts. The rest, though, yeesh. "all purple is terrible" "no one should ever buy jerseys or hats" "here's 10,000 words on the difference between 'ads' and 'sponsors'"

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On 8/15/2018 at 9:14 AM, Hat Boy said:

I thought part of the issue is that NBC doesn't get "credit" for the ratings in Canadian TV markets when they sell to advertisers.  Even if 100% of Toronto televisions are tuned into Wings/Leafs, NBC can only charge advertisers based on the stateside audience.

Right, NBC doesn't have Canadian TV markets, it just has American markets (Seattle, Fargo, Detroit, Buffalo, Plattsburgh) that can be picked up over the air or by Canadian cable operators, but on cable those would have to be blacked out if a Canadian-origination channel, whether the CBC or a cable channel, also has the Leafs game, and why wouldn't they.

 

I'm just arguing -- or more accurately, lamenting -- that we ought to have a state of the league where Toronto fans are not limited to the Toronto market, ibid for Montreal, due to the prestige of those organizations. By rights, the Leafs should be like the Cubs (they sure got the lasting-incompetence part down) where you'll find their fans anywhere you go. It's too bad they lacked the foresight or the ability to do something in the '80s and '90s like a syndication package of Leafs games for programming-starved UHF stations around America.

 

But if you look back, hockey teams back then weren't even good at telecasting their entire schedules in their own backyards. (EDIT: the Islanders, of all teams, are a rare exception, as the excerpt alludes to; they signed a big honkin' TV deal with SportsChannel, later FSN New York, now MSG+, that has kept the team afloat to this day.) From a 1995 Courant:

 

Quote

SportsChannel New England, which carries 49 Whalers games, was contracted to do the Celtics-Bulls game Monday at the FleetCenter. SportsChannel airs all Celtics home games.


WFSB, Channel 3, which airs five home games and eight games in all, did not want to replace its strong Monday lineup.

``Mondays were a 100 percent no,'' WFSB vice president and general manager Chris Rohrs said. ``The other days we could look at on a case-by-case basis.''

Instead of Brendan Shanahan, you saw ``The Nanny.'' Instead of Pierre Turgeon, you got ``Murphy Brown.''

``Television, like everything else, is a supply-demand issue and there are economic considerations,'' said Russ Gregory, Whalers senior vice president of marketing and public relations. ``We had two options, SportsChannel or [Channel] 3. Neither of them had it available to squeeze into their programming or justify it from an economic standpoint.''

Whalers fans have it much tougher than other NHL fans. All Rangers, Bruins and Islanders games are televised live. The Devils, counting national telecasts, will have 78 of 82 on TV.

There are 24 Whalers games that aren't on TV, not counting games against the Bruins that may be blacked out on WSBK, Channel 38, in the Hartford area. Although 10 teams in the NHL have fewer games on TV, including Chicago and Washington, according to the Hockey News, the Whalers make only about $3 million to $4 million from television rights.

 

42% of the league kept at least 30% of the schedule off TV and this was 1995-1996, which doesn't feel like ancient history. I'm kinda losing the plot here so to bring it back, the NHL has been lacking a vision for television for years now and that as much as anything has set them back.

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I feel like it's easier to watch professional wrestling on television than it is professional hockey. And given that Fox is going to give WWE $2 billion to broadcast Smackdown on Fox next year, it seems like it's more valuable too.

 

That's not to :censored: on hockey per se, but more to point out that in this current race for Content, I don't know why the NHL keeps getting left behind.

 

EDIT: Fox's WWE deal is for $1 billion, not 2. And it's over five years, so it's actually equal to the current $200 million/year the NHL gets from NBC (until 2020/21).

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On 8/15/2018 at 10:14 AM, Hat Boy said:

I thought part of the issue is that NBC doesn't get "credit" for the ratings in Canadian TV markets when they sell to advertisers.  Even if 100% of Toronto televisions are tuned into Wings/Leafs, NBC can only charge advertisers based on the stateside audience.

 

Right, I think this is an issue in all the non-NFL sports, but it's more obvious in the NHL given more Canadian teams. The Blue Jays weren't on Sunday Night Baseball for what, 14 years or whatever it was, and the Raptors have been nonexistent in the States during their good era, except in the playoffs when their good era has evaporated.

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37 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

I feel like it's easier to watch professional wrestling on television than it is professional hockey. And given that Fox is going to give WWE $2 billion to broadcast Smackdown on Fox next year, it seems like it's more valuable too.

 

Of course, professional wrestling was on the vanguard of providing cheap television content. It's had an eye toward televised spectacle since Gorgeous George. Meanwhile, hockey teams went well into the '90s fearing that home games on TV would stop people from coming out to buy beer. That has more to do with not televising well than a puck being too small. Football would suck on TV too if the owners didn't want to optimize it.

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19 hours ago, DG_Now said:

I feel like it's easier to watch professional wrestling on television than it is professional hockey. And given that Fox is going to give WWE $2 billion to broadcast Smackdown on Fox next year, it seems like it's more valuable too.

 

That's not to :censored: on hockey per se, but more to point out that in this current race for Content, I don't know why the NHL keeps getting left behind.

 

EDIT: Fox's WWE deal is for $1 billion, not 2. And it's over five years, so it's actually equal to the current $200 million/year the NHL gets from NBC (until 2020/21).

Well John Zeigler took the national contract from ESPN to Sportschannel America in 1988 only to have Bettman repeat it in 2005 in going to then OLN (lka Versus, NBCSN).

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On 8/17/2018 at 11:05 AM, the admiral said:

Right, NBC doesn't have Canadian TV markets, it just has American markets (Seattle, Fargo, Detroit, Buffalo, Plattsburgh) that can be picked up over the air or by Canadian cable operators, but on cable those would have to be blacked out if a Canadian-origination channel, whether the CBC or a cable channel, also has the Leafs game, and why wouldn't they.

 

I'm just arguing -- or more accurately, lamenting -- that we ought to have a state of the league where Toronto fans are not limited to the Toronto market, ibid for Montreal, due to the prestige of those organizations. By rights, the Leafs should be like the Cubs (they sure got the lasting-incompetence part down) where you'll find their fans anywhere you go. It's too bad they lacked the foresight or the ability to do something in the '80s and '90s like a syndication package of Leafs games for programming-starved UHF stations around America.

 

But if you look back, hockey teams back then weren't even good at telecasting their entire schedules in their own backyards. (EDIT: the Islanders, of all teams, are a rare exception, as the excerpt alludes to; they signed a big honkin' TV deal with SportsChannel, later FSN New York, now MSG+, that has kept the team afloat to this day.) From a 1995 Courant:

 

 

42% of the league kept at least 30% of the schedule off TV and this was 1995-1996, which doesn't feel like ancient history. I'm kinda losing the plot here so to bring it back, the NHL has been lacking a vision for television for years now and that as much as anything has set them back.

 

I think putting the Blackhawks on the WGN Superstation/America feed would have helped in that regard a little; I understand NBCSN/Versus wanting to protect its exclusive cable rights, but it would have helped (especially with the team's resurgence as a league power again) build-up the NHL's popularity, even if it was the Blackhawks Game of the Week.

 

It didn't seem that long ago that most MLB, NFL, and NBA teams didn't televise their full schedules locally...hell, some teams for years (like the Blackhawks) held out televising home games, for the fear of losing gate revenue, even though these telecasts are really "infomercials" to get fans to go to the games.  That's the same logic the Braves used when they moved to Milwaukee from Boston in the early '50s...before the Braves left town, they and the Red Sox had most, if not all, of their home games televised across the two TV stations Boston had on the air at the time (Boston didn't get its fourth commercial TV station until 1957, and the previous commercial station [on UHF Channel 56] went off the air the year before, and it was resurrected about a decade later as the station that eventually became WLVI). 

 

Here in L.A., the Kings, Ducks, and Clippers were among the last teams to televise their full 82-game schedules across some combination of network, cable, and over-the-air TV; the Dodgers didn't start televising all 162 games until the mid-2000s went they re-upped with Fox Sports and changed over-the-air stations (KCAL [9] and KCOP [13], in a sense, traded over-the-air rights to the local baseball teams, with the Angels going from 9 to 13, and the Dodgers coming back the other way), and the Angels didn't start showing all 162 until at least 2005 or so.  Between the two teams, they would cap their over-the-air telecasts to 50 games per season, but the Angels gradually moved more telecasts over to Fox Sports West in recent years before taking the full 150-game or so slate for themselves; the only time you'll see the Angels on OTA is the occasional Fox Saturday afternoon/evening game or in April when the Clippers/Ducks/Kings are in the playoffs, and the two Fox local RSNs are full with playoff coverage, and the Angels get farmed over to KCOP...problem there however, if don't live in the L.A. DMA and want to see the Angels, your best hope is if they decide to also offer the game on Fox Sports Go, otherwise you're SOL--Extra Innings wouldn't help because of the territorial restrictions.

 

The Lakers, at least since 1985 when they launched the original Prime Ticket (now Fox Sports West), have televised every single game, preseason and regular season.

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41 minutes ago, MadmanLA said:

I think putting the Blackhawks on the WGN Superstation/America feed would have helped in that regard a little; I understand NBCSN/Versus wanting to protect its exclusive cable rights, but it would have helped (especially with the team's resurgence as a league power again) build-up the NHL's popularity, even if it was the Blackhawks Game of the Week.

 

It's funny: because of a loophole in CRTC regulations, Canadian cable systems can't carry (x5!) WGN America, but can carry the regular channel 9 that we get in Chicago, so weekly Blackhawks games were nationally televised. In Canada.

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4 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

It's funny: because of a loophole in CRTC regulations, Canadian cable systems can't carry (x5!) WGN America, but can carry the regular channel 9 that we get in Chicago, so weekly Blackhawks games were nationally televised. In Canada.

 

Oh yeah...they also get Channel 17 from Atlanta (Peachtree TV), the former localized version of TBS.

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24 minutes ago, Red Wolf said:

Neat. Now where's my PS4 app? 

 

I think it's absurd that I bought a $30 Roku for ESPN+, but I'm glad I did. ESPN's MLS access is really awesome and I'm glad to have it for the home stretch. That it's the only way to watch Ronaldo now is a bonus.

 

Xbox One has an HDMI in so you can access the Roku from the Xbox. Not sure if PS4 has something similar.

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