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Old 08-18-2005, 01:23 PM   #1
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Exclamation NHL reaches deal with Comcast; ESPN opts not to match

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NHL reaches deal with Comcast; ESPN opts not to match

Aug. 18, 2005
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- NHL games will air on Outdoor Life Network for at least the next two seasons.

The league finalized a two-year deal with Comcast Corp. -- the owner of OLN -- late Wednesday night after ESPN declined to match the agreement that will pay the NHL $65 million this season and $70 million in 2006-07.

The agreement between Comcast and the NHL was approved by the league's board of governors last week. ESPN, which resumed regular broadcast of NHL games in 1992, had until Wednesday night to match the contract but decided to pass.
http://www.sportsline.com/nhl/story/8745707

This frankly SUCKS for the NHL. ESPN is the hub for sports and everyone gets/watches it. But airing on OLN? I've never watched that channel in my life. It's going to be hard to win back old fans and attract new ones with this deal.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:49 PM   #2
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I was afraid something like this would happen. It's bad news for fans and the game. I assume that the CBC will broadcast as usual? Hockey has no friend in the American media.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:50 PM   #3
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Since they are on the outdoor channel maybe they will play old time 4 on 4 hockey outside on a rink.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:55 PM   #4
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Even when the games were on ESPN nobody was watching. ESPN averaged slightly over 400,000 viewers per game duirng the last season they carried the games. The problem with the NHL is not so much the American media not caring, but moreso the horrible job the NHL has done marketing itself over the past ten years. Interest as steadily declined as the NHL has failed to market its stars the way it did in the early 90s when its popularity was at an all-time high.
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:31 PM   #5
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Year old re runs of poker games were getting higher ratings than hockey the last year that ESPN televised the league. I don't blame them for passing.
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