Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

A Brand New Day

Way back when I wrote a blog about the NHL and how I was thrilled they didn't accept ESPN's pity bid of 30M for this year. I got pretty crazy in that post, but I was upset by the many people I was talking to around the league who thought the loss of ESPN was the death of hockey. I thought we should think more of ourselves. We have an awesome "bleeping" sport! Remember?

Well this morning we wake up with a new home of the NHL. A company that will treat us with the respect we deserve. Finally the NHL will get the "A" Treatment. Before I go any further. let me say this. The folks at ESPN who put on hockey did a phenomenal job. John Buccigross is one of my favorite people. Melrose, Pito, Ferraro(even if he does think I'm a fraud), Hradek (apparently not a fan either), Pang, Erin, Thorne, Clement, and the crews...they really did an outstanding job. But they themselves would tell you it was always a battle. NHL2-NIGHT was a great example. ESPN2 thought there were better things to put on at 11:30 at night. And on how many sportcenters did we hear the passive-aggressive digs against the sport?....you quickly realize the NHL was waaaay down the priority list..

But today is a brand new day. Comcast loves hockey. They own a team (the Flyers) for crying out loud. The people there... are hockey people. They are in Philadelphia...a killer hockey town. And they didn't throw 30M at the NHL for a single season. They threw 200M for three seasons with incentives to be more money. These are progressive people. These aren't people who throw money around lightly. They see what is happening. They see a sport about to explode. Exciting new stars coming with new rules and a cost certainty that adds stability and enables teams to be competitive everywhere.

A great example of what they are doing is that they are bringing the NHL Network to the states as part of this deal. And they will have pay-per-view games along with the Center Ice Package. They will also broadcast streaming games on the internet. All progressive moves. "Hipper" moves. This is more like it.. This is what this great sport deserves...



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